We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Thread of Life

Toraja Reflections on the Life Cycle

Douglas Hollan

Publication Year: 1996

"This is an enjoyably readable and generally illuminating look at the more intimate side of Toraja life and relationships.... [It is] an innovative approach to ethnography, valuable in its attempt to deal with aspects of life that are often passed over in more conventional ethnographic writing." --Journal of Asian Studies

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.2 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (42.5 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (41.5 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (40.4 KB)
pp. xi

We are grateful to the many Toraja people who have so generously shared their lives with us. We thank especially our eleven respondents whose thoughts and words play such a prominent part in this book. As in our first book, we would also like to acknowledge...

read more

Chapter 1: Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (244.9 KB)
pp. 1-29

All humans are alike in some respects. All people remain dependent on their parents or other caretakers for an extended period of time after birth. All people enter the world without language or knowledge of culturally appropriate behavior...

read more

Chapter 2: Birth, Infancy, and Early Childhood

pdf iconDownload PDF (101.0 KB)
pp. 30-49

When we first mentioned our desire to conduct "lifehistory" interviews to To Minaa Sattu, he remarked knowingly that we meant how one's parents suffered during pregnancy. The notion that one's life history begins in the womb,...

read more

Chapter 3: Later Childhood and Adolescence

pdf iconDownload PDF (187.3 KB)
pp. 50-95

One of the more important tasks assigned to relatively small children, and one that demands a great deal of initiative and independent action, is the herding of water buffalo. Herding involves moving buffalo from nighttime holding areas to small, open fields...

read more

Chapter 4: Marriage and Parenting

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.5 MB)
pp. 96-159

The Toraja assume that young people will want to marry eventually and have children, for it is only by so doing that one becomes a truly "adult" member of the community and that one can..

read more

Chapter 5: Adulthood, Aging, and Death

pdf iconDownload PDF (143.6 KB)
pp. 160-190

Adulthood—for our purposes, the period of life that begins with marriage and parenting but precedes old age—provides the Toraja with a number of valued experiences, including the challenges of building a household, the opportunity to validate and enhance one's...

read more

Chapter 6: The Cycle of Life in Toraja

pdf iconDownload PDF (79.5 KB)
pp. 191-204

Edward Bruner has noted that we must not confuse life as lived with either life as experienced or life as told. According to Bruner (1984, 7): "A life as lived is what actually happens. A life...

Appendix 1: Checklist of Open Interview Topics

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.2 KB)
pp. 205-206

Appendix 2: Respondents

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.1 KB)
pp. 207-208


pdf iconDownload PDF (77.3 KB)
pp. 209-220


pdf iconDownload PDF (43.6 KB)
pp. 221-226


pdf iconDownload PDF (50.8 KB)
pp. 227-234


pdf iconDownload PDF (57.7 KB)
pp. 235-239

E-ISBN-13: 9780824865108
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824817718

Publication Year: 1996

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Toraja (Indonesian people) -- Social life and customs.
  • Toraja (Indonesian people) -- Funeral customs and rites.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access