Here are five unique prints of wrapping paper that add a special touch to all your gift-giving. In collaboration with the elders of the Toraja Tribe, we have created five designs to celebrate the Torajan culture: Buffalo Hoops, N’One’s Icons, N’One’s Rooster, and the Toraja Landscape. Each set comes with three sheets at 24 x 30" on White Kraft Paper (Rooster is with Brown Kraft Paper). You can also order a variety pack to get one of each style.
These designs are inspired by prints taken from the ancestral homes of the Toraja people in Sulawesi, Indonesia. A community nested in the mountainous part of the island, the landscape is filled with large volcanic rocks from thousands of years ago. Many of the symbolisms found in Toraja textile and carvings are derived from plants, animals, and sky objects; philosophies embedded in the daily life of Toraja people. The people of Toraja bury their dead in these rocks instead of the ground, as they believe that the ground is for growing food.
A Living Megalithic Culture
The Toraja build ancestral homes called Tongkonan. The shapes resemble boats on stilts. A Tongkonan is typically accompanied by grain storages, Alang, which are similar in form but smaller in size than a Tongkonan. Alang are the symbol of men within the same kinship. These structures are charged with many other ritual and symbolisms, some of which can be read through the carvings. Together, the Tongkonan and rice grains represent a cosmos, a gem of ancient urbanism.
Fewer than 10 elders in the community still know the meanings behind the designs. We partnered up with one of the oldest surviving artists of the community. Ne One, one of the oldest living artists in Toraja, who showed us how to create a Sarita through Stencil technique. The ink is made from a mixture with base plant that grows in Toraja. Sarita is a long ceremonial textile, usually up to 4 or 5 meters in length. The designs of pattern in Saritas usually contain various species of plants from Toraja, as well as people and animals, notably Buffaloes. The Buffalo Hooves represent a part of ritual of celebrations in the life of Toraja people.
Urbanization and industrialization have resulted in increasing migration from rural to urban villages, which threaten the preservation and development of the arts and crafts created within Toraja. At Roots Studio, we seek to support the vision of a “prosperous village,” through cultural documentation, design, and practical economic generation.