The Roles of Liang Sites in the Settlement System of the Torajan Community

  • Akin DuliEmail author


There is a wealth of scientific literature written by scholars on the traditional settlements of the Torajan community, but none of those works discusses the roles of burials (liang) in the Torajan settlement system. This paper describes the liang and its roles in the settlement system of the Torajan community because, in fact, every tongkonan has its own pair, the liang. Liang, for the Torajan people, is regarded as banua tang merambu, which has an equal value to tongkonan—that is, part of their priceless heritage and bequest. The results of this study show that the liang site has a function as a burial site for a family or a particular community, such as a customary group. For the Torajan community, the burial complex is considered a place for ancestral souls to stay in. To please their ancestors’ souls, the burial complex (liang) is arranged so that the souls feel as though they are staying in their own home during their lifetime. An assumption that there is a similar function of the liang site to the settlement site (tongkonan) during the lifetime can be seen by the types, placement, and forms of burial container erong coffins, which reflect social stratification. The conclusion of this study is that the settlement pattern of the Torajan community is greatly influenced by its belief system, cosmology, and social system factors, but the physical environmental factor also contributes, which can be seen in small differences caused by the differences in the microenvironment of each area.


Toraja Liang Tongkonan Erong Rante 


  1. 1.
    Duli, A. (2001). Peninggalan Megalitik Pada Situs Sillanan di Kabupaten TanaToraja, Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan, Suatu Rekonstruksi Masyarakat Megalitik Berdasarkan Studi Etnoarkeologi. Unpublished thesis, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tangdilintin, L. T. (1980). Torajadan Kebudayaannya. Tana Toraja: Yayasan Lepongan Bulan.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hasanuddin. (2003). Pola Pemukiman Masyarakat Toraja. In A. Duli & Hasanuddin (Eds.), Toraja Dulu dan Kini. Makassar: Pustaka Refleksi.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Duli, A. (2014). Shape and chronology of wooden coffins in Mamasa, West Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tawarikh, International Journal for Historical Studies, 5(2).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tangdilintin, L.T. (1978). Tongkonan Struktur Seni dan Konstruksi. Tana Toraja: Yayasan Lepongan Bulan.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kadir, H. (1977). Aspek Megalitik di Toraja. Pertemuan Ilmiah Arkeologi I (pp. 87–97). Puslit Arkenas: Jakarta.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Duli, A. (2003). Refleksi Sistem Kepercayaaan dan Sistem Sosial pada Peninggalan Budaya Megalitik di Tana Toraja. In A. Duli & Hasanuddin (Eds.), Toraja Dulu dan Kini. Makassar: Pustaka Refleksi.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Duli, A., & Nur, M. (2016). Prasejarah Sulawesi. Makassar: FIB Unhas.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Duli, A. (2015). Typology and chronology of erong wooden coffins in Tana Toraja, South Celebes. Time and Mind, 8(1), 3–20.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duli, A. (2013). The mandu coffin: a boat symbol of ancestral spirits among the Enrekang people of South Sulawesi. RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 47(1), 115–138.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sandarupa, S. (2010). Rahasia Penguburan Bayi Toraja ke Dalam Pohon. Makassar: Fakultas Sastra, Unhas.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Buijs, K. (2009). Kuasa Berkat Dari Belantara dan Langit, Struktur dan Transformasi Agama Orang Toraja di Mamasa Sulawesi Barat. Innnawa: Makassar.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Cultural SciencesHasanuddin UniversityMakassarIndonesia

Personalised recommendations