In Toraja, death must be rousingly celebrated. It even encompasses the thankfulness ceremony of the birth of a child. The funeral day becomes the embodiment of dedication and honor for those that ”live” to those that have ”died”. The traditional funeral ritual Is the Rambu Solo Ceremony.
According to ancient animism beliefs, Aluk To Dolo, the Toraja people believe that death is not the end of everything.
Death is also something that does not come suddenly but that It goes through a process heading for Puya (spiritual realm).
The funeral procession in Tana Toraja is like no other funeral in Indonesia in general.
The body of the deceased family member will only be buried when the family that is left behind can afford the funds to carry out the Rambu Solo Ceremony.
As long as the body has not been buried, the body will stay in the house or placed in the Tongkonan (Toraja Traditional House).
The Tongkonan is heavily linked with Torajanese spirituality because it is here that there is vertical contact with their beloved ancestors.
During being kept, the body is enveloped with some pieces of cloth and injected with formaline so as to not give off any odor.
Once the Rambu Solo Ceremony takes place will then a person’s death be complete. This funeral ceremony has been going on in the Toraja community since the middle of 17th century.