Toraja water buffalo sacrifice

The famous Toraja funerals take place in three phases: 1) care of the body, 2) the funeral itself, and 3) the burial. The funerals usually take months to prepare and have traditionally been held after the rice harvest, from September to December, when people have money to pay for the expensive events. Small funerals are held year round. The date of the funeral is difficult to ascertain. Scheduled funerals are often canceled suddenly even if they had been planned months in advance. The date is never fixed and is often determined at the last minute using criteria that only the Toraja know. A couple of National Geographic writers went to cover a funeral but had to return to the U.S. before anything happened. Christians incorporate some elements of the traditional funerals into their own funerals.

The Toraja believe that they must follow proper customs to secure the good fortune of their family in the future. During the first phase of the funeral, stone slabs of past nobles who lived in their village surround the people. They place the dead on a tower at the end of the field as the family and guest watch from bamboo pavilions made specifically for their seating. The second phase of the funeral consists of a feast of water buffalo and pig. The water buffalo and pig act as the transportation of the soul onto Puya, the afterworld. The guests typically bring water buffalo and pigs to the second funeral. Once the water buffalo and pigs have been killed, the people dance to the Mabadong song. The Mabadong song is a sendoff tradition that shows the dead person’s life cycle and their life story. For generations, the villagers in Torajaland have carved out stone graves into the cliffs. They create wooden effigies called “tau tau” and place them in the cliffs to protect the tomb of the deceased and to watch for trespassers. [Source: Cultural Comparisons]

Dead people that go to puya must show their social status when they are alive. So the funeral ceremony for a person who had a high position in the community may look like a festival. The dead person is accepted as dead when a complete funeral has been held. Before that, the corpse is considered to be a sick body, kept in a traditional house called 'Tongkonan.' He is dressed and offered food.

See Separate Article on the Toraja

Toraja Views on the Afterlife

The Toraja universe is divided into three parts, each with its own cardinal direction and rites: 1) the underworld, in the southwest, the home of the dead; 2) earth; and 3) the upperworld, to the northeast, the home of deified ancestors. Each is presided over by its own set of gods. Those found on earth sometimes live in particular trees, mountains and other natural objects. There is a fear of werewolves, spirits that fly at night and spirits that eat the stomachs of sleeping people. [Source: “Encyclopedia of World Cultures, East and Southeast Asia” edited by Paul Hockings (G.K. Hall & Company, 1993) ~]

The Toraja regard life and death as a continuum and conduct a number of “daluk rampe matallo” (life rituals) and “aluk rampe matampu” (death rituals). The former are sometimes associated with agriculture and fertility rituals with sexual overtones and are also called smoke-rising rites . The latter is visible everywhere, in their graves and funerals, and are called smoke-descending rites.

According to tradition, the Toraja believe that the dead should be properly sent off to a land called Puya somewhere in the southwest and given enough attention to send them to the upperworld, where defied ancestors live. Most people never make it beyond Puya, where the dead exist a state of being not unlike the life on earth. Those that get lost on the way to Puya and don’t make it may come back and haunt the living so great care s taken to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Death is something that is always on the mind of Toraja but it something that is viewed as journey one prepares for rather tragedy. Toraja parents make every effort to make sure their infants feet don't touch the ground, with the understanding that if the child died young it would ascend to heaven faster.

Toraja Funeral Beliefs

Often years pass between the time a Toraja dies and the time of his funeral. Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The unhurried passage from this world to the next is central to the culture of Torajans. The dead wait months, even years, for their last rites while relatives negotiate funeral arrangements, everything from the right timing to allow mourners to travel long distances, to where they will stay and who will feed them. Corpses used to be dried with herbal elixirs and smoldering fires, but the old ways have largely died out, replaced by washtub embalming fluid made with formaldehyde. In many ways, Torajans spend a lifetime preparing for their demise, saving for the essentials, such as their burial clothes and bamboo shelters for guests. They also have to budget for funeral donations to other families, while pampering and fattening up water buffaloes for sacrifice. "Torajans," Sambolinggi, 56, said cheerfully, "they live to die." [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

