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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #107949: Funerals in Celebes 1/2
Funerals in Celebes 1/2
En novembre 2014, nous sommes allés en Indonésie. J'ai choisi de vous faire partager quelques photos et informations concernant : Les ancestrales cérémonies funéraires aux Célèbes (1/2). La leçon porte sur la compréhension et le vocabulaire du texte.
Just a few pieces of information before starting our trip :
In 1909, when protestant missionaries arrived in Sulawesi (les Célèbes) and the Tan Toraja region with Dutch colonists, the native Animist faith of the population changed.
Nowadays, most of the Bugenese people (an Ethnic group in this Tan Taraja region) are Christians, and others are Muslims. However, they keep their ancestral, local beliefs called: the ancestors' way. These practises include some animal sacrifices, funeral rites and feasts.
For Animists, souls and spirits exist in animals, plants and geographic elements. There is no separation between what is spiritual and what is physical. Even the material world such as the mountains, the rivers, the wind and the sun, are included in this definition.
From Makassar, the largest city in Sulawesi, (Les Célèbes), we took mountain roads which reached the Tana Toraja region where the Buginese ethnic group live.
All along the road, the spectacular view of rice terraces was breathtaking.
We always drove through magnificent sceneries.
Before arriving at Ke'te Kesu located on the road of Rantepao, the capital of the Torajan region.
Ke'te Kesu is a four-hundred-year old traditional village with its six houses called Tongkonan houses and twelve granaries. Nowadays this village is considered a museum.
The traditional houses are called Tongkonan. They are famous for their curved-shaped boat, their decorated front-gable (Bufallo's horns) and their paintings on the wall.
(The information dealing with these ornamentations might be another subject)
Look at this water buffalo: It has got all the characteristics to be chosen among other buffalos for the funeral feast.
It has a nice black colour, fully-grown horns curved upward in a spiral. It is heavy-bodied, stockily built, large bellied, brown-eyed. However it should have blue eyes to be perfect!
This funeral feast unfolds in this way:
When a Tarajan person dies, he or she is not buried like a Christian, but is embalmed and mummified with a substance made of vinegar and other products. The deceased person remains in the Tongkonan traditional house under the same roof as the family.
The person is not considered to be dead but only very sick or intensely sound asleep.
The relatives are pretending to feed the defunct person like a normal one and it is said that the soul of the deceased is lingering around the village during this whole period. This situation can take months and sometimes a year, because during this period the family takes time to raise money for the very expensive funeral ceremony. They must buy as many buffalos as possible, pigs, chickens in great quantity to pay a tribute to the deceased person and show their wealth.
Then, the first part of the funeral begins. Normally only the richest and the most powerful inhabitants can afford to pay for such an expensive feast.
On this occasion they erect a large sheltered platform or barn (grange) on a ceremonial site called Rante, located in a grassy-field (champ herbeux). Then songs, dances, poems and cries are employed to express grief. Then, the choice of the few best buffalos that will be sacrificed is made. The sacrifices of these buffalos are necessary because people believe that the sacrifice of buffalos makes the decedent's journey quicker to PUYA (The after-lifeworld).
TO BE CONTINUED...1/2
VOCABULAIRE DU TEXTE/ TRADUCTION/ SYNONYMES
Mots et RELIGIONS
Adjectifs et EMOTION
Mots et NATURE
Mots et MORT
Mots DIVERS dans le TEXTE
Les mots COMPOSES
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