Vol 2, No. 1 Spring 1998
Ethnicity in the Making
Jaida n'ha Sandra
A hundred years ago, the Toraja people did not exist. "Toraja" was merely a derogatory term applied by the Bugis and Makassarese living in the lowlands of the southwest peninsula of Sulawesi (then called Celebes) to any of the many different peoples living in the mountainous regions of the peninsula and central Sulawesi. Today, Tana Toraja (Toraja Land) is an administrative district in the province of South Sulawesi, the people living there comprise one of the four official suku bangsa (ethnic groups) of the peninsula, and the Toraja are celebrated (at least amongst anthropologists, tourists, and television crews) for their fantastic architecture and elaborate funerals. People who have been born in the area of Tana Toraja now call themselves Toraja, bringing this identity with them in their migrations throughout Indonesia and the rest of the world.
This paper is an attempt to trace how a pejorative turned into a people. There are no primordial justifications for the Toraja to have come into being as a people; theories of how ethnicities arise by contrast to obnoxious others are only a little better fit. Nevertheless, it is clear that today the imposed identity has become one which many people born in Tana Toraja use. I hope to show how this has come about by contrasting the particulars of the Toraja case against various theories of ethnic construction (primordial; ascribed; relational alterity). In so doing, I find no definition of "ethnicity" or "ethnic group" by which I can abide. Though I use these terms rather freely, I am hesitant to draw lines around what can and cannot be considered ethnic. I might say that ethnicity is an identity which incorporates a group larger than a family or clan and which is seen by the people involved as including some commonalties. In Toraja this sense of commonalty might never have come about if not for the arbitrary territorial and political distinction imposed by outsiders.
The particulars begin in the first section of this paper, "You, Toradja", which presents some history of the idea of Toraja.1 This ranges from lowland/highland relationships in the seventeenth century to Dutch administrative and linguistic categorizations at the beginning of the twentieth century. The second part, "We, Toraja?," looks more closely at what kinds of identities (including family, class, and religious affiliations) were most salient for the people living in what is now Toraja Land, reflecting on some of the conflicts such identities had with the imposed one of being Toraja. The third section, "We Toraya...," shows how being Toraja has crystallized as a tool and an ethnic identity for people over the last few decades. Out-migration, tourism, and being seen as subjects of ethnographic study have all contributed to a new self-consciousness as Toraja. The remarkable flexibility and savvy many Toraja have shown in negotiating this new identity with older, still meaningful ones will become particularly apparent. By the end of the paper I will have presented one account of how Toraja has come to be constructed. The ambiguities and contradictions of this story point towards the only theoretical position I find acceptable: one which assumes no single identity, ethnic or otherwise, in any individual or group, but, rather, a multiplicity of constantly shifting interactions amongst various possible identities and against the expectations of others.
A hundred years ago, no one could have predicted that someday an ethnic group called Toraja would form from the highlanders of south and central Sulawesi. None of Geertz's oft-quoted givens of blood ties, race, language, religion, region, or custom could be applied to any group larger than a village.2 There were no fixed identities other than family; the rest of the "givens" were highly adaptable to changing circumstances. The Sulawesi highlands were and remain remarkable for their extraordinary diversity. Thousands of hamlets, including groups of hunter-gatherers, swidden farmers, and wet-rice agriculturists, were scattered about the mountains: barely accessible to one another. Dialects were plentiful: some barely mutually intelligible just a few villages away. Linguists continue to argue over how many distinct languages exist in the area.3 Although turn of the century ethnographers attempted to type groups by physical appearance, differences were so vague and overlapping that their efforts at racial demarcation had to be given up. Religion varied from a miscellany of animist practices to Islamic and Christian groups. Most significantly, the whole area was divided into adat communities.4 Adat, or local customs, included ceremonies, costume, sexual practices, inheritance patterns, customary law, land sharing, architecture, and so on, and differed widely from village to village. Each village stood alone, with ties between villages based on marriage and reciprocity between kin. Neighbors from nearby villages without such binding ties were often feared as raiders and headhunters.
As the Indonesian government based their smaller administrative districts, lembang upon the indigenous adat territories, these autonomous communities have maintained definition until today. Tana Toraja alone has 65 lembang. In 1978, a student in Bandung, Java, referring to himself as a "son of Tana Toraja," noted the problems in speaking about Toraja as a whole, when "social groups are based on families or kinship, inhabiting certain areas, and where one group and the next have a different adat and social structure. For example, we can see that there are several villages that claim the existence of a noble rank, commoners, and slaves. But in other areas (villages), such ranks are not known, or have a different status."5
In such a situation of extreme diversity, Geertz's givens could at best only apply to each adat community, which in many cases included just one or two villages. A primordial argument could then be made for there being hundreds of ethnic groups in the Sulawesi highlands, rather than the few now officially recognized. The frustration of Western scholars in attempting to define groups in such a situation is reflected in historian Henley's derogatory reference to central Sulawesi as a "patchwork of hitherto subordinate or entirely irrelevant ethnicities."6 Each small community did (and still does) refer to itself as "To'"(a people), usually followed by the name of the ancestor who founded the village. Definitions of clan and ethnic group, if they are to mean anything, have to operate on different levels. An ethnic group must be an umbrella bringing together smaller groups, such as families. If, as Keyes maintains, ethnicity "derives from a cultural interpretation of descent" then the Toraja never would have come to be seen as a group because descent was not generalized to include people outside of family trees.7 Even relatives could not take their family ties for granted; they had to be maintained through ongoing, sometimes onerous, reciprocal duties.8
Though lacking a uniting political structure which might have, as Weber puts it, inspired a belief in common ethnicity, there was one broad demarcation between people: lowlanders and highlanders.9 This rough division is one which occurs throughout Southeast Asia. Generally, lowlanders have more arable land, larger settled populations relying on wet rice agriculture, and more hierarchical social structures, including kingdoms, than highlanders. Throughout much of Indonesia, it is the lowlanders who have converted to Islam while highlanders have retained animist and Hindu traditions or become Christian.
In the southwest peninsula of Sulawesi there were two lowland kingdoms. The Bugis, famous sailors and traders (or rapacious pirates and slavers from a highland perspective), inhabited the east coast and northern part of the west coast of the peninsula, while the Makassar were in the south end and west coast. These two kingdoms surrounded the lower end of the mountain range on three sides. Over the centuries both kingdoms periodically invaded the nearby highland communities. Through contact by trade and attempts to mollify various kings, the southern mountain communities (such as those around the Sa'dan river) came to more closely resemble these lowland kingdoms in some respects than did the communities further north. Like the lowlanders, they engaged in wet-rice agriculture and were stratified into a three-tiered social system of nobles, commoners and slaves. Sometimes they raided villages further up in the highlands. Their nobles often intermarried with the Bugis and Makassar, paid tribute to their kings, sometimes converted to Islam, and learned to read and write by importing lowland tutors. But each family head did these things on his own; villages rarely banded together either for trade or to defend themselves against lowlanders.
