Toraja Festival in Makele, Sulawesi, Indonesia

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Comments (13)

Ian Stehbens on December 16, 2008

This day the Catholic Bishops of Asia were meeting in Makale and the Catholic community from all over Toraja turned out for a festival following mass in the Makale Cathedral. Drums were throbbing, dancers were delightfully engaging, men carried cultural biers and the smell of food filled the air. And on all the hilltops above, the Protestant Christians were in their Torajan churches worshipping, singing their harmonic hymns.

It was harvest time in the surrounding fields, and that season generated a festival atmosphere throughout the community.

It was a sheer privilege to be entangled in the joy.


EVA_L on December 16, 2008

An interesting story of this image, my dear friend! Thank you!

Best greetings, Eva

Ian Stehbens on December 16, 2008

I love Indonesia, Eva. Thanks for your appreciation.


BWS's ghost on December 17, 2008

beautiful costumes on beautiful people :) great action shot with a slight blur to the drummer's sticks. thanks for describing many of your photos. i guess those are traditional costumes for the festival, or everyday wear? ;) greetings from america, brian

Ian Stehbens on December 19, 2008

Yes Brian, this is festival wear - but there are many occasions to dress up! Toraja is a very special region to visit, full of colour, a very distinctive culture, and a remarkable history. I was the guest of a traditional leader and she provided immediate access into many elements of Torajan life and culture. It was a very high honour for me. I will always feel a deep sense of gratitude for her hospitality and for the way she opened up Torajan culture to me.

Christmas greetings from Sydney,


BWS's ghost on December 20, 2008

thanks for the link above, ian. a very interesting juxtaposition of people and the seemingly endless struggle toward true equality among people... christmas greetings, brian

jeff_msn123 on December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have a nice Holiday.

Cheers from Hong Kong, Jeff

marita1004 on December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for you IAN greetings Marita

Ian Stehbens on December 25, 2008

Thank you for your Christmas greetings and best wishes for 2009, Jeff and Marita. And I trust that 2009 is a fulfilling and fruitful year for you both, too. I look forwward to more chats and photos in 2009.

Warm summer greetings from Sydney,


Pan Kartsonakis on December 27, 2008

Original photo, very interesting! My best wishes from Korinthos Hellas (Greece) . **Let's save our planet. **

Ian Stehbens on December 28, 2008

It was a fantastic setting, Kartson, with the throbbing of drums, graceful swaying of colourful dancers and the smell of food in the air. This area is called Toraja and it has a proud and distinctive culture that is worth travelling half a world to see and experience.


kevin mcvay on December 25, 2009

The colors are wonderful. Good job, great picture! Congratulations

Ian Stehbens on December 27, 2009

Dear shalom57,

It was a very colourful, and peaceful celebration of faith and culture. I was honoured to be there. Thank you for your compliment.


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Photo taken in Kelurahan Bombongan, Makale, Tana Toraja Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 15, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens