Boat House Mausoleum

Kete Kesu Village
Tana Toraja Regency
Sulawesi, Indonesia

A modern form of burial in Toraja is to inter the deceased in mausolea such as this. The burial chamber is cylindrical in form, but its cross-section resembles a leaf or a bud from nature. The end of this one is decorated with a sunburst motif, that resembles the Majapahit Sun on Java. The burial chamber is encased in a boat-shaped bier; the "boat house" is ubiquitous in Toraja, unique to that place, and used both in the distant past and today for houses, granaries, and coffins. Traditional sun-and-moon roosters and other decorations (see: pediment decoration) are painted underneath the roof, and portrait photographs of the principal deceased couple (other family members may also share the burial chamber) are affixed below the pediment.