Well as soon as we hit the hotel, guides were on us to go see the big thing in this area- the sacrifice ceremony. We signed up with this guy named Anton who was pretty worthless. But, you know he made it out like, fortunately, tomorrow there is a funeral ceremony, and I happen to know the family involved.

Toraja path to sacrifice The morning was rainy. I remember I wore my Tevas. Everybody else wore hiking boots. I assumed it would be easier to clean up afterwards, but it was tricky footing for quite a bit of it.

Anton got us a minibus to take us up to the village. On the way up, he got a bamboo pole full of Tuak. Tuak is palm wine. They take palm sap or juice or something, they pour it into a green bamboo stalk about as big around as a drinking glass and maybe three or four feet long. Twelve hours later it's fermented and ready to drink.

Toraja sacrifice We showed up after it had begun. Basically they take a buffalo and lead him out to the arena. They tie one foot to the post there, so that it doesn't do any damage. They pull on the rope so he extends his neck out. Then they take a special knife with a long blade, and this guy quickly snaps the knife and slits the animal's throat.

Toraja sacrifice Then they watch the animal slowly die as it spews blood from its gaping neck. Some of them went down quickly; some got up again and again and tried to get away or do something, stumbling again and again in the mud and tripping against the bodies of their friends. It was kindof pathetic, sometimes the crowd would be laughing at their misfortune.

Toraja sacrifice The animals didn't seem to understand what was happening to them; it seemed easy to lead them into the courtyard. They didn't understand what was going on the whole time.

Toraja sacrifice serving Eventually they had to move us back to another audience area when some other group of indonesians showed up. It was unclear what was really happening.

It was funny, at some point it came out that Anton could speak French. It happens to me whenever I travel, wherever I am, I end up in a situation where I really wished I could speak French.

Toraja skins Afterward, walking around, we saw buffalo skins being dried out in the sun.

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