“Though Christianity and the modern world have worn away at tradition, ancient beliefs called aluk to dolo, or the way of the ancestors, still guide many Torajans, especially when someone dies.Legend says the design of their homes, called tongkonan, came from heaven. The wood-framed buildings face north, toward the land of the creator. The dead are always placed in a room at the back so they can face south, where the ancestors live in heaven. The houses' bamboo roofs are shaped like boats, with a high bow and stern, which some believe honor the vessels their ancestors sailed to Sulawesi. The homes' central pillars are decorated with a row of horns from water buffaloes slaughtered at family funerals.A good buffalo is a Torajan status symbol, and people go through life pleased that their burials won't be rushed, leaving mourners time to find the cash for fine specimens to slaughter. The donations required for a royal funeral give Torajans more than the usual pause. ==

High Costs of Toraja Funerals

Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Because Torajans take their obligations to the dead so seriously, parents who can't afford to donate a pig, let alone a buffalo, for sacrifice at a funeral often pledge a kind of IOU, which their children must fulfill to maintain the family honor. With the funeral season running from June to October, the driest months of the year, sacrificial debts can quickly add up. An ordinary black water buffalo costs at least $5,500, a heavy price for Torajans, most of whom are rice farmers. (A shortage of the finest spotted buffaloes has driven the price up 25 percent over last year, to almost $14,000.) [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

“And then there are taxes they must pay on each head of livestock delivered for sacrifice: $16 for a buffalo, $9 for a pig. Custom demands a minimum of six buffaloes be slaughtered at each funeral, but competition for status usually pushes the number higher. Funerals have become so expensive that many young Torajans are moving away to cities, or even other countries such as Malaysia, in search of better jobs so they can keep up with the demands as relatives die. ==

“A Torajan funeral doesn't have to be fit for a king to be costly. More than 7,000 mourners attended a three-day ceremony last month for Augustina Tambing, the wife of a primary school principal. Half a year after her death, they gathered to see her off to heaven with the sacrifice of eight water buffaloes and more than 150 squealing pigs. Yohanes Rumeri, chief of Buntu Masakke village, sat behind a counter at the entrance to the funeral with a ledger, recording donors' names, the animal they delivered and the tax they paid. The money would be shared among the regional government, the local church and the village administration, the chief said. == "Honestly, it is a burden," said Tambing's daughter Yatti Parassa, 45. "But this is our family. We are still close because we've been attending funerals for ages. So we're not going to lose the family ties. Our families live far apart, but for this event, they all come together."

Rituals Before a Toraja Funeral

Months before the funeral the deceased is wrapped in blankets and taken to his her home. In the old days the body was preserved with embalming herbs now it is preserved with an injection of chemicals The dead person is almost treated as guest; none of the other people living in the house move out. Toraja dead are kept in special houses for several years until they are buried during a special ceremony. Houses sometimes have several deceased relatives in them, guests who visit are formally introduced to them, and living relatives sometimes stay by the dead around the clock for several years. The Blair brothers visited an 8-by-12-foot room with a dead king, his queen and two "lesser widows." The bodies were draped in velvet carpets and a bamboo pipe drained body fluids into a Ming vase. There was also a small tray where offerings of tobacco, betel nut and palm wine were left for the dead soul. [Source: "Ring of Fire" by Lawrence and Lorne Blair, Bantam Books, New York ♢]

During the first several months the deceased's family attends the body almost around the clock. Often family members gather together and weep, moan and wail together. Offering are made to the body and sometimes jewelry is placed around the body. A portrait of the dead person is fastened to the front of the house and an effigy is placed in the room where the body is. A special tepee is constructed in the house if the deceased is a man. Until the man is buried it is the duty of his wife to stay in the tepee. This period is usually more than a year, often two or three years and sometimes four or five. [Source: Pamela Meyer, National Geographic June 1972]

A month or so before a major Toraja funeral the Blair brothers witnessed the "calling forth of the sacred eels" in a pool of water about five miles from the place of the funeral. While they were swimming a chanting shaman appeared at a ledge over looking the pool and threw some "sacred rice" in pool. Within a few minutes six long black eels emerged from their lairs and ate a few bites of rice and returned to where they came. The fact that the eels appeared was a good omen, meaning the funeral could proceed. Lorne Blair on several occasions afterwards tried chanting and throwing rice in the water but no eels appeared. A month later a delegation of shaman announced that the funeral could formerly proceed. ♢

