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In the highlands of Sulawesi, Rantepao is also known as Tana Toraja. The Toraja people are mostly Christian in this predominantly Muslim archipelago. Rantepao is up the mountain and has pleasant, cool weather.

We stayed in a friendly guesthouse with a continental breakfast included in the price. The people at the guesthouse invited us to witness a funeral that was taking place that day. The seem to celebrate their dead rather than grieve. We witness about 30 buffaloes and one horse being killed by slitting their throats. Everyone was welcome to help themselves to the meat - we had our share and helped carry it to our guesthouse - all for free. One of the workers at the guesthouse asked if he could hang out with us, which we welcome very much.

We spent one day doing whitewater rafting - which was more fun than exhilarating. Rantepao attractions are hiking, tau tau ( wooden effigies of the dead) hanging graves, and climbing cliffs with holes that serves as burial sites. We checked several of those holes - went inside and looked at the coffins and jars with human skeleton in them. How they managed to put their dead on those cliffs up in the sky is beyond me. Much more so was putting a human inside a small jar in the first place. The Toraja culture is one of the most captivating, fascinating, and unique that you can experience.


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