Where: Indonesia, Sulawesi, Tana Toraja People: Torajans Religion: Aluk To Dolo (Way of the Ancestors) Ritual: Ma’nene
Ditha’s parents, Ruslin and Adi are performing the Ma’nene ritual with their daughter, Ditha, who suddenly passed away four years earlier. It was the first time the family did the Ma’nene ceremony with Ditha, and Ruslin and Adi were obviously sad. At the same time, they were also happy to see Ditha and celebrate her during the ceremony.
The Torajans believe that the Ma’nene ritual is based on an old mythical tale about a hunter, Pong Rumasek, who was out wandering in the mountains. Here he came across a dead person, whom he wrapped in his own clothes and buried. Since then, luck and happiness smiled upon him and his family.
At a Ma’nene ceremoni, families gather and open the family tombs, bring out their dead relatives, clean them and dress them up in clean clothes and dry them a bit in the sun. Before they are put back, the family members are having pictures taken with them. It is believed that it brings luck honouring your ancestors in this way. In some places the Ma’nene ceremony is held every year and in other places every second or third year – and only when the rice has been harvested.
Thank you very much to Adi, Ruslin and their deceased daughter Ditha, may she rest in peace.
Also a huge thank you to my guide, fixer and translator on this journey Yacob Kakke.