Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Types of Dance and music in Tana Toraja

Ma'badong a ritual where a group of men and women form a circle and sing a monotonous chant throughout the night to honor the deceased.

in fact, Torajans perform dances on various occasions. some dances could be performed on both rambu tuka' or rambu solo'. The aluk religion governs when and how Torajans dance. Ma'bua is a major Toraja ceremony in which priests wear a buffalo head and dance around a sacred tree. This dance can be performed only once every 12 years.

Dance is very important during their elaborate funeral ceremonies. They dance to express their grief, and to honor and even cheer the deceased person because he is going to have a long journey in the afterlife.

Ma'badong is considered by many Torajans to be the most important component of the funeral ceremony. On the second funeral day, the Ma'randing warrior dance is performed to praise the courage of the deceased during life. Several men perform the dance with a sword, a large shield made from buffalo skin, a helmet with a buffalo horn, and other ornamentation. The Ma'randing dance precedes a procession in which the deceased is carried from a rice barn to the rante, the site of the funeral ceremony. During the funeral, elder women perform the Ma'katia dance while singing a poetic song and wearing a long feathered costume. The Ma'akatia dance is performed to remind the audience of the generosity and loyalty of the deceased person. After the bloody ceremony of buffalo and pig slaughter, a group of boys and girls clap their hands while performing a cheerful dance called Ma'dondan.
As in other agricultural societies, Torajans dance and sing during harvest time. The Ma'bugi dance celebrates the thanksgiving event, and the Ma'gandangi dance is performed while Torajans are pounding rice. There are several war dances, such as the Manimbong dance performed by men, followed by the Ma'dandan dance performed by women.
A traditional musical instrument of the Toraja is a bamboo flute called a Pa'suling (suling is an Indonesian word for flute). This six-holed flute (not unique to the Toraja) is played at many dances, such as the thanksgiving dance Ma'bondensan, where the flute accompanies a group of shirtless, dancing men with long fingernails. The Toraja also have indigenous musical instruments, such as the Pa'pelle (made from palm leaves) and the Pa'karombi (the Torajan version of a Jew's harp). The Pa'pelle is played during harvest time and at house inauguration ceremonies.

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