Tau-Tau Statues

Tau tau is a type of effigy made of wood or bamboo. They are particular belongs to the Toraja ethnic group in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The word “tau” is a Torajan word meaning “man”, and “tau tau” meaning “men” or “statue” The death of a royal aluk is the start of the creation of a statue or tau-tau (‘little human’ or ‘humanoid’). There are two kinds of such statues: tau-tau nangka, which made from the durable, gold-colored wood of the bread tree or jack fruit (nangka); and tau-tau lampa, made from bamboo and cloth. The tau-tau are ought to be meeting places for spirit (bombo) of the deceased.

A tau-tau man is dressed in nice traditional batik sarung with a blouse in local style and a too large jacket. His neck is decorated with chutes of encrypted gold and amulettes of pig tooth. The hat is made from old silver coins, buffalo horns and some brightly colored feathers.

Women are dressed more modest with a blouse or traditional kebaya, a bag of sirih or betel, a wide waist-band of silver coins, gold, beads and bracelets and a black cloth that is wrapped around the back of the head. On her head, there is a porcelain plate, which has the relation to the kitchen. The face of each statue is wrapped in brightly red fabric on top of that white wooden or paper eyes.

During the process, when the statue is ready, the Mebalun or the shaman kneels in front of it and turns it around to wake it up. Then he offers some pig meat and rice and a chute of rice wine. The family members give some sirih leave and tobacco and ask for its blessing and longevity. Later the women hug the tau-tau, press their face against the red face and express long complaints. After that, the statue is brought to the ritual field together with the body. After the funeral, the tau-tau is undressed. All that is left on the field is the green bamboo: the body has left to its ‘house without smoke’, the spirit has left for the south, to Puya and the relatives have gone home.

In richer areas, where the social stratification is stronger, a permanent wooden statue is carved besides the tau-tau lampa. These are the statues which can be found in the rock formations, which are to be found everywhere. They are also seen as meeting places for the spirit; their role is to guard the excavated grave tombs and to bless their descendants.

Latest News

Takapala Waterfall, Gowa

Takapala Waterfall has 109 meters high with huge volume of water that pour out daily, and becomes bigger during rainy season. The outpouring of water that hit the big chunks of rocks in the bottom causing a roar and a … Continue reading

Selayar Island

Selayar Island Selayar is an island that located in Selayar islands regency, South Sulawesi. Selayar Island is separated from the mainland of South Sulawesi with an area of ??approximately 2000 km2 that stretches from north to south between Sulawesi island … Continue reading

The Delicate Movements of Tari Kipas, South Sulawesi

Tari Kipas Tari Kipas or Fan dance is a dance that originating from Gowa society, South Sulawesi. Some people recognize this dance as Kipas Pakarena dance that means Playing. This traditional dance was attach since the existence of Gowa Kindom … Continue reading

Takabonerate Islands, The Paradise Near Us

Takabonerate Island Takabonerate is an island and a sub-district from Selayar Regency, South Sulawesi. Takabonerate National Park has the third largest coral atoll in the world after the Kwajifein in Marshall Islands and Suvadiva the Moldiva Islands. The size of … Continue reading

Hotel Deals of the Day
Interesting Links
Indonesia Map HD
Find Us on :
Find Us on :