Toraja wake preparation

Toraja Funeral Ceremony

The funeral ceremonies usually take place in two parts. The Rambu Solo (the funeral ceremony) and the Rambu Tuka (the procession and burial. The Rambu Solo is a grisly affair in which dozens, sometimes hundreds, of buffalos and pigs are slaughtered in the belief that the spirit of the dead will be accepted by God. The funeral can be held in front of the village tongkonan. Sometimes it takes place in a field, where bamboo platforms have been set up for people to sit with the deceased presiding over the event from a high-roofed tower. Some are held in special funeral sites marked by megaliths.

A typical middle-class funeral involves four buffalo and many pigs and lasts for three days. A funeral for an aristocrat can last for two weeks. Before a funeral it seems like every single Toraja shows up with a fighting cock, a pig on a stick or a buffalo. The people form long lines. Animal sacrifices are a key component of Toraja funerals. Torajans believe that sacrificed animals will accompany the dead to the afterlife and help transport to them to heaven. Buffalos are signs of wealth. The number of buffalos sacrificed is an indication of how important the deceased was. The throat of the buffalos are slit to release the spirit. Horns are removed to be mounted on a house. The sacrificed animals are carved up and roasted, and the meat is eaten on palm-leaf-plates. Extra meat is divided among guests to take home.

Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Tambing, 68, died Jan. 13 after 49 years of marriage to her husband, Izak Rigu Parassa. She bore him seven children, who watched along with 20 grandchildren and a great-grandchild as butchers led buffaloes by their tethers into the funeral, and with a theatrical slash of a long knife, slit each animal's throat. Just across from the skinned carcasses lying in coagulating pools of blood, Tambing's family formed a choir. As a gentle rain fell, they wept and sang, "Jesus comes into the world, Jesus comes to help the sick." Her 71-year-old husband sat nearby, pinching the bridge of his nose in silent prayer, exhausted after a long goodbye to the love of his life. He took comfort in the thought that she was still with him, watching her own funeral. "I think she is pleased," he said, with a broad, toothless smile. [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

In the past hundreds, even thousands, of buffalo were dispatched, but the Dutch brought an end to these practices because it was considered wasteful. In recent decades the practice has returned. The Indonesian government has tried to stem the practice by placing a tax on sacrificed buffalo. The funerals are getting bigger, "Twenty-four buffalos used to be a big feast," a guide told Marvine Howe of the New York Times in the 1990s, "now a 100 buffalos is good, people are richer." It is not unusual for a family to go broke in an effort to but on grand show.

Toraja Funeral Procession and Burials

During the Rambu Tuka, the coffin of the deceased is taken from his house and placed in a huge ceremonial palanquin that is used to carry the body to its grave which is dug out of a cliff side. The body is carried in a huge procession with men in colored shirts with pigs tightly trussed on bamboo plots, women in black and gold gowns with large straw hats and a receiving line in front of beautifully carved coffin often decorated with animal heads. The palanquin is the size of a small house and it is carried by many people. As it is carried people try to touch the coffin and in the mad scramble the coffin gets heaved back and forth. Sometimes the body even falls out of the palanquin.

During this part of the festival bullfights, kick fights, cockfights, chanting and dancing are held and along with the five days of feasting that accompanies the procession. Offerings of clove cigarettes are made. Ma'badong epic song and dance are performed for the deceased. The Ma'badong is a recreation of the cycle of human life and is pefomed to help the soul of the deceased reach its destination. It is a slow-moving dance performed by chanting men in black sarongs.

During Toraja burials the deceased is buried in a hollowed out cliffside grave that sometimes are as high as 30 meters off the ground. The caves have traditionally been hollowed by specialists who were paid in buffalos. The price is very high and generally only the rich can afford it. Sometimes the graves have intentionally been placed in difficult to reach places to discourage grave robbing.