Any demarcation between the lowland kingdoms and the southern mountain communities is muddied by the tendency amongst Indonesians to characterize people according to lifestyle rather than by innate characteristics. This is also common throughout Southeast Asia. As Leach argued, two north-east Burmese peoples (Shan and Kachin) who had been classed as racially (read "ethnically"10) separate should be considered the same people who use different names depending upon circumstance.11 The Kachin/Shan identity shifted according to location of residance (highlands or lowlands), political structure, and agriculture system. For example, a Kachin who gained wealth, moved downhill, became more autocratic, and practiced Buddhism would then be known as Shan. Similarly, attempts to define the Bugis separately from their highland neighbors is complicated when highlanders who convert to Islam are said to become Bugis; and Bugis who move to the mountains become Toraja. Children from other areas were readily adopted and even slaves taken in war could eventually take on the identity of the family that owned them. Religious affiliation was and remains in many ways more salient than ethnicity. Kennedy, an early ethnographer trying to sort out the various "races" of the highlands, held the opinion that in Luwu (a Bugis kingdom bordering the mountains on the northeast side), the "Buginese were originally very few. Then gradually the Toradja became Mohammedanized and the area became 'Buginese.'"12
Despite evidence for much intermingling, Bugis and Makassar certainly considered themselves separate peoples while regarding the highlanders as an undifferentiated mass of cannibalistic barbarians running around in loincloths: an assertion repeatedly made to the Dutch. Their views of the mountain people as insignificant and backwards have remained until quite recently. When Bigalke mentioned to a Bugis colleague a few years ago that he was working on a history of the Toraja, the other haughtily replied, "Oh? Do they have one?"13 Such a dismissive attitude is also apparent in the etymology of "Toraja," a term the Dutch borrowed from the lowlanders. The Makassar version, "to" and "raja", means simply "people up north." The Bugis "to ri aja" means "people of the uplands," or "people up river." Neither imply an outside perception that the highlanders comprised a unified group, only that there were people living "up there" somewhere.
In fairness, I should point out that there was one occasion when some of the highland communities did unite. This happened in 1683 when some 120 villages14 around the Sa'dan river basin formed an alliance to repel the invasion of a Bugis leader, Arung Palakka. His attempt to control all of southwest Sulawesi meant a much larger invasion of the highlands than the usual raids. An encroaching Bugis army required a correspondingly fiercer response. Some oral histories suggest that the Sa'dan area people might not only have held a joint purpose for this brief time but may have even been applying the term Toraja to themselves. From these traditions emerges a story in which the gathered highland war council swore an oath against the one village that had not joined them: "You people of the Karunanga, from this day onward you will be killed with the spear by all the groups in the Toraja lands."15 But I remain suspicious of the appearance of the term Toraja in this context. Early ethnographers and historian Bigalke repeatedly state that no one called themselves Toraja until at least the 1930s; it was strictly a term imposed by outsiders. I suspect that the use of the term here is part of a retelling by modern Toraja who have been actively defining themselves over the last few decades.
Weber suggests that a "politically unorganized tribe" can live on a memory of having "once engaged in joint political action, typically a single conquest or defense" and that such political memories may then constitute the tribe.16 It is true that the descendants of the Sa'dan river area peoples today comprise the inhabitants of Tana Toraja and now recount this war as the most significant event in their history. Was this alliance a first glimpse of the potential for ethnic affiliation? It seems unlikely to me. The alliance disbanded following a few weeks of guerrilla warfare against Arung Palakka's 50,000 men with each community choosing whether or not to negotiate with Arung Palakka. Some of the headmen approached Arung Palakka with cloth, rice, knives, and young girls. Other communities refused to make peace and over the next eleven years continued small uprisings resulting in several more invasions to put them down. There were no more alliances between communities in the area.
More significant than this one-shot group effort was that the Sa'dan area, at the southernmost tip of the mountains, continued to suffer depredations by the Bugis and Makassar. While they may only have allied once, all the villages shared a common experience of fear of the lowlanders. Reluctance to travel and fear of strangers characterized the Sa'dan area peoples.17 This fear got worse around the late nineteenth century. Coffee had been introduced to the highlands and was found to grow much more satisfactorily there than in the lowlands and as a result lowlanders stepped up their highland raids. In addition, during the colonial era, slaves became sources of cash rather than simply war booty and debt settlement. The Bugis increasingly went to the highlands to steal people and sell them abroad. There was no single response to such attacks. Some highlanders fled their villages, some allied with the Bugis, and some developed the Ma'bugi trance ceremony which was supposed to drive away evil and prevent Bugis incursion.
The Bugis were not the only ones preying on the highlanders. Quite a few highland headmen also took part in the slave trade, with two (Pong Maramba and Pong Tiku) remembered for extreme greed and violence. Each established major coffee and slave trade routes and dominated wider highland areas than was usual. Villagers that could neither stand against them nor wanted to submit often abandoned their homes, retreating north into the mountains or moving into caves. Bigalke finds it surprising that, although Southeast Asian leaders "typically sought to maximize the number of their followers," so many highland chiefs were ready to "let their people go" into slavery.18 But there is no contradiction here. Bigalke has forgotten that the Toraja did not yet exist as a people or common identity. The slave traders were not snatching and selling "their people" but others with whom they had neither family ties nor treaties.
In such a situation, a simple "us/them" model of ethnic formation does not apply very well. Although the lowlanders posed an ongoing threat to highland communities, the highlanders were also fighting and taking slaves from mountain villages. While the Sa'dan communities shared a language and some ritual practices, sufficient to have allowed an alliance once, there was no "us" to be a part of when at any moment one of the "us" might behave like a dangerous "them."
Enter the Dutch, in the form of missionaries and Dutch East Indies company officials. The Dutch had been a colonial presence on Sulawesi since the seventeenth century but had mainly ignored the inaccessible and agriculturally unproductive mountain areas. In the late nineteenth century, however, they became increasingly worried about the growing Islamic influence in Sulawesi. The animist highlanders were viewed as a pool of potential Christians; the company mandate was to convert as many as possible, thereby aligning the highlands with the Dutch should lowland Muslims get too obstreperous.
Starting in 1906, the Dutch influenced the formation of Toraja in four main ways. First, they abolished slavery, bringing peace and relative safety to the area. Second, they introduced Christianity, which would later be adopted as a defense against lowland Islamic fundamentalism. Third, they furthered the cash economy by demanding taxes. And, finally, they drew a line around the Sa'dan area and named it Tana Toraja, calling it a subdivision of the Bugis state of Luwu.19 This naming is a curious fluke, for two Dutch linguists, Adriani and Kruyt, who had spent thirty years in the highlands had more or less decided that there were three distinct groups of Toraja in the central highlands, not including the Sa'dan river villagers. The Sa'dan were determined to be closely related linguistically and culturally to the Bugis. I find it surprising that the new Dutch territory was not named Tana Sa'dan instead. Perhaps it was because Dutch authorities were relying on Bugis rather than scholarly categories. Another scholar, Kaudern, (in Sulawesi from 1917-1920) became interested in the migrations of the Toraja. He felt that the Sa'dan were the "original" Toraja, who had then moved on to inhabit the central highlands. He classified the people of the highlands into four main groups: Paloe Toradja, Koro Toradja, Poso Toradja, and the Saadang (Sa'dan) Toradja. Scholarly arguments notwithstanding, the Sa'dan label never took hold. The Sa'dan peoples were administratively classed as Toraja. This is the label which has been accepted and has become an identity for the people of that district. Meanwhile the central highlands have been divided into fourteen other official ethnicities; some scholars maintain these are the only true "ethnic" Toraja.
