Highlands Wisdom

For the Torajan, the most effective art of survival is harmony

The arable land of Toraja is very limited due to its rocky terrain. It is isolated by natural barrier, making it hard to trade with outsiders. On this condition, ancient people in Toraja must have relied on very limited resources they had. This living condition turns Toraja into a self-fulfilling ecosystem. And with limited options at hand, Toraja ancestors chose the oldest and most compelling art of survival: harmony. Torajans believe there’s a tie (lolo) that attaches human, animals and plants in one system. In order for human to survive, one must care for animals and plants. If one of the three is harmed, all of them will suffer the consequences. This philosophy is called Tallu Lolona.

Immune to the ravages of time

Tallu Lolona is a teaching of Aluk Todolo, an ancestral religion dating back to Torajan mythical past. This ancient faith teaches Torajans to respect their parents, elders, ancestors, and the balance of life in general. This philosophy lives on, even when modernization makes Toraja no longer dependent on harmony to survive. Toraja is still and will strive for the balance between human, animals and plants. As the teaching representing the ancestral spirits themselves, Tallu Lolona is the ultimate bond that binds all living entities in this mythical highland. It is the solemn sentinel that watches over in silence, existing through the veins of every breathing organism, spreading through the people themselves.

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