Funeral in Tanah Toraja

Got the full ceremony today. The bodies were brought out after resting at home for a year, and pushed up to the family home (pictured – note the peculiar roofs)  one last time before they’ll be finally buried. There were hundreds of guests in large wooden pavillons built specifically for this ceremony, plus a couple dozen tourists.

Feeding that many people takes a lot of meat. There were pigs tied to bamboo poles all over the place, and every few minutes one was taken out back to the open fires, screaming and thrashing, before being killed and put on the fire whole. I have never been served pork as fresh as this.

They also slaughtered one of the many buffalo on the grounds: one man held up its head and another cut its throat with a long knife in one fast strike. There was a great splash of blood, the buffalo was struggling soundlessly for a few seconds, before falling down with blood still gushing out its neck. Then they skinned it right there, with a child playing with the tail. Later saw two small children dragging bloody hooves behind them on a string, like a toy car.

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