Ma’Nene Ritual: A Procession for Respecting the Ancestors

Ma'nene Ritual South Sulawesi

Tana Toraja is known to have a variety of cultural heritage and has its own uniqueness. The cultural heritage of Tana Toraja has successfully become a part of tourism activities in the Tana Toraja, making it a tempting destination for us to visit when visiting South Sulawesi.

The Rambu Solo Funerals Ceremony is a cultural event that is best known by tourists. The Funerals Ceremony which was held lively and spent a large amount of money was the main attraction for local and foreign tourists. But there is one more ritual from Tana Toraja which is also related to the Funerals Ceremony  that you should not miss when visiting Tana Toraja. This ritual is known as Ma’Nene. This ritual is a routine activity of cleaning the bodies of the ancestors who have died for hundreds of years. Ma’nene’s rituals have not carried out many of these rituals, but in some areas such as Pangala and Baruppu Villages they regularly carry out the Ma’nene Ritual every year.

Ma'nene Ritual, Tana Toraja
Ma’nene Ritual, Tana Toraja, Photo via

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Ma’Nene’s ritual began with the arrival of family members to Patane to take the bodies of their deceased family members. Patane is a family grave built like a house. Then, after the body is removed from the grave, then the body is cleaned. Then they changed the clothes worn by the ancestors’ bodies with new clothes. Based on the habits of the villagers, this ritual is carried out simultaneously with one family or even one village, so that the program runs quite long.

After the body is put on new clothes, then the body is wrapped back and put into Patane. The Ma’Nene procession series was then ended and closed with a gathering of family members at the Tongkonan traditional house to perform a worship together.

This Ma’Nene ritual is usually carried out after the harvest period, approximately at the end of August. with consideration so that it can be attended by other family members.

Ma’Nene’s ritual is not just cleaning the body and wearing new clothes. The Ma’Nene ritual has a meaning that reflects the importance of the relationship between family members for the Toraja community, especially for relatives who have already died. The Toraja community wants to show the inter-family relationship that is unbroken and ended even though it has been separated by death. This ritual is also used as a way of introducing young family members with their ancestors.

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JC. Princen

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