Whatever hand the Dutch had in creating Toraja, they were not necessarily made welcome in the district. Although some people in Tana Toraja saw them as bringers of peace, others were angered by their illegalization of slavery. Those who profited from the slave trade sided with nobility who considered having slaves a proof of status. Many nobles were jailed or killed by the Dutch for refusing to submit to colonial authority. Other peoples' lives were disrupted when they were forced to relocate from their high mountain strongholds to lower areas more accessible to Dutch control. Taxation was resented as an outrageous imposition which undermined reciprocal relations and jeopardized the wealth of the nobility. Most village heads continued to maintain autonomous authority despite the influence of the Dutch.
Though Bigalke states that by the 1930s people had begun to call themselves Toraja, this was probably a recognition of a common political territory, not an ethnicity. Kinship and rivalry between noble families remained paramount concerns. Problems of religious affiliation also took precedence as, first, lowland Islamic anti-nationalists and, later, anti-communists threatened the animist highlanders.
In this section of the paper, I have covered a lot of history, showing that in a complex situation of highly autonomous, kin-based communities theories of primordial ethnicity could not have predicted the construction of Toraja. Nor does a relational alterity model, where groups combine at "a higher degree of political complexity in order to respond to perceived challenge" apply to the incipient Toraja.20 The hundreds of autonomous communities in the highlands rarely joined against any threat, despite a long-term and ongoing opposition to an "Other," the lowland Muslims. Rather, each small community made its own decisions, some paying tribute, others fleeing, some fighting, some selling their neighbors. Due to the multiplicity of possible vertical and horizontal oppositions and ties, a theoretical model that employs binary, or even tripartite oppositions, will inevitably be inadequate. When villages united in opposition to lowland kingdoms, it implies relational alterity. However, some villages were as likely to unite with the lowlanders against other villages in different circumstances. Some villages sided with the Dutch against the lowlanders; others fought the Dutch. Noble Toraja were mainly concerned with maintaining family status, while slaves and commoners adopted the Toraja identity more readily. Traditional animist and Christian Toraja might unite as Toraja against all Muslims. Yet, at another time, all Toraja (including Muslims) defend themselves against Bugis. Toraja side with the national government against their closer cousins, the Bugis, in some situations. In others, being from South Sulawesi--Toraja and Bugis alike--is a uniting feature in contrast with the nation. Being Toraja, then, is not a higher order of political complexity, but a newly added factor to a whole complexion of identities, all of which are operating simultaneously. Similarly, the opposing groups are also in flux in relation to the Toraja, sometimes providing boundaries and meaning to a definition of ethnicity, sometimes fracturing ethnicity in favor of other identities.
In the next section I will explore a few of the most salient other identities and in the third section look more closely at how they continue to interact and sometimes conflict with perceptions of Torajaness. In taking this tack, I am agreeing with Gladney that no "attempt at a final definition of the meanings of these representations" is appropriate. Rather "an examination of the conditions of relationality" lead to understanding when and why being Toraja is relevant and necessary.21
At least three kinds of affiliation have been more salient than that delineated by the boundaries of the new Tana Toraja district. These were family, class, and religion. Family was the primary political and social unit of highland life. The family seat was the tongkonan, a house founded by a male or female ancestor. The name of the ancestral house was also the name of the village and its residents. The family group branched into several houses, but intermarriage between cousins kept these affiliations from proliferating too much. The importance of kin ties is reflected in the language in which parents are refered to by the names of their children, children are named after dead relatives, and aunts, uncles, and cousins are commonly referred to as mothers, fathers, and siblings. Genealogy determined who might marry whom.
Children inherited house affiliations from both mother and father along with land and family debts. Such affiliations had to be maintained in active reciprocity by helping each other farm and through sharing sacrificed meat at rituals. This reciprocity led to indebtedness towards each house with which one was affiliated. The worry over saddling children with debt meant that highlanders took care not to remain actively involved with too many ancestral houses.
Maintenance of the status of the family/village was closely tied to class stratification in those areas influenced by lowlanders. Class was inherited through the mother, leading to a strong taboo against women marrying "down". In some villages, the class level of the mother and father were averaged together, while in the more northern communities such stratification had never taken hold. Generally, however, there were at least three gradations: nobles, commoners, and slaves.22 The nobles lived in the tongkonan, while commoners had less lavish houses. Slaves lived in little huts around the tongkonan, providing visible evidence of family prestige. Commoners might marry fairly freely, but nobility tended to marry in-family or with Bugis and Makassar nobility. Commoners and even slaves all claimed some small part of noble blood in their family trees and, hence, a share in the tongkonan (including land and rights to meat at funerals).23 They were prohibited, however, from having death feasts upon their demise: a point which until recently was moot as few could have afforded such expensive ceremonies. Despite the emphasis on "blood"--family and status being inheritable--the system was flexible. People could marry or adopt into families; class status changed as people gained and lost wealth.
Wealth (ownership of water buffalo) was important for personal prestige and in funerals where the "wealth" was slaughtered to provide meat to the protein-hungry people. People sometimes voluntarily became slaves rather than go hungry. Slaves could vary from a man pledging to work for life for a relative in return for having his debts paid off, to people captured during wars or raids, to those who were being bought and sold.24 Debt and voluntary slaves could buy back their freedom; but their children, who inherited their status, could not and remained attached to the owner lineage from then on. Slaves had much lower status than free people. Amongst the Sa'dan, slaves were the only people who ate dogmeat. They were forbidden to wear gold or bronze, to have carving on their houses, to eat from the same dishes as their owners, or have sex with a free woman (the last crime punishable by death).25 Although the Dutch officially abolished slavery in 1906, as late as 1950 the nobility still had plenty of hereditary servants waiting on them which they freely referred to as "my slaves."26 Contemporary anthropologists have also noticed the extreme coolness with which the nobility treat other Toraja and the deference with which Toraja, particularly those whose ancestors were slaves, respond.27
Family and class identities continue to be manipulated and negotiated in Toraja today. Ethnic identity, on the other hand, has been more problematic. This is particularly true for the nobility, who were satisfied with their power and status under the old system. Lower class Toraja have been less conservative, taking advantage of the egalitarian mores of Christianity, the opportunities presented by education and the cash economy, and the political implications of ethnic identity to contest the authority of the nobility. This will be discussed in the third section of the paper. First, however, I will describe the third important affilitation: religion. I will then explain how Christianity has been increasingly popular as an avenue towards modernity and gaining a transnational identity.
