Also known as: Sa'dan Toradja; Tae'

The Southern Toraja, also known as the Sa'dan Toraja, reside in the highlands of the island of Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes) in Eastern Indonesia. The Toraja have been largely Christian since the 1970s, but a minority continue to follow the indigenous religion, now known as Aluk to Dolo (Ways of the Ancestors).

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Traditional Culture(1880-1905)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 126
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 107-133, 116-117
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 124
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 112-113, 121, 124-126
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 3
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 107-121, 118-120

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 117, 275

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 121-124
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 121-124
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and creationist (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 134-145, 134-136, 139-140, 144
Primordial pair Present, and genealogically distinct from humans (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 134-145
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 124-126, 145-151

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 111

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 31
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11-13, 58-293
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 47
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 121-122

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 312-318
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 31, 186-192
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 59
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 274

Rites

Piercing Absent from culture (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 109-116
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 113
Scarification Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 113
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 113-114
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979B), pp. 109-116
Social Environment +
Population 120000 (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 6, 20
Population of largest political community 10,000-99,999 (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 58, 81
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 282
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 282
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 135
Marital residence Matrilocal or uxorilocal - with wife's kin (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 135

Conflict

Conflict within communities Low (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 92-104
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 58
Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 282
Klenke (2013), pp. 153
Waterson (2009), pp. 27
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Klenke (2013), pp. 153
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Sulawesi) (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 1765.9 (Source)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 107, 116, 121
Klenke (2013), pp. 153
Waterson (2009), pp. 25-26
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 135
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 9, 135
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Land-based gathering Absent (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 11-12
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Adams (1993A), pp. 281
Metalworking Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1972), pp. 134
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 6

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -2.5 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Sulawesi) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 120.1 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Sulawesi) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Charlton (2000), pp. 607
Island Size (km²) 188522.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Celebes) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 3455.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Celebes) (2014)
Post Contact History(1905-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Mixed / Neither (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 33-43, 177
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Hollan (1988), pp. 278
Volkman (1985), pp. 37, 41
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 8-9
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Adams (1993A), pp. 283
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 26-40
Klenke (2013), pp. 154
Immigration Absent (Source)
Klenke (2013), pp. 152
Language shift Medium (Source)
Ethnologue (Tae') (2014)
Volkman (1985), pp. 9

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Klenke (2013), pp. 154
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 6, 25
Hollan (1988), pp. 277
Nooy-Palm (1979A), pp. 13

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 165-166
Air travel Present, local only (Source)
Waterson (2009), pp. xv-xvi
Volkman (1985), pp. 165-166
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 166
Ethnologue (Map of Sulawesi) (2014)
Klenke (2013), pp. 156-158
Volkman (1985), pp. 165-166

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 26-40
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Volkman (1985), pp. 26-40
Klenke (2013), pp. 154
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Hollan (1988), pp. 278
Institutional religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Klenke (2013), pp. 153, 155
Hollan (1988), pp. 278
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Klenke (2013), pp. 153-153
External Links
References
Adams, K.M. (1993A). Toraja. Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Vol. V, pp 281-283). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Bigalke, T. W. (2005). Tana Toraja: a Social History of an Indonesian People. Singapore: Singapore University Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Charlton, T. R. (2000). Tertiary Evolution of the Eastern Indonesia Collision Complex. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 18 (5), 603-631. DOI: 10.1016/S1367-9120(99)00049-8

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Celebes). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/101218/Celebes

Ethnologue (2014). Map of Indonesia, Sulawesi. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/ID_sl_

Ethnologue (Tae'). (2014). Tae': A language of Indonesia. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/language/rob

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Hollan, D. (1988). Pockets full of mistakes: the personal consequences of religious change in a Toraja Village. Oceania, 58, 275-278.

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Klenke, K. (2013). Whose Adat is It? Adat, Indigeneity and Social Stratification in Toraja. In Hauser-Schaublin, B. (Ed.) Gottingen Studies in Cultural Property (Vol. 7): Adat and Indigeneity in Indonesia. Gottingen, Germany: Universitatsverlag Gottingen.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1972). Eastern Sumbanese in Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Nooy-Palm, C. H. M (1972). Southern Toradja. In F.M. Lebar (Ed.) Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia (Vol. I, pp 133-136). New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Nooy-Palm, H. (1979A). The Sa'dan-Toraja: a Study of their Social life and Religion (Volume I). New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Asia/OG13%27%29&docId=og13-007&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP.

Nooy-Palm, H. (1979B). The Sa'dan-Toraja: a Study of their Social life and Religion (Volume I). New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Asia/OG13%27%29&docId=og13-007&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP.

Volkman, T. (1985). Feasts of honor: ritual and change in the Toraja Highlands. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Waterson, R. (2009). Paths and Rivers: Sa'adan Toraja Society in Transformation. Leiden, Netherlands: KTLV Press.