WWF Coral Triangle Blog  
© WWF-Canon / Jürgen Freund

People of Wakatobi

Share this page
 

2 – 12 November 2009

To many divers around the world, Wakatobi South Sulawesi is an underwater destination. Wakatobi, which is short for its many islands, stands for Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia & Binongko. We went to all these islands and beyond with WWF Indonesia and its partner agency TNC. We didn’t do much diving here. Rather, we spent of our days documenting the most interesting people who live here.

The Bajo village (sea gypsies otherwise known as Bajau in Sabah or Badjao in the Philippines) of Sama Bahari, Kaledupa had a visiting trader boat from far away Roti Island selling liquid palm sugar or gula air. Roti is the southermost inhabited island of Indonesia in East Nusa Tenggara Timor.

Roti Island palm sugar trader swamped by Bajo women and children. Their canoes parked side by side like in their own version of "shopping"Roti Island palm sugar trader swamped by Bajo women and children. Their canoes parked side by side like in their own version of "shopping" For years the Bajo people bought liquid palm sugar from sugar traders coming from far away West TimorFor possibly hundreds of years, the Bajo people bought liquid palm sugar from traders coming from Roti, far away West Timor

In Tomia, we visited a traditional jewelry repair craftsman. The tools of his trade had the patina of age and careful use.

A tiny piece of gold fired to melting pointA tiny piece of gold fired to melting point Traditional foot pedal pumping fueled air to torch a tiny piece of gold Traditional foot pedal pumping fueled air to torch a tiny piece of gold Gold, how much do you weigh?Gold, how much do you weigh?

The jewelry he was hired to repair were from people who cared for their precious possessions. Quite a refreshing contrast from the new disposable world we live in — I think I prefer the ways of the old world.

The gold ring was so thin from wear. Kind of symbolic reminder of how the hands take on the pressure of laborThe gold ring was so thin from wear. Kind of symbolic reminder of how the hands take on the pressures of labor

Wakatobi was also known as Tukang Besi Islands. Tukang besi means blacksmith and in Binongko, we visited renowned machete makers forging spring steel from car springs into sharp knives that is guaranteed to cut.

A three-man team, this man on a high pedestal makes air to fire spring steelA three-man team, this man on a high pedestal makes air to fire spring steel Steel hammering steel. These two men adds to the audio atmosphere of Binongko that can be heard from far awaySteel hammering steel. These two men add to the audio atmosphere of Binongko that can be heard from far away A blacksmiths' hands getting a wash from a poor old tridacna basinA blacksmith's hands getting a wash from a poor old tridacna basin For 50,000 Rupiah, one of these is going  home with us to Australia. Like we need another 2 kilograms, right?For 50,000 Rupiah or $5, one of these is going home with us to Australia. Like we need another 2 kilograms, right?

Related posts


Comments


  • dewi

    great great pictures.. as always!

    thank you for showing the world of another angel of Wakatobi: the people.
    many think only of the underwater beauty and disregard the rest, that includes some of the local government officials I’d assume..
    I will tell Veda to share this link with the Regent, hope it will give him ideas that living with the people of Wakatobi is also a challenging experience..

  • http://wakatobipatunoresort.com/roombooking Wakatobi Patuno

    Wow, fantastic weblog layout! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy. The full look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content material!

  • http://wakatobipatunoresort.com/blog.php Wakatobi Patuno Resort

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site. He was once entirely right. This submit actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks!