This 90-year old woman spins and weaves like it’s just another day, but she is obviously great shape and has been doing this her whole life in Toraja, Indonesia, on the island of Sulawesi. The spinning wheel she uses is an ages old tradition and she is the last person in the village that knows this craft.
The people of Toraja are wonderful, definitely hard working and friendly. We felt entirely welcome our whole time there, even when we joined a family who were attending a funeral. The funeral traditions are an amazing part of the Toraja lifestyle and most of the reason people choose to visit.
But I don’t think this woman spinning thread will be having a funeral any time soon. She seems as hale and hearty as they come. Of good cheer and no complaints. Of course we bought some fabric from her. How could we not?
In the video, you can hear me adding description for Tim, since he can’t see much. At one point he says he can’t see her, and I describe for him how to find her. Then he says he can’t see her head.
I know this is his method of mapping the person, the position of someone’s body, but it just shows you how bad his eyes are. We were standing about 6-7′ away.
This gives you a little idea of what it takes to travel as, and with, a (mostly) blind person. This was in 2018. I regret to say that in 2021, his eyes are even worse. Of course, that’s why we set out traveling, we wanted him to see as much as he could before he lost his vision entirely.
And go read our awesome blog post on Toraja where we got to go to one of those enormous multi-day funerals and see a lot of the ceremony and traditions surrounding it.