Passage to the land of souls

North east photographer Nat Wilkins travelled to Indonesia to capture how the Toraja people deal with death

Ancient traditions die hard in the highlands of Tana Toraja, a regency of the South Sulawesi province of Indonesia. The Toraja people are proud of their religion and just recently celebrated a centenary of Christianity here. This piousness, however, is second only to the ancient animist rituals around which Toraja funerals are built.

A wealth of intrigue surrounds the funeral rites here, from graves hand-chiselled into solid rock and children buried inside growing trees, to the annual slaughter of hundreds of animals. Taking place over several days, these funerals are a combination of grief and celebration, intended to ensure comfortable passage to the “land of souls” of the ancient religion.


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #4

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