As mentioned earlier, religious affiliation was a primary marker distinguishing lowlanders from highlanders. The polytheistic animist practices, called aluk in Tana Toraja, included rituals, social customs, ways of dealing with ancestral and other spirits, agricultural practices, and so on. Aluk was law, religion, and habit combined, the details of which varied from village to village. To minaa (aluk priests) were the authorities on the proper words to be said and actions to be taken for each ritual associated with life (agriculture) and death (funerals). Life and death rituals had to be kept separate, as death rituals might ruin crops. Aluk also maintained social structure, through affirming status and reciprocal relationships.
Islam ignored or violated these aluk practices. Volkman points out that Muslims, because they did not eat pork, "removed themselves from the sphere of ritual exchange."28 Highlanders who converted to Islam became, for all practical purposes, Bugis or Makassar, abandoning the customs which had defined them in terms of their local community. Conflicts with Muslims (called to sallang, "enemy people") have continued well into this century and still pose a threat. In the 1930s there were several attacks by Muslim lowlanders against the highlanders. A spate of conversions to Christianity by Torajans occurred as they sought to align themselves with the Dutch for protection. Following national independence, Sulawesi was host to the Darul Islam movement in which Muslims and disgruntled Buginese launched a rebellion against the nationalists in an effort to establish Indonesia as an Islamic state. They succeeded in controlling South Sulawesi from 1951 to 1965, during which time they killed at least 10,000 Christian and aluk Toraja. Many more Toraja converted, and Christians throughout the highlands worked together to fight off lowland Muslims in 1953 and again in 1958.
For the Toraja, aligning against the lowlanders with the new national government of Indonesia has been no guarantee of safety. The Indonesian Pancasila, principles of the nation's unity, states that Belief in One God is first and foremost. All citizens of Indonesia are expected to belong to one of the five state approved world religions, or else they are labeled as being "yet without a religion." Animists on all islands were classed in this last group. During the attempted communist coup of 1965, and subsequent retaliatory massacre, anyone who was an atheist (without religion) was liable to be killed as a communist sympathizer. For Toraja, this meant a period of mass conversions to Christianity, as well as some to Islam. Meanwhile, others engaged politically at the national level. An aluk priest was instrumental in convincing the national government in Jakarta that Torajan animism was actually a sect of Hindu-Dharma, one of the five officially recognized religions. In 1969, consequently, aluk was legalized.
I have so far mentioned conversions to Christianity as motivated only by the necessity to band against Muslims or be legitimized in the eyes of the nation. Christianity has also represented a movement into a larger physical, economic, intellectual and political world. Today, over ninety percent of Toraja are Christian. This shift has not proceeded smoothly, however. The first Dutch mission was established in Tana Toraja in 1913, but by 1942 less than ten percent of the population had been persuaded to convert. Those that had converted were almost entirely drawn not from the people around the missions and Christian schools, but from the borders of Islamic territories. Christianity was seen as an identity in contrast and preferable to Islam. Further inland, missionaries were looked upon suspiciously, especially by nobility who considered Christian egalitarianism a threat to their position. One missionary got himself killed in 1917 through first an overly enthusiastic habit of rounding up truant noble children to go to school and later preaching an end to "heathen" funeral rituals. Christian missionaries finally recognized that the Toraja were not about to give up all aluk rituals. They then separated religion from custom, forbidding aluk while accepting adat. Funerals survived while all life giving rituals were outlawed as superstitious beliefs in plant spirits.
A core issue surrounding the aluk/adat problem was animal sacrifice. As an affirmation of status, system of debt repayment, and a method of sharing wealth and providing protein throughout a community, it was absolutely crucial to the Toraja. Missionaries finally allowed it, provided everyone agreed that it was only done in order to feed guests of the funeral party, not as sacrifice to ancestral spirits. Similarly, missionaries forbade making effigies as ancestor worship, but Christian Toraja have recently reinterpreted effigies as memorial likenesses, similar to photographs, and begun making them again. Long standing social practices have been able to continue, though stripped of symbolic meaning.
Separating aluk from adat gave the Toraja an intellectual tool for objectifying themselves as a "culture." Previously, aluk had been a more or less unquestioned "way of the ancestors." It might have been negotiable, but transgressions carried the risk of endangering crops. Muslims, who did not know or follow aluk rules, were incorrigibly "other." When aluk and adat were separated, however, adat was seen as the practices which made Toraja unique.29 Aluk was now comparable to other religions. Aluk became a personal choice instead of something with which one was born. One might convert to Christianity or even Islam, and still be Toraja. Torajaness began to be defined in terms of those adat customs that most resembled each other throughout Tana Toraja. This started the perception of ethnicity as essentialized through such things as architecture and animal sacrifice.
The aluk/adat split made it possible, but not necessarily preferable, to convert. Only ten percent of Toraja were persuaded to convert until the mid-1960s, when it became politically expedient to do so. Since then, more and more children have grown up Christian or been converted in school. In some areas there are no more to minaa alive and no young people willing to learn aluk rites.
With the to minaa nearly gone, villagers are free to discuss previously inviolable aluk rules. Christian Toraja often negotiate with more conservative community members to rationalize a conflict between Christian and aluk practices. In one village, they declared that a certain coffee rite (which used to be life giving) was purely Christian and so would not conflict with an aluk funeral that same day.30 Mutual aid programs and village activities have gradually been taken over by the Church. A few decades ago, Christians risked being left out of the reciprocal labor and debt arrangements of village life. Now it is the aluk who complain that they cannot fully participate in social organizations.
If Christianity has been politically expedient, it has also, as Volkman argues, been a path to modernity: "School children are taught to feel disdain for their parents' backward ways and for the 'irrationality' of a 'not-yet religion' that worships 'demons.'"31 The young deride the old for believing in aluk as a system of necessary and natural laws rather than superstitions. Christianity, on the other hand, is an international religion. Becoming Christian made it possible for the previously insular and fearful highlanders to travel safely, going even to Europe, Australia, or America. Torajan Christians are thus a part of the world community, while aluk Torajans are only of Tana Toraja. Furthermore, Christianity is considered easier to learn and carry out than the old aluk practices. Christians only have to remember Ten Commandments; aluk followers must contend with thousands of obscure rules dictated by the to minaa. Christianity means education, employment, and acceptance by the national government. Furthermore, Christianity is egalitarian. It allows non-nobles to have funerals. Christianity has enabled commoners and hereditary slaves to achieve wealth and status and to question noble authority. Finally, as Christians, Toraja remain distinct from Muslims when living in Muslim dominated cities while still garnering more respect than if they admitted animist beliefs.
