Blognotes from a photographer life...

Mar 28, 2010


Finally searching what is left of Bugis seafarers culture in Indonesia is making a twenty years old idea coming true. This people traveled the whole Indonesian archipelago and as far as India and Australia on sail ships they built (and still build) without a single piece of iron. They traded and exchanged goods, and from their home in South Sulawesi created colonies in many other islands. Few are left carrying goods on their traditional vessels (no more sails, engines have replaced them), and for a few years more will keep moving east, where large cargoes have no reason to go. Then they'll be a thing of the past, like many other cultures.. I first heard of them when I was shooting for my book on Indonesia, in 1990, and few things have changed since then.
Weddings, also among simple couples, certainly haven't. First the man has to ask to buy the wife from her family, bargaining as much as possible, to finally achieve happiness. Then the ceremony -lots of food and drinks- makes the whole village happy. Not the bride though: she's not allowed to smile during the wedding day as this would bring bad fortune to the marriage. Well, the husband was not smiling either, maybe because he was still thinking to the amount of money that had coasted him to start a family... My wishes to them is "keep your culture and customs alive".. happiness will come from your simple life, hopefully..

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