I flew from Jakarta to Makassar (South Sulawesi) for about 2 hours then I continued to fly another 45 minutes using smaller plane to Bau-Bau in Buton Island (Southeast Sulawesi). There are 2 airlines, Lion Air and Express Air, that serve 4 flights everyday from Makassar to Bau-bau. The flight ticket price is about Rp. 400.000-500.000.
It is easy to catch a taxi or cheap ojek (rental motorcycle) in front of Bau-Bau Airport. But it was easier for me because I was on duty to document another culture of a tribe in Lambusango Forest in Buton Island, we had had rented 4WD cars. Our goal is Kalende Tribe living in Wabou Settlement, Lawele Village in Lambusango Forest.
Lambusango is a large area of forest in the middle of Buton Island. Some organizations which concern in implementing and assessing conservation management programmes are here such as Operation Wallacea and Lawana Ecotone. That's why you can meet many foreign students doing research in the forest along the way to Lawele Village.
I invited Rini Yulianti to visit and live with the Kalende tribe. With the support of Kalende people, we would make a semi-documentary episode of Ethnic Runaway. This time, we would like to try something different; which was putting a little drama in the episode while still introduce the rich culture of the tribe. And it was fun to involve the villagers in our production!
Kalende Tribe is one of the community that still lives and depends on the forest. Not only that, the people also still keep the hereditary tradition from generation to generation. One thing I'd found really interesting was how important Rattan is for the tribe. You can easily find the rattan trees in the forest of Lambusango, and they are also the most important forestry products for the Kalendes. Almost everyday, the men get into the woods to collect aged enough rattan sticks and deliver them by the watershed. They brilliantly and efficiently deliver the heavy and very long bunches of rattan sticks by the watershed to some point of the river which they have already dammed. The meet their client at the dam to handover the rattan sticks and get their money.
How to Make Tombula? from Farli Sukanto on Vimeo.
Rini learned how to make Tombula, a Kalende's special rice cooked in a bamboo with a coconut milk. The rice was served with the shrimps. Do you notice that the water container and the plate are made of bamboo too?
We finished the shooting in 2 full days and after that we got back to Bau-Bau and enjoyed our 1 break-day. Though we knew they are many interesting places near Bau-Bau, we were to tired to travel. Most of the hours were spent sleeping in the hotel. But we spent our last morning to Nirwana Beach (30-45 minutes from Bau-Bau), a beach with beautiful views but not yet well-managed. They were huts for visitors and the water is opened for Scuba Diving (We met a group of divers and asked them at that moment). We enjoyed beers, wines and coconut while playing and release some stress. So what we got from the beach were only these crazy photos :
And this is the best shot :
I suggest a visit to Benteng Keraton Buton. It is a very large area of historical fort of Bone/Bugis Kingdom (a well-known kingdom for their sea rafting in Dutch-Colony era in Indonesia). It is said that there is monumental-historical mosque, castle, cave and graveyards inside Benteng Keraton Buton.