Fresh blood for sleeping mummy. Toraja. Sulawesi. Indonesia.

Fresh blood for sleeping mummy. Toraja. Sulawesi. Indonesia.

We asked the mummy: "what is love?" and got the silence as an answer...

We hadn't heard anything and I was still waiting, that her soul who could be sitting on the coffin's edge reveal it's presence somehow. But it looked like the soul was sitting under the house and we didn't feel that escape moment...

Who knows, might be she was sleeping or thinking over our question...

Wedding photography/video «Sweet Studio»

...oh, never mind that pagan priest-all of them are crazy and all Pagis with several mind blowing things in their heads. As to Pagi Pikipih he has as much of this crazy things as there are the sips in a beer barrel.

Max Fry


There was such a big tension in the air so if somebody shot an arrow through to another end it would be broken into thousands of solid pieces.

The man lifted buffalo's head by the nostril ring to have the animals neck straight in front of him. The buffalo felt that tension but still trusted his owner and leaked his wrist with love and trust. Clear and full of love buffalo's eyes met the foggy glassy eyes of that man who was going to cut the animal's throat with the sweeping and sharp hit....

Shock...Misunderstanding and pain...I still love you...

-Run away! Rip off that steel ring from my nose with the awful pain? I was always dreaming about freedom...

-It's too late...foggy...limpness...dark...nothingness...

There is nothingness in the owners eyes...Nothingness...It's the usual thing..It's the usual ritual...

Let's dance!

We'll bring more buffalo's! The more the better! We'll sacrifice them to our dead relatives!

Rambulangi! Give me your knife!

Bring the pigs! We'll sacrifice them too! We'll arrange the feast to pleasure the dead's!

Where is Lumba?

He sold his car and even took a bank loan to buy the buffalo for this ceremony and sacrifice him. He is in Rantepao right now buying buffalo.

He needs to obey our ancestor's customs, otherwise he will be despised and expelled.

It's the right time to carry our respected ancestors to the platform. There is 5 more ceremony days!!


We wanted to see how they take out the mummies from the tombs, dry them and change the dresses, but we got into reverse - the burial ceremony. The thing is they dry the mummies only in August, because its the less humid and the driest month of the year. Oh, well....Next time...

It was raining nearly constantly in that June.

We stopped in Rantepao, which was the center of Toraja regency of South Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. It was quite far from everything but close to the equator.

It was to early to dry the mummy ancestors.

-F*ck sake! What should we do?!

-Let's look for mummy...

-It took the 15 hours to get here by the winding roads of Sulawesi mountains on a second gear. In vain is it?

We needed the mummy simply to have a chat. Those who seeks will always find!

This woman died two years ago. She got mummified by the slaves (yes, they still exist in Sulawesi). They put her in a coffin and placed it in her room in the family house. In front of the room's door her son greeted her and asked for her permission for us to come. The silence was her positive answer and we were happy to see them dragging the coffins cover aside. There was no sorrow-life is life, death is death.

We asked the mummy: "what is love?" and got the silence as an answer...

We hadn't heard anything and I was still waiting, that her soul who could be sitting on the coffin's edge reveal it's presence somehow. But it looked like the soul was sitting under the house and we didn't feel that escape moment...

Who knows, might be she was sleeping or thinking over our question...

It was wonderful! Here is how she looked like before she died.

Their ancestors came here on boats against the river currents, deep inland and were so proud of it. They might be had the boat's got as the main one or they wanted to impress their woman with some unbeaten new things.

Anyway, have a look at this ship's hull shape roofs of their family houses.

There is enough material to do the two normal roof from it. The art requires the sacrifice too.

Moreover, we can see the same but small houses for......rice! (behind that banana trees on the right on the top picture and to the left on the bottom one)

Rice is life, that's why they build the same but small beautiful houses with respect and love to the main "white gold" food.

I would settle my grandma in one of this rice houses if I lived there. She would cook me the same rice-it's so handy and you can't hear her snoring at night, cause she is over the road.

You can say about the wealth of the owner by checking out his house front wall. The more buffalo's horns and pig's lower jaws are on, the richer he is.

Sulawesi looked strange for us after Papua New Guinea.

In PNG they invited us to have a dinner and even stay overnight free of charge everywhere.  

In Indonesia (West Papua & Sulawesi) they were trying to charge us for our presence on their ancestor's land. Just for nothing!

Is it the customs? It's not...

 We hired the scooter and went to the mountains to check out the tombs, of course!

Elena languidly smoked under the local banner.

Here is where the mummies live...

Elena was in melancholy among all that real estate and wanted to get back to the ocean.

If you want to go through the whole Sulawesi from South to North from Makassar to Manado on the bus-this is the very long way on the second gear upon the winding road. Your spine will be turned out from your body and you'll need one week of your priceless life to recover.

Sure, you'll get the scenic drive, but it doesn't worth it.

We came back to Makassar and flew to Manado, to the Ocean.

We cleared the beach. Lihaga Island appeared to be the property of two combating families and we were nearly on their crossfire-they fought just a couple of meters from us, behind  the rocks.

They tried to rip us off with the fabulous amount of money which we supposed to pay for staying in our tent under the palm on the island which doesn't belong to any of them. They also tried to take our bags and don't give them to us back in security for payment, but it's another long story! (They didn't know that I'm half Russian:)

Just look in the eyes of that wild crazy Dimi Kash, which became even more crazy from the long adventures. Would you be able to take away his travel bag without his permission?

Yes,you are right!

It wasn't uninhabited island as we thought so.

We wanted to have a rest in Manado for a day before we go back to Makassar, but left one of our travel bags with expencive photo cameras, documents and the laptop in a local shuttle bus.

We were rescuing it for about 24 hours and nearly half of Manado people were unwillingly involved in it. Of at least more than a half of them new about it exactly!

Half-brothel Matuari, the tour guide Ko-Harry, privately owned armed police Manguni and a lot of another people were involved in it.

We got it be more exact-I've got it back on the right place and time, but....all that detectives Manguni attributed all the glory to themselves! All mass medias said that.

Oh well...This is Indonesia, my friend, and you can't do something with it...just love and flexibility...

Elena was just in time and guarded the ruins, had learned the goat's language, tried bulletproof vest on bulletproof . All of it happened on the most criminal street of the city with that half-brothel Matuari in the middle of it.

Bali is the Indonesian's vent-hole. It's an amazing beautiful island where the energy and life flow in different way than the rest of the country. You feel it straight in the airport and become involved in it also straight. It starts to draw you from the first step...

I think they shouldn't say that they were in Indonesia if they were only in Bali..Bali is the counterweight to the rest of the country, apparently to maintain the balance of the world.

What is the reason?

There is the Hinduism instead of the Islam...or I'm wrong?

Elena felt really good, especially near the boat's steering wheel and the old ruins.

Our mad month was coming to an end. On Bali alone we could linger on for a month without warming the belly under the sun, but simply live.

I'm reluctantly closing this page...

I want to punch in the face of that drunken Indonesian border guard with the machine gun on the land border of  PNG and Indonesia, but then we'll miss the plane from Jayapura.

I also want to punch in the face of another Indonesian man from the same border local market, but then we'll again miss the plane..

We always have a choice...

I also want to spend more time in Tufi with it's amazing people and fly to smoked mummies in Oro Bay province in Papua New Guinea...


Stay tuned on, don't be afraid, do what you want and shove away that 30-day year vacation. Do you really think that this miserable amount of days is enough to live your priceless life?

See you on the x-sections of this beautiful planet!

Shaking hands, squeezing fins and all the best!

Elena Levon & Dimi Kash











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