Traveling to Tana Toraja is not complete if you haven’t
visited Londa Cave because the burial area in the caves and
cliffs is one of the unique tourist attraction that is hard
to find in any other place.
Londa is a natural cave used as a cemetery. The cave is
located in the village Sa’dan Uai, Sanggalangi District,
about 15 kilometers from the center of Makale.
For Toraja people, Londa Cave is sacred. Even so, the
cemetery which maintained by family foundation is open to
anyone. Visitors are required to comply with certain
traditional rules while in the place. One of ‘em is not
allowed to move, let alone take, the skulls scattered in the
corners of the cave (But seriously, would you?).
Around the door of the cave, it seemed tens, even
hundreds, of an old coffins and skulls and bones of humans
who had been buried in that place. Coffins are stuffed in
the corners of the cliff some are even hanged.
Some sculptures are also made for the buried bodies that
resembles the corpse’s face. The sculptures are equipped
with fashion, clothes and gloves, which are adjusted by
gender of the corpse. The sculpture is called ‘tau-tau’.
The cemetery consists of three levels. The first level is
located in the cave and the base of the cliff. The second
level is in the middle of the cliff and the third level on
top of the steep cliff with a height of about 200 meters.
This level is adjusted to the social status of people who
will be buried. One who is buried at the base of cliffs and
caves are one with mediocre social status. The middle for
the middle social status, while one was buried on top of the
cliff is a group of nobles and kings.
The sculpture or tau-tau was reserved only for nobles.