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Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Come this 21st October, there wll be a film screening at SPMS LT-3. Assoc Prof Roxana Waterson (Sociology, NUS) will be presenting her recent ethnographic documentary film about her work on the Toraja people of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
WHEN THE SUN RISES: A TORAJA PRIEST OF THE ANCESTRAL WAY A video documentary by Roxana Waterson (2007)
Tato' Dena' is a special priest of the Aluk To Dolo ("Way of the Ancestors"), the indigenous religion of the Sa'dan Toraja people of Sulawesi, Indonesia. He holds the title of To Minaa Sando, and officiates especially at Rites of the East, those that have to do with life and fertility (as opposed to mortuary rites, the Rites of the West). He knows by heart a vast repository of ritual poetry, myths and genealogical knowledge. In Tana Toraja the pace of conversion to Christianity has quickened in the past few decades, so that today, perhaps less that 5% of Toraja still maintain the Aluk To Dolo. The film is a portrait of Tato' Dena', but the bigger question it asks is whether this religion can survive at all? Will Tato' Dena' have a successor, or will his poetic knowledge be lost?
WHEN THE SUN RISES is her first film, essentially made single-handed, about the now almost extinct indigenous religion of the Toraja, Aluk To Dolo. It is the product of friendships made over 30 years of fieldwork, capturing a certain moment in the decline of an indigenous religion in the face of conversion to world religions and the pressures of modernity. It thus represents a particular example of a phenomenon that has occurred world-wide as a result of European colonisation and continuing globalisation in today’s post-colonial era.
So, do join in and catch this film presented by the film-maker herself.
21st October 5.00pm SPMS LT-3 (the new building near Canteen B) Registration not required