Stone burials are aplenty in Toraja, but Lo’ko’ Mata is the epitome of it all, as it is one hundred times bigger. This sheer size, coinciding with the colorful motives of the doors of the departed that filled every crevices creates a sense of amazement to everyone beholding its beauty.
Lo’ko’ Mata is located in the north of Toraja. The burial site is around 30 km from Rantepao, close to Batutumonga, Pallawa, and Bori’ Parinding. The journey from Rantepao to Lo’ko’ Mata follows winding roads cutting through the beautiful landscape of Tana Toraja. On the way you pass terraced rice fields and forested hills.
The first thing you see once you go through the entrance to Lo’ko’ Mata is a large circular stone. There are more than 20 burial chambers carved into the large rock. The burial chambers are aligned on four levels. The diameter of each of the burial chambers is approximately one square meter. The chambers themselves are actually large enough to hold more than one coffin.
The position of the burial chambers is important and denotes the importance of the person buried within. The higher the burial chamber the more important the person was. Simple bamboo ladders are used to place the coffins within the burial chambers on the top levels.
Immediately in front of the large stone boulder there are several miniature Tongkonan. You can also find several Tau Tau in Lo’ko’ Mata. The majority of the chambers at Lo’ko’ Mata are painted in the four traditional colors of yellow, red, black and white. Traditional carvings are engraved into the doors of the burial chambers.
On the top of the large boulder wild plants grow. The large rock, the colorful chambers and the miniature Tongkonan in front of the stone make Lokomata a site that shouldn’t be missed.