These many benefits do not mean that it is obvious to Toraja that they should be Christians. Those who become Christians only to gain better luck through a new god may change their minds and convert back if their lives do not improve. Hollan and Wellenkamp report that "many Christians say that they and the community as a whole pay a price for the freedoms they enjoy under the new religion. They claim that falling rice production, decreasing human longevity, and infestations of rats, insects, and other pests are part of the general decline in the quality of life that has occurred during recent years as Christian and modern influences have penetrated the region."32 Some Toraja remain stubbornly aluk, even hoping that anthropological studies and tourism will encourage people to return to their traditional religion. Whether this will happen remains to be seen. What is sure, however, is that anthropologists, the tourist industry, and the new migration of Toraja to the lowlands and abroad have all contributed to defining Torajaness for the people of Tana Toraja. This definition has been increasingly reified in terms of language, location, adat, and artefacts. Yet despite such reifications, Toraja as an ethnicity retains soft boundaries, in Duara's sense.33 That is, some cultural practices identify the Toraja ethnicity without excluding other affilitations or preventing the Toraja from adopting other practices. The adaptable Toraja are still far from a bounded ethnic nationality. Despite some attempts to create a "historical narrative of descent and/or dissent" for purposes of tourism and to bolster village pride, they do not impose such narratives on their neighbors or homogenize their diverse adat systems.34
The movement of the formerly sedentary, xenophobic Toraja to the lowlands and to cities throughout Indonesia and the Western world represents a fracture in their social history. Recent times are spoken of as "before merantau" or "since merantau": "merantau" meaning to go abroad or journey away.35 "Before merantau" was a time of dangerous travel, threatening outsiders, slavery, poverty, ignorance, and insularity. "Since merantau" has been a time of peace, cash, education, and egalitarianism. While nobility still attempt to rule village life, cities provide opportunities for low-status people to become wealthy and enjoy higher status in non-traditional contexts. Status markers have begun to shift from a blood (family inheritance) to money base as common Toraja have returned from abroad with plenty of cash. Such wealth may be used up in a single funeral, a ritual formerly forbidden to non-nobility, but their status is heightened. Thus out-migration and the cash economy contributes to a disruption of the traditional ways as well as opens the door to contesting elite authority.
In the 1940s, few Toraja had ever left their village and almost none had left the Indonesian archipelago. By 1978, however, sixty percent of the population was spending extended periods outside Tana Toraja. Many never come back except for the occasional family funeral. Toraja have eagerly pursued education and now work outside Tana Toraja as government officials, professors, medical professionals, and lawyers. At the same time, they have never been above manual labor and so also work in mining and lumber operations on far-flung islands as well as in furniture and clothing manufacture closer to home.
Out-migration has led simultaneously to a greater identification with the Toraja suku (ethnicity) while at the same time facilitated alterations in that identity. On the one hand, Toraja abroad go to great lengths to retain links with family. They follow all the funerals and attendant gossip. "Their consistent interest in ritual at home," writes Volkman, "is one way of retaining a vital link to their Torajaness and asserting it to a community that comprehends it."36 This is by contrast to living amongst outsiders, lowlanders and Muslims in particular, who find Toraja ritual incomprehensible and lavish funerals a foolish waste of wealth. Being Toraja can also have less meaning outside Tana Toraja. Some Toraja adopt a more national identity, especially if they work in the government. Christianity is now almost universal amongst Toraja outside Toraja-land. Many Toraja marry non-Toraja now. By the same token, cross-status marriages, formerly forbidden, are growing more commonplace. During merantau people of old slave families may end up marrying nobility. The consternation is terrible at home but hardly matters in new urban areas far from the old class structure.
Just as out-migration has both altered and bounded what being Toraja means, so has the in-migration of tourists to Tana Toraja. Tourism was officially countenanced in Indonesia's first Five Year Plan in 1969. Yamashita considers tourism "a new form of Indonesian nationalism" in that ethnic cultural heritages are situated within "the regional framework of the nation." The diversity of Indonesia is represented by non-threatening local adat. Through exploiting exotic customs, "tourism is an attempt at the 'Indonesianization of Indonesia.'"37 This is shown by the fact that nearly 95% of tourists to Tana Toraja are now other Indonesian nationals. In 1971 the first few tourists arrived in Toraja via a single terrible road. But in 1991, Tana Toraja, with a total population of approximately 350,000, was host to some 215,000 tourists. An airport and better roads have made it relatively easy to reach this part of the highlands and accommodations have grown apace. In 1993, Travel Indonesia magazine reported that Toraja had two three star hotels, 30 others hotels, and a four-star hotel nearing completion.38
All of this attention has not necessarily brought the Toraja together. On the contrary, consciousness of family status still leads to inter-village rivalries. Today these have been sustained through contestation over which villages get put on tour guide maps. One clear example is in the story of Ne' Duma, as described by Adams. Ne' Duma perceived that in the new economy, family prestige depended upon outsider attention. A village that did not have tourists would lose its name and be forgotten. He was particularly anxious on account of the government seat having been established near the rival adat community of Sangalla. Accordingly, he worked to arrange to have Kesu' (his ancestral family name and adat community) put on the map as an important turis obyek (tourist object). He then began writing histories of his family's ancestral tongkonan and "presenting papers at tourism seminars on the historical significance of Kesu'."39 He also became a lecturer at tour-guide training sessions and established the tongkonan as a museum. In 1985 the Indonesian government officially awarded him the title of "founding father" of Tana Toraja. From this example, it is clear that being Toraja is not necessarily the only or even most important identity operating in any given circumstance, even today. The dynamic of incoming tourists does not merely contribute to an "us/them" dichotomy of insider/outsider. Rather, tourism occurs in a context of multiple interacting identities. Torajaness may well be seen as less salient than the far more ancient adat/family identities at any given moment.
Tourism has also confounded the rush to modernity that accompanied Christian conversion. Tourism closely followed upon the anti-communist massacre, at a time when many Toraja were rapidly abandoning or at least questioning traditional adat. Those same outmoded and anti-Christian practices were precisely what strangers were willing to pay to see. Tourism has thus been seen by many aluk conservatives as a potentially positive development. They hope that through tourism some of the religious traditions will be preserved towards a future return to aluk. They see tourists as lending proof to the young that the aluk ways are valuable and constitute the Toraja identity.
At the same time, there are complaints that the rituals are no longer authentic or "true". Fewer Toraja can reach a consensus on what aspects of funeral ceremonies are fixed and what can be reinterpreted. There is no longer a shared expectation and experience of ritual. As ritual defines Toraja to the outside world, it is also changing to accommodate outsiders tastes. Some students from Toraja consider having tourists at funerals a travesty and feel tourists should be treated only to staged shows of songs, chants, dances, even sacrifices that are not part of any meaningful ritual. Others feel that removing the ritual practices from the ritual, doing it at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places, is the travesty. The ceremonies should be whole or abandoned, not carved into bits for tourists' eyes. Discussion groups, seminars, and arguments abound as Toraja try to sort out how they can abide by Church authority and please the tourists while maintaining some meaning in their traditions.
