Functions and Types of Tau-Tau Statue as Torajan Identity in South Sulawesi Indonesia


  • Karta Jayadi Universitas Negeri Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia



Functions and Types, Identity, Indonesia, Tau-Tau, Torajan.


This research explores tau-tau statue as identity by looking at function, meaning, and rituals. Tau-tau is the statue that represents a Torajan noble family who has passed away.  The findings of this study reveal that tau-tau is one of the main equipment in the funeral (rambu solo') only for high nobility (tana' bulaan). The ritual use of this tau-tau is that after the funeral ceremony is completed, only tau-tau nangka (statue from jackfruit) stored on the cliffs in line with preceded tau-tau, while the tau-tau lampa (statue from mixed of wood) and batelepong (statue for everyone) thrown away after the funeral ceremony is completed. This is because the raw materials of tau-tau lampa and batelepong only made of packing cloth on a bamboo frame that is only temporarily as part of a series and at the funeral ceremony took place. In the beginning, tau-tau was prayed and lamented by families and communities of Torajan Aluk to Dolo, but in line with people left Aluk to Dolo by the Torajan community and switch to embrace Christianity and Islam. Because of this, ritual of tau-tau Aluk to Dolo in rambu solo (funeral ceremony) is not related to rituals and ancestors’beliefs. As a consequence, one of the nobility identities, "tau-tau" even now made by the noble family before they die, and souvenir of tau-tau emerges for sale to the tourists. Thus, the statue of tau-tau at this time is still one of the prides of Torajan noble, but all the sacred rituals of Aluk to Dolo associated with tau-tau has been reformed in accordance with the level of noble family in Torajan communities.

Author Biography

Karta Jayadi, Universitas Negeri Makassar, Makassar, Indonesia

Universitas Negeri Makassar


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