Sulawesi is famous for many things: diving, trekking, its volcanoes and beaches. But, Torajaland is known for its dead. The funerary rites of Torajaland fascinate travelers from around the world, namely the famous tau tau cliff burials with bamboo effigies. But it is the sacrifices that have come to be known as one of the darkest events in cultural tourism in Southeast Asia.

To see the massacre of dozens and even hundreds of animals at a Torajaland funeral is not a sight for the faint of heart. Many may not ever wish to see such a thing. Mainly, the sacrifice is that of water buffalo – with albino buffaloes the rarest and most expensive – but there are also pigs and horses. Machete hits throat after throat as mourners sing their barely audible dirges over the screams of the sacrificed.

3 mins reading time
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