September 19th, 2009 – by: bernard69
Lemo,probably the most impressive burial area in Tana Toraja with balconies of tau tau representing the deceased best viewed in early morning
Lemo,a Unesco World Heritage Site,14 km south from Rantepao
is probably the most impressive and famous cliff grave site of Tana Toraja.The burial chambers of high-ranking deceased cut out of the cliff overlook a large valley of ricefields.In this site the rock face has a whole series of balconies for the tau tau,well-clothed wooden,half-life size or a little bigger effigies with black eyes,white pupils and outstretched arms housing the spirits of the deceased.These are not the originals but replicas:a long time ago western collectors have paid huge sums to buy them from the family of the deceased.
Tip:it's better to go there early in the morning before the sun gets too high to enjoy the tau tau,their heads being in the shadows by 0900.
There are also a cliff face with numerous burial chambers without tau tau and a new grave under construction:handmade on the top of scaffoldings,it takes months for 4 or 5 men to complete it.