Ke'te Kesu'

Top choice village in Tana Toraja

The four stately tongkonan and many granaries that make up Ke'te Kesu' were moved to this picturesque site in 1927 when the savvy family head noticed the Dutch government largely ignored anyone too far from their administrative centres. Later, to share their heritage with the world while demonstrating the value of preserving traditions, Kesu'ers got their village designated as the first official obyek wisata (tourism site) in Toraja, and lobbied hard (with some success) for Unesco World Heritage attention.

On the cliff face behind the village there are cave graves and very old hanging graves – some reportedly 500 years old or more. Deteriorating coffins are suspended on wooden beams under an overhang, while others have fallen into jumbles below full of bones and skulls.

Shops near the car park sell intricate wood carvings – one way the locals hope to share Toraja with outsiders.

The village is 4km southeast of Rantepao and gets busy with tour groups in high season.


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