Kamis, 07 April 2011

Mummy Toraja

As you go from Rantepao to Makale thence Pongtiku in Rantetayo Airport, turn right and go up gradually a path that leads you through a myriad of the most spectacular panoramic views. Ask the villagers in the village of Dende and direct you. You need good transport for this topic, as the road becomes a gravel and stone from the dirt road after having advanced a few kilometers from Rantetayo. Especially during the wet monsoon, have a four-wheel drive jeep or a motorcycle track and a guide.
The road to Dende takes you through the hills near Madandan Makale and brilliant, becoming steep mountain, with terraced rice fields and hilly views. The vegetation gradually changes from lush green valleys in the soft green and more modest in the mountains where most of the pines (buangin) grow ferns and mountain. Nature, as anywhere in Toraja, is plentiful and you'll have a good chance to observe some of the many species of kidnapping a common Toraja, the Brahminy kite or Crested Serpent Eagle.
In the village of Dende asks the head of the village (Kepala Desa) and to show that the mummy is kept in his house. The mummy is said to be over a hundred years, and the locals say it is a child. The head, however, is surprisingly small for the body, and that looks more like a small adult instead of a child. It is a very well-dressed man of about 90 cm in whose skin still intact, with a slightly protruding teeth and perfect hair and a little worn. His fingers bent from beneath the sleeves and put the villagers to keep the coins in their hands as a sign of reverence or hope for good fortune and blessing. People who gathered around us as we were taking pictures, said the mummy was 10 cm high and is used to fit perfectly into your little red "crib".
Everyone is asking about the mummy. Why has fallen and why has never shown signs of deterioration? As far as the villagers can remember, has never been against any smell either. One explanation might be that in the olden days, before the introduction of Christianity, the body of the sick person is treated according to Animists Aluk Dolo rules to prevent the decay of the body. This practice continued even after the arrival of the Dutch missionary, but then it was done through the injection of formalin. Nobody talked to us, however, could confirm either version, and the history of the mummy cut remains a mystery.

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