The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja (“Land of Toraja”).
Tongkonan are the traditional Torajan houses. The word “tongkonan” comes from the Torajan tongkon (“to sit”).
In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast.
The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. The grave is usually expensive and takes a few months to complete.