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Photographer's Note

Still at Rantepao livestock market. Once every 6 days the livestock market is held, you have already seen the pig market, but its the buffalo (tedong) market that draws the real attention. For the Torajans the buffalo denotes wealth and prosperity, the more buffalo the richer the family.
The Toraja people treasure water buffalo and are given special care by their owners. Toraja farmers rarely use their buffalo in plowing rice fields as is usually the practice in other parts of Indonesia. The buffalos are given a daily bath and fed with nutritious fodder. The Torajans recognize five different species the grey or white skinned are the most expensive. A white buffalo with blue eyes could costs the equivalent of 20 ordinary buffalo.

The contradiction comes when we look at a Toraja funeral where many buffalo are slain during the feast, which lasts for several weeks. It is estimated that at least 60.000 buffalo are slain each year in Tana Toraja.

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Additional Photos by Elaine springford (everlasting) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 783 W: 66 N: 1986] (14361)
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