To get the body to the grave the remains of the body, still wrapped in blanket, are placed into a bag. The bag is then hoisted over the shoulder of a man who climbs a long bamboo pole by placing his feet into notches carved into the pole. He is followed by several men who make sure the pole doesn't get twisted. The body its then placed in an open cave. If the dead person is rich a balcony is constructed outside the grave.

In some cases coffins are hung from cliffs rather than placed in caves or niches. Some coffins are shaped like pigs. Older ones are built to resemble ships. Babies who have died before teething are placed in hollowed sections of living trees. The graves consist of hollowed-out sections of tree which are covered up with fibers from sugar palms.

Toraja Royal Funeral

The Toraja king, Lasso Rinding Paung Sangalla, died in 1968. His funeral didn't take place until 1983 a time that was determined auspicious by astrologers, government officials who witnessed the ceremony and Toraja princes who had to raise money to pay for it. The king was the last of an 800-year dynasty. For his funeral 60 three-story "space arc" houses were erected around a ceremonial courtyard, called a “Rante”, with huge Stonehedge-like megaliths, one for every king and queen that preceeded him. The last one was erected with a crane borrowed from local department of road construction. {Source: "Ring of Fire" by Lawrence and Lorne Blair, Bantam Books, New York ♢]

After the king died his body was left untouched for six months to make sure he wasn't just "astral-traveling." Then his family formally was informed of his death and the body was oriented towards the southwest, the land of the souls, in the living room of the royal widow who didn't leave her dead husband's side for four years. On the day of his funeral procession, the king’s body was placed in a decorated miniaturized "space arc" and transported to a ceremonial site by his widows. The widows and the other members of the procession, who were all drunk from large amounts of rice wine, shouted obscene remarks and punched and tugged on the sarcophagus. ♢

"The days and nights that followed this process," the Blair brothers wrote, " filled with the ghostly rhythms of the Ma'badong dance—a cumulative mantric tone intended to induce altered states...It begins with a human circle linked by their little fingers, swaying and chanting themselves into deep trance with the eyes closed. The circle expands, ruptures and spawns new circles—which eventually fill the entire Rante with wheeling vortexes of hypnotic sound. In the Ma'badong, we were told, they could feel all the past and future generations of their tribe resonating through them as one...Added to the Ma'badong there were also the spontaneous explosions of Pa'gellu dancers. They, too, chanted a trance-inducing song—and their swaying arm movements sought to still the 'invisible waters of space' which the dead king must cross." ♢

Later ceremonial cockfights were held and a granddaughter of the deceased occasionally went into a trance in which she tore off her clothes and beat up people with a bamboo cane. The funeral climaxed when the body of the king was taken to a cliff and the entire group of 60 "space arc houses" was destroyed in one quick conflagration. Afterwards people ambled home. Hundreds of chickens, pigs and water buffalo were sacrificed. most of which were dispatched with blow to the jugular vein and later boiled in bamboo tubes and eaten by the people occupying the arc houses around the Rante. Among the animals sacrificed were rare white and pink water buffalos and one with blue eyes worth 20 times a normal grey one. ♢

Toraja King Waiting to Be Buried

Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The last king of Toraja was 93 when he took his final breath in July 2003. Five years later, he's still part of the family, quietly residing in a small room in his former palace, shaded by two red parasols decorated with colored beads and gold fringe. By Torajan tradition, he isn't really dead. He's just sick. The late monarch won't be gone for good until he has been laid to rest with traditional rites featuring the slaughter of scores of water buffaloes, at least one of them a rare spotted specimen. [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

“A village mortician schooled in the old ways gave the late king's body the royal treatment with natural preservatives. It took more than 320 yards of cloth to wrap his mummy, a simple task compared with the long negotiations and complex preparations for his funeral. "Torajans are very sensitive about this because the funeral is our last honor," said Eddy Sambolinggi, the youngest son of the last king, Puang Sambolinggi. "Everything has to be carefully planned." ==