In practice, much has given way to tourist desires. Animal sacrifice is being included in rituals where once it had no place, as tourists who arrive when there is no funeral scheduled are sure to go away disappointed at missing the slaughter. The Toraja have never been known for their handicrafts but now sell miniature carved tongkonan, beaded necklaces, statues (in the Balinese style), and weavings which have pig, buffalo, and rice barn motifs to show they are "authentically Toraja," although background designs come from other islands. Ancestor effigies, which once graced cave mouths overlooking villages, were stolen for sale to Western art dealers and museums. Now they have been replaced with statuary dressed in white tuxedos and dark sunglasses, the signs of modern living. Artefacts are interpreted to tourists in novel ways, as tour guides learn what tourists like. Abstract carved designs are pointed out as proof of the "Torajan veneration of nature," reflecting a Western obsession with the "natural" exotic.40
Modernity and the Christian influence have also had their consequence in how Toraja view their traditions and rituals. Urban Torajan guests complain of boredom and monotonous ritual food. One son and chief mourner refused to sleep in the funeral hut and, instead, retired to his hotel where he "joined in 'karaoke' instead of the 'ma'badong' dance!"41 Buffalo are increasingly given away rather than slaughtered so that, instead of sharing meat, villagers can ultimately sell the buffalo to raise money for village improvement projects.
With tourism has also come increased interference in the affairs of Tana Toraja by government officials. This, more than the onslaught of tourists, has been significant in strengthening a sense of Torajan ethnicity. Their struggle to maintain control over the use of tongkonan and the timing of ceremonies has been seen as an ethnic struggle. Where Buginese and Javanese consultants only see marketable exotica, the Toraja still revere their houses and rituals as not only a connection to the past but as the right way of doing things. Typical of their new self-consciousness, some Toraja analyze their interactions with government officials as problems in cross-cultural negotiation. One man told Adams that the Javanese believe the government represents the will of the gods while Toraja consider the aluk rules to be directly linked to the gods and, therefore, unchanging.42 For a few days in 1987, several villages closed their doors to tourism when the government wanted to forbid people to alter tongkonan or live in them because they might ruin them.
Perhaps the main effect of tourism has been to reify what being Toraja means in terms of a very few symbols and practices. This is already apparent when Toraja students, living on Java, write letters defending the "death ritual" as essential to the continuing "identity of the Toraja people" and their "unique culture."43 The tongkonan is a symbol which has come to assume new import. The entrance to Tana Toraja on the road from the south includes a full-sized tongkonan atop the gateway, along with the sign "Welcome to Tana Toraja." Tongkonan are the ubiquitous emblem of Tana Toraja, featured on t-shirts and sold in miniature carvings. These miniatures are not only sold to tourists. Before Toraja who had to travel abroad took with them a handful of dirt from their front yard; now they bring along model tongkonan to put in some prominent place in their modern urban homes.
The architecture, which once meant family ancestry, now also means Toraja. Toraja who had begun modernizing their tongkonan by making the roofs out of tin instead of bamboo, were stopped. New houses incorporate architectural elements of tongkonan, sometimes quite absurdly. A white stucco house may be burdened with a huge bow shaped roof on top or a complete tongkonan as a second story. Many Toraja live in Bugis style houses next to their traditional houses, which go unused except for ceremonial occasions. New tongkonan are even built without hearths, showing that they are never expected to be inhabited. While many Toraja complain that these changes mean the culture is being lost; they also agree that the tongkonan, originally designed as small fortresses to protect the family from intruders, are too dark and small to be comfortable living quarters.
Some scholars pose the new focus on house as tourist symbol as proof that identification with family ancestry has been superseded by ethnicity. Volkman writes, "A notion of Torajaness supplanted the idea of 'house,' and 'house' eventually came to be an emblem of 'Toraja.'"44 Schefold agrees that "a more direct transformation of ethnic consciousness of 'being an Indonesian, that is a Toraja' can hardly be imagined than the crowning of a modern villa with a tongkonan-like structure."45 I maintain that ethnicity (as cultural practice) is a new but equal identity. Tongkonan are now both ancient and modern, just as a modern house under a tongkonan roof is a combination, not a replacement. For, as Waterson points out, while Christians might willingly do away with the funeral ceremonies altogether, everyone is horrified if that means also destroying the ancestral homes around which the ceremonies revolve.46 The tongkonan now symbolizes both ancestral seat and ethnic Torajaness, not one or the other.
For the sake of tourism, Toraja have also begun to reinvent themselves in Hobsbawm's sense of "invented traditions." 47 One effort at reinterpretation has been supplying new etymologies for the originally pejorative roots of the term Toraja. Some Toraja admit that the word derives from the Buginese, but rather than "to ri aja" (uplander), it comes from "to" and "rajang" meaning "people from the West." This sets up a horizontal opposition to "people from the East," the kingdom of Luwu, while implying that both existed at the same political level. Another favorite derivation, especially amongst tour guides, is that Toraja comes from the indian word "raja" meaning grand, princely, and magnificent. Toraja then means a princely people. These etymologies are not accepted by all strata of society. Noble Toraja particularly disapprove of the latter derivation, as it undermines their special status. One nobleman complained to Adams that, "Many people here like to say our name means kingly people because it makes them seem more majestic. But this invented meaning is like a balloon; you start out with a small piece of rubber and, if you keep inflating it, it will finally burst and have no value at all."48 He was not so much concerned that outsiders should be misled, but that the Toraja commoners might come to believe they were in the same class as nobility.
Toraja have also rejected outside labels for their language. The Sa'dan label given by linguists has simply been ignored. Toraja call their language Basa Toraa or Toraya, avoiding the "j" sound that does not exist in their langauge. This is not the only way the "Toraya" have been reworking outsider's descriptions. They respond to lowland stereotypes of themselves as crude, backwards, non-religious ex-slaves by characterizing themselves as pork-eaters, pacifists, honest, delicate, quick-witted, hard working, and thrifty. At the same time, they discuss at length their own foolishness in racking up huge debts and then wasting wealth on funeral ceremonies.49
Just as traditional architecture and funeral ceremonies have come to epitomize what it is be Toraja, so have the writings of outsiders narrowed the Toraja identity to a few cultural tropes. Some of these outsiders have been government officials and tour guides. But the main contributors to this essentialization have been anthropologists. Western ethnographers have been as thrilled as tourists with the spectacles offered in Tana Toraja. This is shown by their neglect of those areas of the highlands which do not have big boat shaped houses and fantastic mortuary practices. While ignoring the many diverse groups living in south and central Sulawesi mountains (some of whom also call themselves Toraja) they have defined the Toraja not as a multitude of adat practices but only in terms of a very few similarities. Each article, even when based on a short study in a single village, claims to describe the Toraja, ignoring differences in all other adat communities.
The change in designation of Torajaness is made apparent simply by following ethnographies over time. Early ethnographers emphasized the diversity of the central and south Sulawesi mountain regions, made it clear that Toraja was an imposed term (one never used by any highlanders), and even called into question whether or not, given the complexity of the situation, there was any such thing as "Toraja" as a category. Later ethnographers, from the 1950s through the 1970s, would note the diversity of the area in brief, then concentrate on the "Sa'dan" or "Sa'dan Toradja" exclusively.50
Volkman is typical of anthropologists today. Although she considers "Toraja" an "ethnic fiction" she contributes to the reification by only studying the Sa'dan region by focusing on the same weird houses and wild rituals for simplicity's sake. Ethnographers such as Hollan often do not even nod towards the diversity of the area but simply call everyone in Tana Toraja "the Toraja" as a necessary and obvious category. They ignore people speaking the same language and with similar adat who live outside the bounds of Tana Toraja. Most anthropologists have also ignored everyone living further up in the hills who call themselves Toraja though they speak entirely different languages, practice swidden agriculture, or live in longhouses instead of tongkonan.
Because scholars have ill-defined assumptions of Toraja as ethnic group, their statements of how many ethnic groups exist in the highlands tend to be contradictory. They confuse territorial designations with cultural and linguistic similarities. Clearer than most is Andaya's description of the four ethnic categories of South Sulawesi: the Bugis, Makassaar, Toraja (Sa'dan Toraja), and the Mandar in the mountain areas of the north.51 This is simple enough, until he notes that the Mandar are actually two groups: those who live on the coast and those who live in the mountains: the mountain ones being ethnically Toraja!
While scholars confound themselves with the impossibility of applying simple categories to a complex and fluid part of the world, people in Tana Toraja make the most of anthropological attention. Some use anthropological studies to make arguments for the continuance of Torajan traditions. One Toraja leader, "a devotee of anthropological literature" often cites Ruth Benedict, as well as anthropologists who have studied the Toraja, in making his arguments against indiscriminate development of Toraja for tourism.52 Meanwhile, the nobility make use of visiting anthropologists to play out family rivalries. Adams reports how she was recruited as a pet anthropologist by one family who asked her to "write a book about the real Torajan identity and history." What this really meant was a history of that particular family. She came to realize, only later, that she was a pawn in an ancient game. She writes:
[A] rival aristocratic family from another Torajan district visited our village and my Torajan hosts introduced me as "their anthropologist"....To this, the visitors responded that they, too, had an anthropologist live with them and write about them. After these guests departed, my Torajan family disparaged the other anthropologist's understanding of Torajan culture and proclaimed that my "book" would be "much bigger and better."53
Later she reports that local tour guides added her to their itinerary, pointing out to tourists that a real anthropologist was studying this ancient culture. Her hosts would rush out to serve tea to the tourists and show her off. In similar vein, Toraja throwing big funerals have written and published pamphlets describing their family history and the meaning of the funeral. These small books, published usually in English and Bahasa Indonesia rather than Basa Toraa, serve as further proof to outsiders of the long history and descent of each particular family.
I find this all a curious spin on Anderson's use of print capitalism, museums, and maps to create a sense of nation. The Toraja are not thereby building a sense of ethnic unity. Instead, they have readily borrowed print and other institutions in order to maintain the salience of their smallest unit of political autonomy, the adat community. As Duara writes of nationalism, Torajan ethnicity is not something so much inborn as constantly in flux, existing as only one among other identities, while remaining "changeable, interchangeable, conflicted, or harmonious with them."54
In this paper I have suggested that there is little primordial basis for the Toraja to exist as a single ethnic group. Tana Toraja is an arbitrary political boundary imposed from without that has led to a new identity for the people living within the territory. Other aspects of society which were already in place in some communities--family structure, class hierarchy, and ritual practices--have remained salient even as being Toraja has come to have meaning. These adat communities have retained customs and autonomous identities. Even as Toraja begin to define themselves as Toraja, other affiliations fracture their definitions or offer alternatives. History has shown that theories of binary opposition can hardly be applied to the unpredictable ways in which these affiliations interact.
Perhaps this is because such oppositions are a habit of Western scholarship more than a reflection of people's lives. Though the Toraja have consistently feared and occasionally fought lowland Muslims, they have mostly done so as small village communities. They have also intermarried with lowlanders, traded with them, joined with their elite in contrast to commoners, and now live with them as equals in urban areas. They react to protect themselves against religious and political opposition when necessary, but rarely assume that the opposition is obvious or absolute. They remain fiercely determined to maintain control over their own lives. This determination has not lent itself to an overriding push towards a common Torajan ethnic identity or political unity. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Toraja have partially consented to, or at least made use of, outsider views of them as ethnic and political group.
I would have preferred it otherwise. A grand theory of Torajan ethnicity would have been a nice way to finish this paper, but the details have confounded me. I am only comforted in that other scholars seem as confused about what being Toraja really means. The people of the Sulawesi highlands have so far proven themselves highly resistant to outside attempts to categorize or control them. Despite stereotypical representations by the national government and anthropologists, the people there choose which identities to subscribe to, within, as Gladney puts it, "highly contextualized moments of social relation."55 For now, at least, what it means to be Torajan is much discussed both within and without the Sa'dan area. Communities which do not lay along tourist routes are still virtually ignored by outsiders. I can hardly hazard a guess as to how much any of those far flung communities have a sense of belonging to an ethnic group. But this could yet change, should the government begin rigidly typing ethnicities or selectively providing benefits to "ethnic nationalities." The eruption of a religious war in which highlanders find themselves again under fire from lowland Muslims could also lead to an intensified sense of common purpose and ethnic identity amongst the highlanders. Then again, they might choose to group along religious lines or return to adat communities in which each community decides who to affiliate with and how to protect themselves. I would tend to bank on the latter. All my readings have supported the view that these are people who tolerate diverse views and actions, fluidly negotiate a variety of identities and respond creatively to different cultural representations. The highland Toraja, to borrow Duara's words, seem highly "resistant to totalizing ideologies," whether imposed by the nation, religion, scholarship, or created internally.56
1 This paper is based on limited source materials. As I cannot read Bahasa Indonesia or Dutch, Dutch colonial, Indonesian national, and first-hand Toraja perspectives are mostly missing. I have had to rely upon American ethnographers who did not ask the questions I would have asked and historians who too often repeated the surmises of earlier scholars. What I found most irritating were the essentializations of Toraja in terms of a few cultural artefacts (albeit, spectacular ones), while leaving out of the picture the perhaps less astonishing, but by all accounts extraordinarily diverse, peoples living in the central highlands. These peoples continue to be referred to in passing, without explanation, as also "ethnically" Toraja.
2 Geertz was not himself a primordialist. In the Integrative Revolution, he was writing about how people rationalize ties to nationality rather than how ethnic affiliations might be created or defined. Clifford Geertz, "The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in the New States," in Old Societies and New States (New York: Free Press, 1963).
3 Recently, linguists have identified 62 distinct languages on Sulawesi: the central highlands area being the most diverse part of the island.
4 Adat, meaning custom or tradition, is originally an Islamic term incorporated into the standard Indonesian language. Indonesia, with 88% of the population now at least nominally Muslim, is highly influenced by Islamic concepts and vocabulary."Adat" probably did not exist as a word or concept in the local languages of Tana Toraja. It is instead an imposed concept.
