The story of Bori Parinding and the Tarra tree in Tana Toraja

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Talking about Tana Toraja is always interesting. Especially about the Tana Toraja funeral ceremony and the uniqueness of the type of grave. Also in the Batutumonga region, precisely on the slopes of Mount Sesean, there are also ancient stone tombs, known as Bori Parinding. There are also Tarra trees found in Passiliran or Kambira Baby Grave.

Bori Parinding is located in Sesean and Lo’ko Mata sub-districts in Sesean Suloara district. Bori Parinding is an ancient burial complex that has been in use since 1717. Not all bodies can be buried in Bori Parinding. Only noble families descended from Ramba alone can be buried in this ancient funerary complex.

The uniqueness of Bori Parinding is the presence of giant sized menhir stones placed in front of the Tomb of Bori Parinding. The menhir stones will be used as a pole to tie up buffaloes, anoas, pigs and cows which will be slaughtered during Rambu Solo’s funeral ceremony.

In Bori Parinding there are also special graves for children who die. Strangely, this tomb is not located on rocky cliffs like the typical Tana Toraja tomb complex, but is located in a tree. The name is known as Tarra Tree. The area where the Tarra trees are found is called Passiliran or Kambira Baby Grave. The tarra tree has been used as a tourist attraction in Tana Toraja.

If a child of a citizen of Tana Toraja dies, the body will be planted in the body of the Tarra tree. But not all children’s bodies can be buried in this tree. Only the body of children whose teeth have not grown. The reason is that, according to the belief of the Tana Toraja community, children who are not teething are still considered sacred.

The Tarra tree itself is about 80 cm in diameter and estimated to be hundreds of years old. In this tree there are several palm fibers attached to the trunk of the Tarra tree.

If there is a child who dies, a hole will be made in this tree which will serve as a grave for the child’s body. Then, after the child’s body is placed, the hole will be covered with fibers in the trunk of the Tarra tree.

There is a certain belief of the Tana Toraja community regarding the burial of the child’s body in the Tarra tree. They believe that by burying the child in the Tarra tree, the child is like being returned to the mother’s womb. They also have hope that children born later from the womb of the deceased child’s mother will survive.

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