Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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APR 1940
2

Kulawi, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Tuesday, April 2, 1940

Mr Esser came up early to say that he could not go with us today on a horseback ride.

The day was beautifully clear and cool after the rain and we started at 8 on two horses for Lonja, a native town on the Mioe River, said to be 14 km distant.

I was interested in taking this trip for several reasons. It gave me an opportunity to judge the difficulty of the trails here, size up the horses and saddles, and also see how Hugo and I would compare in soreness after a 28 km horseback trip.

The trail was steep and slippery in parts after the rain and Hugo said it was more rough than any he had seen. It was not, however, difficult as trails are rated in the U.S. West.

We climbed to a high ridge and west through a native village, then along a beautiful wooded hillside, so shaded that it was quite dark in places, then a gradual and more open descent to Lonja on the river far below.

I had much trouble with my saddle, the main difficulty being that the left stirrup and strap became detached and fell off constantly. We finally tied it together with a piece of Hugo’s lacing from his leggings.

The saddle was very insecure and would work forward on a descent until it was almost on the horse’s neck. These difficulties necessitated frequent stop for repairs and adjustments.

We passed several men natives rather picturesquely dressed and carrying spears. They did not greet us or look at us, either through hostility or shyness, probably the latter.

Some of the women smiled at us.

The town was hot and rather malarial looking with few natives in residence. The ones we saw did not look very healthy. Some women were hoeing a rice field, all very heavily dressed with long heavy skirts.

Esser wished to come to this town to study the language and it was through him we heard about it.

After looking the town over we decided to go back and have lunch on the high, cool trail. We rode for an hour and had lunch by a high, shaded stream. Three natives went with us as helpers and guides. Hugo’s horse looked rather sick and dejected and one of the natives gave him a peculiar treatment which I have not seen before. He first pulled the horses tail, and then bent each front leg, doubling it up backward and then stretching it forward.

I had some tomato sauce left in a can and passed it to the three natives. They looked at it with suspicion and would not touch it, possibly because they were Muslims.

We were back at about 3, the riding time back being 2 hrs and 5 min. This suggested that the distance to the town could not be more than 12 km from Kulawi.

Hugo felt rather stiff and sore and said he preferred walking to riding. I did not feel at all sore and the day seemed to me one of rather mild activity.

I saw Mr. Esser later and he told me some interesting things about the natives. He said that Islam was gaining and that it was encouraged through the resident at Menado who was a Jew. He thought the Muslims were inclined to thievery.

A car for us arrived from Palu. It will take us on a visit to Gimpu tomorrow.

Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed in 2007 by Temboo.
Hugo Curran with guides and horses
Hugo Curran with guides and horses, Central Sulawesi. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Edward
Edward Beckwith with guides and horses, Central Sulawesi. Photographed by Hugo Curran.
Houses in Lonja, Sulawesi
Houses in Lonja, Sulawesi. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.

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