This blog is not an official Department of State Web site and the views and information presented are my own, not those of the CLS Program, the Fulbright Program, the Department of State, or American Councils.
Many of you were probably traumatized by my ritual sacrifice photos. If so, you need to realize that these buffalo are treated extremely well during their lifetime--we're talking sponge baths--and slaughtered more humanely than the livestock you eat for dinner. (Sorry Ashley/vegetarian friends). Every part of the buffalo is then used after the ceremony. Also, in terms of me taking photos at a funeral--the locals encourage it. At this point ritual sacrifice in Toraja is less of a spiritual event and more of a tradition. The villagers often videotape it.
That being said, it is hard to watch and I don't plan on attending more funerals anytime soon.
Next on my to do list: cliff graves and dead baby tree.
The buffalo horns in the front of the house are a status symbol.
More buffalo horns = more buffalo sacrifices = more money