Tomate, is a funeral procession in Toraja society. This ritual procession held to send the spirit to the Puya, the afterworld properly to avoid misfortune to its family.
In Toraja funeral dead person called ‘Tomate’. Without proper funeral rites the spirit of the deceased will cause misfortune to its family. The funeral sacrifices, ceremonies and feats also impress the gods with the importance of deceased, so that the spirit can intercede effectively on behalf of living relatives. In Tana Toraja, there are several arcs of groups of roughly hewn stone slabs around villages, and each stone possibly represents a member of the noble class who lived and died there.
The dead person presides over the funeral from the high-roofed tower constructed at one and of the field. At a funeral, bamboo pavilions for the family and guests are constructed around a field.
The Toraja generally have two funerals, one immediately after a death and elaborate, second funeral after preparations. The souls of the dead can only go to Puya, the afterworld, when the entire death ritual has been carried out.
They believe the soul of the deceased will ride the souls of the slaughtered buffaloes and pigs to heaven. The buffalo has traditionally been a symbol of wealth and power-even land could be paid for in buffaloes. After the guest display their presents of pigs and buffaloes, the traditional Mabadong song and dance is performed. This is a ceremonial re-enactment of the cycle of human life and the life story of the deceased. It also farewell to the soul of the deceased, and relays the hope that the soul will arrive in the afterworld safely.
Funerals can be spread out over several days and involve hundreds of guests (and many tourists).
Every year in August, a ritual called Ma’Nene (The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses) takes place in which the bodies of the deceased are exhumed to be washed, groomed and dressed in new clothes. Damaged boxes are fixed or replaced. The mummies are then walked around the village by following a path of straight lines. Following these straight lines is maybe the most important part of the ceremony. According to the myth, these lines are connected with Hyang, a spiritual entity with supernatural power. As this entity only move in straight lines, the soul of the deceased body must follow the path of Hyang.
According to the ancient Torajan belief system, the spirit of a dead person must return to his village of origin. So if a person died on a journey, the family would go to the place of death and accompany the deceased back home by walking them back to the village. In the past, people were frightened to journey far, in case they died while they were away and were unable to return to their village.
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