Tana Toraja HousesSeptember 2016
One of the symbols of the Torajan people is their distinctive style of architecture. Rectangular wooden houses, set on pillars, are carved and elaborately painted in shades of black and ochre and are crowned with huge roofs that curve upward like the prow of a ship or the horns of a buffalo. These traditional houses, some many centuries old, are called tongkanons. More than just living quarters, they are status symbols and the site of many ceremonies for Torajan families. Smaller versions of tongkanons are used as rice barns or as carriers to transport coffins for burial.