Garuda Indonesia Colours Magazine October 2014 - Page 128

126 Travel | Tana Toraja Majestic, soaring rooflines are typical of Torajan houses. Buffalo horns are fixed to the front of Torajan homes and symbolise the number of buffalo sacrificed at the deceased inhabitant’s traditional funeral. A prized pink spotted buffalo tethered at the side of a road. An example of the intricate padong designs that cover much of the exterior of a Torajan house. 5 Senses – Touch BUFFALO Spotted buffalo tethered to poles and carefully tended and washed by their handlers are soft to the touch. They are used to being handled and are as gentle as they look, so go on, give them a stroke. Kerbau albino Toraja yang ditambatkan ke tiang, dirawat dan dimandikan oleh pemiliknya ini terasa halus disentuh. Selembut penampilannya, kerbau belang ini biasa diusap-usap, jadi cobalah Anda membelai kerbau ini. To some, the island resembles a giant spider that has fallen from its lair high in the ceiling and landed with its legs splayed awkwardly in all directions, surrounded by the sapphire-blue waters of the Java, the Flores, the Banda, the Moluccas and the Celebes seas, which gently caress her tentacles that reach over 2,000km end to end. Home to over 22 million souls, Sulawesi plays host to a heady mix of the most ethnically diverse peoples found anywhere. Once, fierce sea-going tribes prevented the early European spice traders from coming ashore, effectively creating a formidable barrier that kept any outsiders from discovering its hidden secrets. This meant that the mountainous spine of the interior remained relatively unexplored until the turn of the 20th century, and only then did the Toraja tribe, meaning ‘the people from above’, reveal themselves. Ethnically dissimilar from any of their neighbours, their appearance has given rise to many conflicting anthropological theories that still rage even today. However, when the Torajans themselves are asked where they came from they reply: “Before the dawn of human memory our ancestors descended from the Pleiades in sky ships.” (Lawrence and Lorne Blair, Ring Of Fire.) Our journey to Tana Toraja begins in the sprawling city of Makassar perched on the southern tip of the island, where the scent of history is as rich as the air that hangs listlessly above it. Here the great bugis or perahus, the largest working sailing ships left in the world, still ply the waters, straining under the thousands of feet of canvas powering these mighty craft across the seas and safely home to port. Makassar is an ideal jumping-off point for the trip to the highlands and well worth an overnight stay to explore the twisting laneways and markets teeming wi F