Bori Parinding Tomb in Sesean, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia. via @alexanggi

The Story Of Bori Parinding and Tarra Tree In Tana Toraja

Talking about the Tana Toraja, it is always interesting. Especially about Tana Toraja funeral ceremony, and the uniqueness of tomb type. Still 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 that are located 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 used since 1717. Not all bodies can be buried in Bori Parinding. Only noble families who are descendants of Ramba alone can be buried in this ancient burial complex.

The uniqueness of Bori Parinding is the presence of giant sized menhir stones placed in front of Bori Parinding Tomb. Menhir stones will be used as a pole to tie buffalo, anoa, pigs, and cows that will be slaughtered during the funeral ceremony of Rambu Solo.

Bori Parinding Tomb in Sesean, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia. via @alexanggi
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Bori Parinding Tomb in Sesean, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia. via @alexanggi

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

The area where Tarra trees are located is called Passiliran or Kambira Baby Grave! via @rosarioepa
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The area where Tarra trees are located is called Passiliran or Kambira Baby Grave! via @rosarioepa

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

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

Stone grave Bori Parinding, Kabupaten Toraja Utara! via @visit_sulsel
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Stone grave Bori Parinding, Kabupaten Toraja Utara! via @visit_sulsel

If there is a baby who dies, in this tree a hole will be made that will be used as a tomb for the baby’s body. Then, after the baby’s body is placed, the hole will be covered with fibers in the trunk of the Tarra tree.

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