Located in the south-east of Toraja, Suaya is the burial site of the royal family of Sangalla. No one else except these royals is allowed to be buried in the massive rock, hence large parts of it are still unused. In 1972, the burial of the last king of Toraja took place here. The monumental ceremony, the last of this size, was covered by National Geographic TV, drawing first international attention to the unique burial culture of Toraja.
Tau Tau, realistic wooden statues of the deceased persons, line up on several balconies. The large number of Tau Tau is a sign of the royal family’s wealth. The Tau Tau of Suaya are among the oldest preserved, some being a hundred years old. A single grave at the foot of the cliff belongs to a Torajan nobleman who had left his homeland and converted to Islam. Honouring his decent, he was granted an Islamic grave within this animistic-traditional burial site, a rare occasion in Toraja. The earth in Toraja’s old beliefs is holy and the deceased therefore not laid to rest in it, but rather in rocks or, if there are no rocks around, in stone tombs or trees.
Suaya is the most-accessible site to see the Tau Tau from close-up. Only a short rough path and few stone step need to be overcome to get right to the foot of the rock. Our team is ready to assist. For detailed information with photos about accessibility at Suaya contact us.