Trekking in Tanah Toraja

Just returned from a two-day trekking tour north of Rantepao, with a local guide. The countryside is hilly, with many fields, bamboo forests, and small villages. Everything is bright green, as only rice paddies can be. We followed the walls between the paddies, but it had rained the night before and the paths were very muddy and slippery.

The villages are really just Huddleston of traditional houses with the boat-shaped roofs typical for Tanah Toraja. Most are used to store rice, but we also saw a dozen of them built specifically for a funeral.

Saw a cockfight: a large field surrounded by platform houses, lots of people, and much shouting and money changing hands. Then two cocks with long vicious blades tied to one foot are set upon each other, there is a flurry of wings and feathers, and then just two dead cocks a:de two small puddles of blood. A draw. The next fight had a winner. All this is illegal of course but is a very well-organized and popular event. I guess they just don’t invite the police.

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