5 From Volkman's translation of an article in Dinamika, the Media Bulletin of the Bandung Family of Toraja Students, October, 1978. Toby Alice Volkman, Feasts of Honor: Ritual and Change in the Toraja Highlands (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 192.
6 David Henley, The Idea of Celebes in History. (Victoria: Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1989), 31.
7 Charles F. Keyes, "The Dialectics of Ethnic Change," Ethnic Change, ed. Charles F. Keyes (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981), 5.
8 In practice no individual could maintain involvement with more than a few ancestral houses, at most half a dozen if one was very ambitious. Distant, poorer, and less prestigious associations were usually let go.
9 Max Weber, Economy and Society (Berkeley:University of California Press, 1978).
10 Leach was discussing social characteristics rather than physical attributes.
11 Edmund Leach, Political Systems of Highland Burma: A Study of Kachin Social Structure (Boston: Beacon Press, 1954).
12 Raymond Kennedy, Field Notes on Indonesia South Celebes 1949-50 (New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1953), 122.
13 Quoted by Volkman.
14 This estimate may have become inflated in oral history. If it was 120 villages, that would have been a grouping roughly the same size as Tana Toraja today. Leonard Andaya, The Heritage of Arung Palakka: A History of South Sulawesi (Celebes) in the Seventeenth Century (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1981), 261.
15 Andaya, The Heritage of Arung Palakka, 261.
16 Weber, Economy and Society, 394.
17 This is in contrasted to the central highlanders who were not flanked by invading kingdoms. Many central highlanders were quite mobile and expected their men to go on extended trading expeditions early in their adult life.
18 T. Bigalke, "Dynamics of the Torajan Slave Trade in South Sulawesi," in Slavery, Bondage and Dependency in Southeast Asia, ed. Anthony Reid (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), 352.
19 This was probably because the Bugis told them the area belonged to their kingdom. In 1946 the Dutch granted the "regency" of Tana Toraja autonomy from Luwu.
20 Dru Gladney, "Relational Alterity: Constructing Dungan (Hui), Uygur, and Kazakh Identities across China, Central Asia, and Turkey," (draft copy). Recently published in: History and Anthropology 9, no. 2: 445-477.
21 Gladney, "Relational Alterity."
22 I will go along with H.J. Nieboer's definition of a slave as any person "who is the property of another, politically and socially at a lower level than the mass of the people, and performing compulsory labor." Quoted in A. Reid, "Introduction: Slavery and Bondage in Southeast Asian History," in Slavery, Bondage and Dependency in Southeast Asia. ed. Anthony Reid. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), 2.
23 Kennedy, Field Notes.
24 Although highlanders kept slaves much as lowlanders did, there was a qualitative difference between being attached for generations to a highland family and being captured by lowlanders and sold to slave owners who were complete strangers. Bigalke, "Dynamics of the Torajan Slave Trade," 350.
25 A. Reid, " 'Closed' and 'Open' Slave Systems in Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia," in Slavery, Bondage and Dependency in Southeast Asia ed. Anthony Reid (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), 163.
26 Kennedy, Field Notes, 140.
27 "Tana" (blood) was broken up into fractions depending on how people married. People were graded as gold, bronze, iron, sugar palm, or common sawah plant. Gold Tana was then 100% noble blood, bronze 80%, etc. This was reflected in what kinds of ornaments people were allowed to wear. Barley describes an acquaintance who "was a member of the Torajan nobility or as he put it, 'gold class.' This was apparent in his bearing. When talking to non-Torajans he was easy and relaxed. When Torajans spoke to him, he was instantly stiff and referred to them in the third person or simply ignored them completely." Nigel Barley, Not a Hazardous Sport. (New York: Henry Holt, 1988), 173.
28 Toby Alice Volkman, "Great Performances: Toraja Cultural Identity in the 1970s," American Ethnologist 11 (1984): 155.
29 Objectification was no doubt also lent a hand through contact with radically "other" people--the Dutch--who were imposing a new political structure. Linnekin points out that "selfconscious reflection about one's own culture is certainly intensified where perceived cultural or ethnic differences are politicized." Jocelyn Linnekin, "On the Theory and Politics of Cultural Construction in the Pacific," Oceania 62 (1992): 253.
30 Volkman, Feasts of Honor, 10.
31 Volkman, Feasts of Honor, 132.
32 Douglas Hollan and Jane C. Wellenkamp, Contentment and Suffering: Culture and Experience in Toraja (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 40.
33 Prasenjit Duara, Rescuing History form the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995).
34 Duara, Rescuing History form the Nation, 66.
35 Volkman, "Great Performances," 158.
36 Volkman, Feasts of Honor, 138.
37 Shinji Yamashita, "Manipulating Ethnic Tradition: The Funeral Ceremony, Tourism, and Television Among the Toraja of Sulawesi," Indonesia 58 (1994): 81.
8 "Toraja Taking Off," Travel Indonesia (September 1993), 23-28.
39 Kathleen M. Adams, "Making up the Toraja? The Appropriation of Tourism, Anthropology, and Museums for Politics in Upland Sulawesi, Indonesia," Ethnology 34 (1995): 149.
40 Adams, "Making up the Toraja?," 146.
41 Yamashita, "Manipulating Ethnic Tradition," 75.
42 Kathleen M. Adams, "Cultural Commodization in Tana Toraja, Indonesia," Cultural Survival Quarterly 14 (1990): 33.
43 Volkman, "Great Performances," 162.
44 Toby Alice Volkman, "Visions and Revisions: Toraja Culture and the Tourist Gaze," American Ethnologist 17 (1990): 92.
45 Reimard Schefold, "Toraja Houses and Batak Statues: Different Expressions of Common Development," in Socio-cultural Impacts of Development: Voice from the Field, ed. Abdul Aziz Saleh and D. Flud van Giffen. (Padang: Andalas University Research Center, 1990), 194.
46 Roxana Waterson, Ritual and Belief among the Sa'dan Toraja (Canterbury: Centre of South-East Asian Studies, University of Kent, 1984), 59.
47 Eric Hobsbawm, "Introduction: Inventing Traditions," in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
48 Adams, "Making up the Toraja?," 146.
49 Hollan and Wellenkamp, Contentment and Suffering, 78.
50 Nooy-Palm, after attempting to categorize the many groups within and outside the Sa'dan area, wondered if there ever had been unity amongst the "Toraja," or if it was only a unity based on "language and cultural practices (not forgetting, however, that local variations exist)." Hetty Nooy-Palm,The Sa'dan-Toraja: A Study of their Social Life and Religion, vol. 1, Organization, Symbols and Beliefs (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979), 8.
51 Andaya, The Heritage of Arung Palakka, 9.
52 Adams, "Cultural Commodization," 33.
53 Adams, "Making up the Toraja?," 145-48.
54 Duara, Rescuing History, 8.
55 Gladney, "Relational Alterity."
56 Duara, Rescuing History, 16.