“It has taken his family five years to agree on a send-off befitting Puang Sambolinggi, which is now planned for October. The farewell is shaping up to be the last grand funeral in Torajan history, the final chapter of a royal history that dates back centuries. Sambolinggi's reign saw the death of an ancient dynasty in Tana Toraja, or the Land of Toraja. He held the throne for only a year until, just days after Japan surrendered in August 1945, Indonesia declared independence from the Dutch and abolished tribal monarchies. But tribal tradition lives on.” ==

"We have to wait until the whole family is ready," Sambolinggi said. "For instance, there's me and my siblings. Perhaps I am able to contribute a number of buffaloes, while my siblings still have to wait and save some money. We all have to agree, because for this funeral the number we're talking about isn't small." Up to 80 buffaloes will be sacrificed in front of tens of thousands of mourners. Just counting relatives, Sambolinggi said, there will be 100,000 guests, many of whom will journey hundreds of miles. ==

“Family members have also dickered over whether the body will be buried next to the late king's father or mother, Sambolinggi added. Until the plans are settled, and relatives bid their final farewells, the late king, wrapped in cloth and encased in a wooden coffin, lies in repose just up the stairs from his youngest son's private museum of old spears, beaded dresses and other tribal artifacts. Sambolinggi regularly talks to his father, not in a way anyone else could hear, he said, but silently, from his heart. "For the past five years, he's been with us, sleeping upstairs," Sambolinggi said. "We still prepare his place at the dining table. And for instance, if we go to the capital city, we have a big feast, and we save some for him." ==

Preparing the Body of a Dead Toraja King Be Buried

Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, When the king died, in the normal sense of the word, his son called in an undertaker to make a mummy of him the old-fashioned way, without embalming fluid. The mortician died soon after, taking some of the secrets of Torajan mummification to his grave. But Sambolinggi watched him closely at work, and his memory preserves a vivid remnant of a centuries-old ritual. His father's corpse was cleansed with tea mixed with warm water and soap chopped into little pieces. Then the mortician poured about three bottles of vinegar, a little at a time, down the late king's throat. [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

“A small rope, used to tie a water buffalo by the nose, was retrieved from the ground where it had fallen in the animal's pen, cut into pieces and sprinkled on the body so that the tether could go with him to heaven. Then the corpse was wrapped in cloth, tightly bound in three places with coconut fronds. "After that, there was a little magic," Sambolinggi said. "The man who performed the ritual put a black stone pot, like a cooking pot, in the corner of the room. He told us not to touch it, and warned that if we did, the body would be damaged." ==

“A week later, Sambolinggi smelled a foul odor, which he suspected was wafting from his father's body. He quickly summoned the undertaker. "He checked and said that it was not the body that smelled bad, but there were many other dead persons' spirits around," Sambolinggi recalled. "He asked me if I'd heard any banging sounds on the door lately, and I said yes. " Spirits had come knocking, the mortician said, and his magic chased them off. The smell, and apparently the ghosts, never came back. Any lingering doubts Sambolinggi had about the wisdom of Torajan tradition vanished with them. ==

Toraja Walking Dead

Dave Marks wrote in Research Notes, World Beliefs: “The real-life story of the “walking dead” of Tana Toraja, Indonesia began with some misinformation regarding a photo that had been circulating around the internet for quite some time. The photo was described as a “Rolang” – which literally means “the corpse who stands up.” It was suggested that it was a photo taken of a funeral ritual in which the body of a dead person was mystically revived (by a shaman), so that they may walk on their own steam, back to their place of birth, and be “buried” there. [Source: Dave Marks in Research Notes, World Beliefs +++]

“Additionally, information included that the walking corpse was also accompanied by a handler who would generally use specific paths where there would be little traffic. These paths were generally more or less straight– and the walking corpse would walk purposefully on his or her course. Should he or she and the handler encounter another person on their way, the person was to make no effort to touch or communicate with the deceased. Should that occur, the body was said to collapse (or disappear). +++

“All of this, of course sounds pretty incredible, and once again, from any scientific point of view, pretty unbelievable. As it turns out, I was able to uncover the truth behind this belief. My investigation uncovered another funeral ritual performed on the dead by the Toraja people that makes a lot more sense, and I have also managed to track down a video of this ritual. +++

