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Pallawa’ | Traditional settlement & Cultural preservation

Pallawa’ is a traditional Toraja residential complex consisting of a row of dozens of tongkonans (traditional houses) and alang (barns) which still retain the characteristics of the original traditional Toraja architecture. This settlement has existed for more than 230 years.

Traditional settlement of Pallawa’

The authenticity and aging of the traditional building in Pallawa’ can be seen from the bamboo roof which has been overgrown by various types of shrubs such as ferns and orchids. Similarly, building wood, carvings and ornaments that look shabby. But herein lies the grandeur of the classic and sacred Toraja traditional house. The direction of the building is north – south which is arranged from west to east according to ancestral tradition.

Someone named To Madao from the area around Buntu (mountain) Sesean was the first settler in this place. Formerly this place was an uninhabited area because it was called Pallawa’ which is derived from the word “padang pallawangan” which means land that is uninhabited and has no owner.

To Madao then settled there and married Membura Bubun. They have four children namely Ne’ Totaru, Ne’ Nawa, Salombe and Possengon. Ne’ Totaru as the first generation started building tongkonans in Palawa’ around 230 years ago. Then the other descendants of To Madao also built tongkonan so that now dozens of tongkonans have lined up in Palawa’.

Now there are 12 tongkonans facing 18 alang. The tongkonans are:

  1. Tongkonan Buntu was built by Ne’ Totaru in 1788
  2. Tongkonan Salassa was built by Salassa in 1800
  3. Tongkonan Ne’ Niro was built by Ne’ Randan in 1828
  4. Tongkonan Ne’ Dorre was built by Ne’ Matasik in 1828
  5. Tongkonan Ne’ Katik was built by Ne’ Pipe in 1828
  6. Tongkonan Ne’ Sepiah was built by Ne’ Sepiah in 1830
  7. Tongkonan Ne’ Malle was built by Ne’ Malle in 1845
  8. Tongkonan Ne’ Babu’ was built by Ne’ Babu’ in 1850
  9. Tongkonan Bamba was built in 1852
  10. Tongkonan Babba-Babba was built in 1960
  11. Tongkonan Sasana Budaya was built in 1975

Tongkonan Salassa plays the role of a tongkonan layuk while the Tongkonan Buntu has the status of a tongkonan pekaindoran. In the tongkonan hierarchy in Toraja, the Tongkonan Layuk is the highest where it is the birthplace of various customary rules in a society. Tongkonan Pekaindoran occupies the second position as the executor of these rules.

In a traditional Toraja settlement complex there are various elements which constitute a unity, namely tongkonan, alang (granary), rante (ceremonial place), liang (burial), bamboo forest, rice fields and gardens.

Menhirs in Pallawa’

Rante in Pallawa’ is located not far from the location of the tongkonan called rante Pa’padanunan. There stood dozens of simbuang (menhir) in various sizes. While liang are located in Tiroallo and Kamandi. Bamboo forests and gardens surround the tongkonan complex.

Pallawa’ is located about 12 km north of the city of Rantepao, located in the Village of Palawa’, Sesean sub-district, North Toraja. Palawa’ site is declared as a relic of ancient times whose existence is protected by the law on Cultural Heritage and Archeology.

Reference : Bibliography 074

Related post :   Rante Gessa' | Megalithic site

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