The Bloodiest Sacrifice & Funeral Rites of Torajaland
Located in South Sulawesi of Indonesia, the funeral rituals of the Toraja, also known as Rambu Solo, represent their sacrifice for the death of their loved one. When one dies, the family would keep the formalin-injected corpse at home until they save enough money for the ceremony. Some wait a year, some wait twenty.
Traditionally, Rambu Solo requires a minimum of 24 buffalos for the 2-week-long rituals, costing somewhere from 30,000 to 500,000 USD or more. In the highest class of Rambu Solo, there can be more than 50 buffalos and countless pig sacrifice. They believe these buffalos will transport the dead to heaven.
The ritual process include building a new funeral complex, buffalo fight, funeral dance, welcoming the guests, buffalo sacrifice, and burying the death. Every 1-3 years after burial, the family would bring up the corpses to clean and change their clothes, also known as Ma’nene.
Petch Nethnapat is a full-time traveler, investor, and co-founder of Saga Expeditions. He started traveling at 22, embarking on a 15,000-km journey from Thailand to Morocco without flying. He enjoys overland expeditions, photography, and ethnology. He was awarded Most Intrepid Traveler 2021 by Nomad Mania for his adventurous year traveling through pre-Taliban Afghanistan for a month, navigating 450km along Niger River from Timbuktu to Mopti in Mali, and becoming first to reach the mysterious Nuristan as a foreign visitor. Arriving in Armenia, he will have visited 100 countries! He aims to visit every country in the next 5 years and becomes the youngest Thai to do so. Some of his favourite regions are West Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.