Explanation for Toraja Walking Dead

Dave Marks wrote in Research Notes, World Beliefs: “When the people of Tana Toraja die, they are often placed in boxes which are then placed in tombs carved out of solid rock, high up on limestone cliffs. So they are, in fact, generally not buried in the ground. This is what makes the following ceremony possible. The ceremony is called Ma ‘Nene’ (The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses). Out of tremendous respect for their dead and afterlife, the boxes are removed from the tombs (every few years), the corpses are removed from the boxes, and are cleaned and re-dressed. Damaged boxes are fixed or replaced. [Source: Dave Marks in Research Notes, World Beliefs +++]

In Toraja society, death rituals (funerals) are more important than life rituals (births and marriages). So the funeral ritual is a most elaborate and expensive event than even a marriage. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive the funeral. And in this animism belief system, only nobles have the inherent right to have an extensive death feast (which can include the ritual slaughter of many buffaloes). As this ritual is so important, it can take, in some cases months or even years for the family to save enough funds to pay for the elaborate ritual. The deceased are wrapped in cloth and preserved (in their “sleeping stage”), usually using formalin (essentially formaldehyde)– though a variation of leaves was used historically. When the dead are eventually laid to rest, they are placed in a cave or in a carved stone grave, or hung on a cliff or mountain/hill. Why a cliff Because that’s where the Hyang is found (more on the Hyang below). Suffice it to say, it is a powerful supernatural spirit. +++

“This brings us to the spiritual connection of the “walking dead.” First, let me say that I in no way believe that there are corpses walking between villages and towns in Tana Toraja. Sorry– that might disappoint some people, but ZRS is not a sensationalist organization– we do aim to investigate and educate. I do believe that the “walking dead of Tana Toraja” is a melding of two traditions or rituals. It’s easy to see how this could happen when a few language and cultural barriers are crossed. +++

“The actual transportation of the deceased between villages, etc, along what can be described as “corpse roads” (in English tradition — also explained further down) to their places of birth (as is Tana Toraja tradition) was likely engulfed in spirituality and superstition. I can not imagine it would make sense to carry the dead upright (as if they were standing) and made to appear to walk. Horizontal transportation makes the most sense. I could see that touching the dead could cause consternation for the superstitious people though. +++

The actual “walking” part of the dead appears to happen during the ritual of Ma ‘Nene’ (The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses). Out of respect for their dead and afterlife, the boxes containing the dead are removed from the tombs (every few years), the corpses are removed from the boxes, and are cleaned and re-dressed. Damaged boxes are fixed or replaced. In videos I have seen the dead seem to be exhibited and paraded around, as if they they were alive.

Tau Taus

Positioned on the balconies of the cliffside graves where Toraja are buried are spooky-looking life-size wooden statues called tau taus which are fully clothed and have human hair. Effigies of the deceased who are buried behind them, they are usually carved from jackfruit wood and every effort is made to make sure the physical details resemble those of the deceased.

Tau taus are respected by both Christian and animist Toraja. Women tau taus have pierced ears and men have turbans. Every couple of years after person dies the clothes on the tau taus are changed and children are sent to the cliffside graves to dust of the skulls and other remains of dead relatives. ♂

The custom of making tau taus is thought to have originated in the late 19th century. In the old days they were quite basic and primitive -looking and stylized. Now some are quite realistic looking. The ones made today can be quite elaborate and detailed. They are made with great skill and capture the dead as they liked when the died rather than when they were wee young. Not so many tau taus are visible. In recent years many have been stolen and found there way to the international art market. Today many Toraja keep them in their homes.

Describing the resting place of Toraja royals before a king was buried there, Paul Watson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “His father's remains probably will be sealed in a royal tomb carved out of the nearby Suaya cliff, where his brother-in-law's coffin was laid to rest, just as dozens of royals have been through the centuries, including the late king's ancestors. Like wide-eyed marionettes gathering dust on a puppeteer's shelf, life-size wooden dolls representing the dead stare down from balconies outside their tombs. Relatives look up to greet them when they bring offerings, such as cigarettes, palm wine or bottled water, that they set at the base of the cliff. [Source: Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2008 ==]

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN and various books, websites and other publications.

Last updated June 2015

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