What is Toraja?
Toraja refers to the Tana Toraja Regency, a mountainous region located in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is a tropical rural area where roughly 450,000 of Torajans, an indigenous ethnic community of villagers, reside.
The region was aptly named during the Dutch East Indies’ occupation of South Sulawesi in 1909, as Toraja means “people of the uplands” in the local Buginese dialect.
Toraja’s Beautiful Traditional Houses
Traditional Torajan houses, also known as Tongkonan, are highly venerated buildings that symbolize the spiritual link between the Toraja community and their ancestors. Tongkonans can be found in Ke’te Kesu and the city of Rantepao.
Rows of Tongkonan
(image credit: torajatrips.com)
DID YOU KNOW?
Tongkonan comes from the word ‘tongkon’ which means to sit. These homes are used for social gatherings, rituals, shelter and storage barn for rice, alang, and also depict the social status of the resident through particular designs.
Intricate designs that can be found on Tongkonans
(image credit: tennysonlee.com)
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE TONGKONAN
- Tongkonans are usually north-facing as Torajans believe that it is the direction where their ancestral leader came from.
- As they are religious buildings, villagers cannot own the structures but can only reside in them.
- Tongkonan hand-painted decoration typically depicts motifs of roosters and buffaloes. Roosters represent the Torajan’s ancestral way of life, Aluk To Dolo, while buffaloes represent prosperity.
Exploring Toraja’s Mountainous Greenery
Batutumonga is a village situated on the slopes of Mount Sesean, the largest mountain in Toraja. With an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level, the village presents a stunning vista and fresh crisp air to serenely breathe in. There are a few scenic points such as Tinambayo, where tourists can take in a panoramic view of rice fields and overlook the town of Rantepao and Tana Toraja.
Rice fields at Batutumonga
(image credit: Accessible Indonesia)
Gunung Sesean is a mountain located in Sesean Village with the peak standing at 2,100 metres above sea level.
Accessible from Batutumonga, the hike to the peak of Gunung Sesean takes about 1.5 hours. Tourists can set up a camp in the luscious forests of Gunung Sesean and stargaze after enjoying a glorious sunset.
Scenic view of Tongkonans from Gunung Sesean
View from Bonggakaradeng
(Image credit: karebatoraja.com)
Bonggakaradeng is a village 300km off Makassar that features mountains covered in thick trees and green bushes. It has magnificent landscape views of green hills and valleys that are scattered across the region and oftentimes natural fog due to the altitude at 1,200 metres above sea water. Although it is slightly off the beaten track, the quiet and fresh atmosphere surrounding the lush greenery makes Bonggakaradeng a noteworthy place to visit.
(Image credit: Knowyourgrinder.com)
Taking a look at Toraja Coffee Beans
Toraja coffee is one of Indonesia’s most well-known coffees, and its taste profile represents the epitome of the perfect cup of coffee. Its taste profile is bold and buttery with muted acidity, and is loved by all coffee lovers - from connoisseurs to regular coffee drinkers.
Toraja coffee beans are sourced from highland regions along Mt Rante Karua which has altitudes of 1600-1800m.
This allows coffee cherries to grow in cooler and shaded soils which gives the cherries longer periods of time to mature, resulting in a richer and more complex taste with unique coffee flavors.
In addition, the harvesting process of coffee beans is painstakingly tedious. Due to its vulnerable nature, it requires skilled handling from coffee farmers.
To ensure great quality in JJ Royal Coffee beans, our coffee beans are triple hand-picked such that only the ripest cherries are selected.
Subsequently, sorters remove defective beans at first level sorting and high quality coffee beans are sent to our factory for further sorting.
JJ Royal Coffee is Indonesia's Best Mountain Coffee.