Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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MAR 1940
27

Kulawi, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, March 27, 1940

Hills and fields of Kulawi
Hills and fields of Kulawi, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith
House in Kulawi
House in Kulawi, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith
Thatched structure in Kulawi
Thatched structure in Kulawi, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
We called early on Mr. Esser, a Dutchman who is making a study of the people and whom we had heard about. He spoke English quite well and gave us much advice and information. He said that we had come at a bad time for festivals and ceremonies here and in the Bada country as this was the rice harvesting season.

He said that last month there had been a ceremony at which 26 carabao had been killed by slow torture with spears. He said that the ceremonies needed long preparation and that he did not think the festivals had ever been photographed. He suggested a trip on horseback through to Masamba and from there to Makassar by car.

My notes on the conversation were as follows:

Kulawi to Gimpu 30 km (car) (end of the road).  Inn there for the night. Gimpu to Moa (just beyond Bakoe) 22 km (horse). Spend night. No food or beds.

Moa to Gintu 31 km (horse). Spend night. The Tuana Mahile lived at Gintu.

Gintu to Dondowa 40 km (horse). Stay at a house.

Dondowa to highest point of trail beyond Leboni. 33 km (horse). Very cold. Spend night.

Highest point through forest to Masapi 29 km (horse). Spend night.

Masapi to Masamba 25 km (horse).

Masamba to Palopo (2 hrs in car). From there to Maccassar the road was good.

He said that horses could be obtained at Kulawi and at Bada.

This provided for 7 days on horseback. We must consider whether to try this extremely interesting trip or take the steamer at Dongala . The difficulties to it are the coming rains and the considerable amount of baggage we have with us, about 250 lbs. Perhaps a telegram from David, which will be relayed here if it comes, will settle the question.

We decided to spend the day developing our 10 rolls of film. We did this successfully, without any running water, and used up the entire supply. Wongso helped by carrying the water and by five o’clock the job was done and we were again up to date on developing, having taken and developed about 260 pictures since leaving the Cheng Ho, not including color views and movies.

Hugo told me that he could make a palm thatched shelter for one person in about an hour, and that it was quite rain proof. I suggested he build one and I would take a movie of the operation. He did not favor the idea.

Mr. Esser came in the evening and we discussed the prospective trip, which Hugo was not in favor of going through to Makassar overland but of going into the Bada country and returning here, then taking the steamer at Donggala. Mr. Esser then told us something about the people and their customs. At a death the body was kept in the house for 4 months and it was customary for the wife to sleep beside it. During this time the body was wrapped and dressed in fine clothes. Later it was buried. He said that the women were apt to take the initiative in courtship, and they had everything to gain since the man had to pay at least 12 caraboa anyway.

 

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