Christian Torajan Youth in Perceiving Aluk To Dolo

Erin Gayatri


The fascinating influence of world religion has given important impact to the existence of indigenous religion such as Aluk To Dolo within the life of the Christian Torajan Youth who live in Yogyakarta. Aluk To Dolo as one of indigenous religions in Indonesia, in fact, is almost in the position of weak as its followers are decreasing in its region of origin, Tanah Toraja of Sulawesi. It is found that only one leader is still remaining in Toraja accompanied by the practice of Rambu Solo which is also still being maintained in the region. This work is based on the view of the youth toward Alok To Dolo as the youth play an important role to determine and negotiate the inheritance of their religion including indigenous religion within their life. This article examines how Christian Torajan Youth perceive Christianity and Aluk To Dolo. Data collection is conducted through depth interview and focused group discussion with a group of Christian Torajan Youth members who stay in Yogyakarta for their studies. They are affiliated to Torajan student organizations and Torajan tribal church in Yogyakarta. This work concludes that Torajan students perceive the Aluk To Dolo as pendamping agama or the companion of religion they practice (Christianity) besides perceiving it as their cultural home base. In other words, they mean the Aluk To Dolo for cultural practices supporting their Christianity practice in their life. It is also found that the decreasing of the practice of Alok To Dolo by the students is more caused by three factors including the distance to the origin land, the influence from the Toraja tribal church, and the literatures having influence in their believe. As student, although the Christian Torajan youth are close and more influenced by literatures in Christianity (church), they also practice the teachings of the local religion to keep their cultural identity.


Torajan; Christianity; Youth; Aluk To Dolo; Domination; Church

Full Text:



Adams, K. M. (1993). The discourse of souls in Tana Toraja (Indonesia): indigenous notions and Christian conceptions. Ethnology, 32(1), 55-68.

Baskara, B. (2016). Islam Bajo Agama Orang Laut: Yogyakarta. Javanica.

Beatty, A. (1996). Adam and Eve and Vishnu: Syncretism in the Javanese slametan. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 271-288.

Bigalke, T. W. (1981). A Social History of “Tana Toraja” 1870-1965. Unpub lished PhD (Doctoral dissertation, thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ann Arbor microfilms).

Christou, M. (2006). An Ethnographic Interpretation of the Smoke Rising and Smoke Descending Ceremonial Attire of the Sa'dan Malimbong Toraja: University of Nebraska. Lincoln.

Geertz, C., Mahasin, A., & Rasuanto, B. (1983). Abangan, santri, priyayi: dalam masyarakat Jawa (No. 4). Pustaka Jaya. Jakarta.

Hilmy, M. (1998). Cultural acculturation of Javanese Islam: A critical study of the slametan ritual. Al-Jami’ah, 12(62).

Jindra, M. (2003, November). Natural/supernatural conceptions in Western cultural contexts. In Anthropological Forum (Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 159-166). Taylor & Francis Group.

Khusen, M. (2005). Contending Identity in the Islamic Ritual: the Slametan among Surinamese Javanese Muslims in the Netherlands. Al-Jami'ah: Journal of Islamic Studies, 43(2), 283-308.

Kymlicka, W., & Norman, W. J. (Eds.). (2000). Citizenship in diverse societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Liku-Ada, J. (2014). Aluk To Dolo Menantikan Kristus. Yogyakarta: Gunung Sopai.

Maarif, S. (2014). Being a Muslim in Animistic Ways. Al-Jami'ah: Journal of Islamic Studies, 52(1), 149-174.

Morton, K. (1995). Ordered Universes: Approaches to the Anthropology of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pelras, C., Abu, A. R., & Arsuka, N. A. (2006). Manusia Bugis. Nalar: Forum Jakarta-Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO).

Saroengallo, Tino. (2008) Ayah anak, beda warna!: anak Toraja kota menggugat: Jakarta. Tembi.

Picard, M. (1997). Cultural tourism, nation-building, and regional culture: The making of a Balinese identity. Tourism, ethnicity, and the state in Asian and Pacific societies, 181-214.

Scarduelli, P. (2005). Dynamics of Cultural Change among the Toraja of Sulawesi. The Commoditization of Tradition. Anthropos, 389-400.

Schuon, F. (1999). Language of the Self. World Wisdom Books.

Smith, H. (2007). A seat at the table: Huston Smith in conversation with Native Americans on religious freedom. Univ of California Press.

Suwito, N. S. (2007). Slametan dalam Kosmologi Jawa: Proses Akulturasi Islam dengan Budaya Jawa in Jurnal Ibda. Purwokerto: P3M Stain Purwokerto.

Tallulembang, B. (2012). Reinterpretasi & Realtualisasi Busaya Torajai: Refleksi Seabad Kekristenan Masuk Toraja. Yogyakarta: Gunung Sopai.

Tangdilintin, L. T. (1978). Toraja dan kebudayaannya: Kantor Cabang II Makassar, Lembaga Sejarah & Antropologi.

Tanudjaja, R. (2000). Kontekstualisasi sebagai Sebuah Strategi dalam Menjalankan Misi: Sebuah Ulasan Literatur. Veritas 1/1, 19-27.

Tsintjilonis, D. (2000). Death and the sacrifice of signs:‘measuring’the dead in Tana Toraja. Oceania, 71(1), 1-17.

Volkman, T. (1979). The riches of the undertaker. Indonesia, (28), 1-16.

Woodward, M. (2010). Java, Indonesia and Islam (Vol. 3). Springer Science & Business Media.

Article Metrics

Abstract views: 825 PDF views: 608