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
21

Makale, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Sunday, April 21, 1940

We started out early with the car and drove to Rantepao. From there we took an unfinished road which Hugo heard of from the Assistant Res. at Palopo. This road went through Toraja country, and finally reached an altitude of about 5000 ft. at the native village of Tondaklitak. The morning was distinctly cold and I had to wear my camel’s hair coat while Hugo could only hope that the sun would come out and warm him up. The scenery was extraordinary as we mounted higher and higher, passing many very, very extensive, very green, rice fields, also many of the characteristic Toraja buildings. At about the highest altitude there were some of the rock tombs and we got out to examine and photograph them. In one of the square openings there was a life size image sitting and looking out, apparently intended to represent the dead man. We felt very glad to have made this trip as the whole way was spectacular and beautiful.

We stopped three times to examine groups of buildings, elaborately decorated. The natives were shy but in no way hostile. Most of the women wore nothing above the waist.

When we got back to Rantepao we took still another road and almost broke through one of the bamboo bridges. We had to go back the same way and cross it again. Everyone got out but the driver and he went at it full speed just getting across as the hind wheel broke through the same opening again.

When we got back to Makale at about 2 there came this greatest surprise of the whole trip. Anne and Marian were at the pasang grahan. They were just as surprised to see us, as they had come here from Macassar with no idea that we were here. The Cheng Ho arrived in Macassar yesterday and David was there at the Empress Hotel. Anne composed a telegram to David urging him to come up here. We learned that both Fant and Daan had left the expedition and Anne has secured a Dutch captain in place of Fant. Kilkenney and Fenton are both aboard.

My month’s trip really came to an end when we met Anne and Marian. I think Hugo and I were both sorry. It has been a grand trip, and Hugo has been the best kind of companion. I have become quite fond of him.

Anne and Marian are here in a small open car with a chauffeur who spoke English. They went out in the afternoon for a drive and to see some of the tombs.

I did not go in to dinner but heated up some tomato soup in my room. Hugo did and afterward told me that our plan of eating canned things was much better that what he had here at dinner. We both went to bed early.

Toraja house

Toraja house near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Toraja house

Toraja house near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed in 2007 by laurent KB.
Toraja houses

Toraja houses near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Toraja houses

Toraja houses near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed in 1994 by cercamon.
Toraja burial site

Toraja burial site near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Toraja burial site

Toraja burial site near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed in 2009 by pyjama.
Toraja rice terraces

Toraja rice terraces Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Toraja rice terraces

Toraja rice terraces near Rantepao, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed in 2007 by Denni Schnapp.

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