Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement

Photo by Michael Novins.

Tana Toraja is part of the Tentative list of Indonesia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement consists of 10 traditional properties in the Tana Toraja Regency. The compounds include houses, granaries, burial sites, ceremonial grounds with menhirs, rice-fields, bamboo forests, and grazing ground or pasture for buffalo and pigs. They reflect early Austronesian culture and are still part of a living tradition. The Toraja are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colourful wood carvings.

Map of Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Zoë Sheng

Chinese-Canadian - 14-Mar-23 -

Definitely lots to see here. It's been a few years since my visit and I can't find my pics at the moment.

There used to be a flight before but when I asked at the Makassar airport office they just laughed. Instead there are overnight buses that arrive in the area early morning. I recommend booking a good place because the guest houses are quite baaaaaasic so after seeing that my bathroom was four grey walls with a hole in one corner that counts as toilet (no running water) I left to the main road and asked a moped to take me to a better place. A good place will also safely store your bags before checking in because early morning you can already go out the burial sites and villages with one of these mopeds. This was my favorite part of the trip even if the villages are often rebuilt over time I think the idea here aren't ruins (although the burial sites are definitely authentic) but continuous living in the same style. I only went to two sites and if you have more time you can obviously see more but I think they are all roughly the same.

Also inquire about a funeral for that day or the next. There is a high chance you get to see one if you stay three days minimum but not everyone will tell you when and where for "free". In my case there was a funeral after lunch time near the shitty guest house I was supposed to stay and it was interesting even though the buffalo slaying isn't exactly my kinda thing. The Toraja tradition is still strong and most people had a great time sightseeing even with the rough trip coming and going. I needed a day to sleep off this entire tour back in Makassar before continuing on.

Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang

Indonesia - 24-Oct-17 -

I should say that the culture of the tribe in Tana Toraja is really amazing. And that includes the outstanding story and value on their burial sites.

I was amazed that this settlement is not inscribed yet.

It is a 7 hrs trip by night bus from Makassar, South Sulawesi (nearest airport), but really worth it.

Highly recommended and a must.

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2 Votes

Full Name
Tana Toraja
Cultural Landscape - Continuing
2014 Incomplete - not examined

2009 Added to Tentative List

2001 Incomplete - not examined

2001 Revision

Successor to former TWHS Toraja (1995)

Unesco Website: Tana Toraja

The site has 11 locations

Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Pallawa Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Bori Parinding (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Kande Api Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Nanggala Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Buntu Pune Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Rante Karassik Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Ke'te Kesu' Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Pala' Toke' Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Londa Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Lemo Site (T)
Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement: Tumakke Site (T)
WHS 1997-2024