Baby Graves at Kambira

In the old traditions of Torajan people, babies who died before they had grown teeth were buried in tree graves, called Passiliran. A hole is dig into the trunk of a Tarra tree. The higher the status of the baby’s family, the higher up the hole. The baby is placed in it standing, without the cover of clothes, to grow with the tree and reach the sun. The sap of the tree is assumed to be the mother milk of the baby’s new mother, the tree: The baby returns to the mother’s womb, it is saved and will be reborn. After some 20 years, the hole and its content will have disappeared, united with the tree. New graves can be made. There are many such trees in Toraja, about every village would have its own tree, usually located deep in the forest. However, nowadays the practice of baby graves has ceased to exist, only very few babies will be buried this way.

Kambira, a small village in the midst of the jungle, is mystical place especially in the morning’s mist without other visitors. A very old Tarra tree covered with small doors stands in the midst of a bamboo forest. The tree is not used anymore as grave, it is 50 years ago that the last baby was buried here.


Getting down to the baby grave tree is only possible via a long flight of stairs, which can be organised also for wheelchair users when the whether is dry.

For detailed information with photos about accessibility at Kambira contact us.

Roof in Kambira