Funeral’s last several days for the Toraja and they begin with the slaughter of buffaloes and pigs which is believed to ensure a peaceful afterlife.
The horns of the animals sacrificed are placed outside the family home. The more horns that a family has on their property, the higher the status of the deceased.
The body is put into a large stone cave during the duration of the days long funeral. This is when they believe their souls begin their journey to the afterlife. During this time they are called ‘sick’ by locals because they do not believe someone has really died until they are buried.
Torajans believe that someone should be buried where they have spent most of their life, or where they died. Straying from this causes tension within families particularly when a husband and wish to be buried together which may breach these beliefs.