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Puya

by Micha F. Lindemans

The afterworld or "land of souls" in Toraja belief. Puya is said to lie to the southwest, under the earth. When a person dies, the family will sacrifice a buffalo to carry the soul on the long journey to the afterworld, and the more buffaloes are slaughtered the easier the ride for the soul will be. The body itself will be placed in a small cave or, if the deceased is a baby of less then a week old, inside a tree. The funeral rites will determine the prosperity of the souls in the afterlife. These rites will purify the bombo, the impure soul.

When the soul reaches Puya it will be judged by Pong Lalondong, the ruler of the afterworld. If the deceased is a member of the nobility, it will be allowed to climb the mountain Bamba Puang in order to enter heaven and became a deified ancestor.


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