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Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Tongkonan of the Toraja
One legend has it that Tongkonan homes were brought to earth when the first Torajan ancestor descended from heaven and built his home in the image of those he’d left behind up above.

Another popular held belief is that the unique homes feature bamboo roofs shaped like boats to pay homage to the vessels that brought the Toraja people to Indonesia from China.

Whether the legends are true or not, it’s certainly the case that the stilted wooden Tongkonan homes in Indonesia don’t compare to any others.

The thing that struck me most when I saw them up close was how intricate and delicate the carvings are – it shouldn't surprise I suppose, as the Toraja are renowned for their carpentry skills, but the beautiful hand-made décor is something to behold.

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South East Asia