Indonesia, Sangihe Island & Sangihe Festival 2015

 

Double click thumbnails to maximize.

 

 

Bye Bye

Philippines. Philip shows the tattered courtesy flag, a casualty of beating our way out of the Davao Gulf. The Sarangani Islands are astern.

Welcome to Tahuna

and its rickety dinghy dock.

Prayer

time at the "green" mosque just ashore of the anchorage.

Sangihe

has produced nutmeg, mace and cloves for centuries. This scale has been used for a couple of those centuries...or maybe longer.

Old and New...

traditional garb doesn't preclude texting on a smart phone.

Ah, Indonesian

food. A bad photo but you can get the idea that Philip was anxious to get started eating.

Sangihe

is an island created by a volcanic eruption (or three!). As such, volcanic stone figures prominently in its art. This wash basin was at a modest restaurant in downtown Tahuna.

The Festive

festival logo

Sangihe Festival

We were welcomed and adorned with the traditional cap and sash.

Hundreds

of school kids in their finest lined the waterfront.

Anxious

to make a good impression

Endearing

high school students lined up to interview us in English - and to of course take photos

Seemingly

every kid was skilled at managing a smart phone...and snapping photos of the curious outsiders.

Even the Little

boys seemed interested in the proceedings on stage.

Each Dignitary

in turn gave a speech in bahasa Indonesia, including booming animated convocation.

The Bupati

or regent, his assistant, the governor and representatives of the military and church were all in attendance, wearing their best.

Mr and Mrs Batik

from Jakarta asked us to pose for photos and a video saying, "I love batik, you love batik, we love batik, we love Indonesia"!

These

two choirs competed with animated songs that brought many laughs to the officials. The jokes escaped us.

A "Brass"

band of Sangiheans from Papua shared their local culture. We are promised more...

Two Men

staged a dance of soldiers.

No one

was spared the attention of the budding journalists. Katrina had a group of girls who came back and presented her with a shell bracelet to match their own...she had become part of the clique.

Some

like Glenda from Helena, were even interviewed by a crew for television

Eva

from Sail Indonesia was enthusiastic about our visit

In the Evening

there was a cultural show where most of the women performers wore this traditional hairstyle

There

were many troupes of little boys performing dances that were reminiscent of marching soldiers

This Dance

was a dance that seemed to depict domesticity...little girls with purses and little boys outfitted for farming

The Elaborate

costumes of the children represented a lot of work by the communities

Each Group

brought a cadre of community support.

Drums

were a common theme.

This Princess

was in a dance with two young men who were competing for her hand.

These Dancers

from Jakarta performed an elaborate and varied dance.

We Just Loved

the pose that the dancers struck just before they began to dance.

Sunday

was somewhat leisurely with a relaxed trip up Pusunge Hill, Sangihe Island, Indonesia. Carina is bobbing on a mooring in Tahuna Bay below.

Monday's

tour stopped first at a mountain village where a man was making knives from scrap metal. His fire was fueled by bamboo.

He Was

a shy man who was quick to smile and seemingly confident in his skills.

Watching

the chunks of scrap turn from glowing metal to things of beauty was a lovely sight.

His Knives

were truly beautiful tools for (R to L) cutting coconut, trimming grass and use in the kitchen.

And Then

we visited a cottage industry of makers of bamboo furniture. These exquisite pieces were made with only bamboo, rattan and hand tools...hand saws and very sharp knives.

The Bamboo

was dried for at least two weeks and then carefully crafted by a team of men whose women stood by to offer food and refreshments to them.

A Complete

set of furniture for your living room will set you back about 60 dollars.

On the Trip

back, the bus stopped and we all piled out to take note of the palm used for making sagu, an important carbohydrate foodstuff

Even Our

police escorts got into showing the tourists the island. This man was goofing with us about another historic use of the sagu palm.

The Following

day we ventured into a neighborhood right in Tahuna, to visit a maker of bamboo instruments. Katrina of Highway Star was enjoying the walk down the lane...

The Modest

workshop of the master is bathed in the morning light.

Given the

diversity of instruments, a diverse selection of raw materials is required.

Jim of

Odyssey 9 was thrilled to get a bugle for his boat and was happy to pay the maker - who turned out to be reluctant to sell since his instruments are generally made under a band's commission.

Katrina

did a credible job, making the massive tuba erupt in a warm earthy sound

A Ride

through the countryside brought us to a ravine and bridge where we enjoyed the company of our hosts.

From There

onto a stony beach where we did a bit more visiting and beachcombing.

April (Araby), Leslie & Glenda (Helena)

pose on a nasty looking FAD to give you a sense of the size of these hazards to navigation. (JB called this particular one, a GAD or girl attracting device.)

Another Day

found is at the home of the last Raja of Sangihe who was killed by the occupying Japanese during WWII. His great grandson Andris (center, sitting) still owns the regal property but lives in a modest home across the stately, mango shaded lawn.

Knowing

we love culture, our guides arranged for us to take a ride in a bentor...or bento...different from its Philippine cousin, the habal-habal, because the passenger rides in front of the driver rather than aside.

Bataha Santiago's

grave was next. Also a Raja, he resisted the invading Dutch and was hanged in the 17th century.

The View

over Manganitu and distant Tahuna and Mount Awu from the graveside is spectacular.

A Bit

farther down the coast, we entered a village just about the time when the children were out of school for lunch

These

girls were very shy with us. It took a bit of coaxing before they'd pose for a photo.

Another Tour

found is traveling over miles and miles of mountain roads to a village in a protected bay where a future marina is proposed.

The Village

homes were modest...some of the only ones we saw made of traditional materials.

We Pushed

on to Salurang, a village clinging to a sandy spit where we were greeted by dignitaries and presented with a number of traditional dances.

And

the children sang sweetly...

These Boys

concentrated intensely on their carefully choreographed dance.

This

boy took his role in the dance seriously

Salurang Also

possesses beautiful beaches which are accessible only by boat. Our whole group and tour guides were ferried across for a day at the beach

For Comfort

some of us were presented with palm hats.

We settled

into a lovely shady spot and watched the world go by...in this case a Salurang villager returning from his garden using a coconut frond sail to propel his bangka

This

little girl was asked to pose by her Momma but tried to hide behind her fingers as she complied

Sandra

who works in tourism is from the village and jumped right into showing us how to make useful items from palm fronds. She is attempting to teach Leslie to make a katupat, a small woven basket which is filled with rice and boiled.

Katupat

are an environmentally-friendly way to cook and package rice...a staple food all over SE Asia

One Villager

whose name I regret not getting, was a master hat weaver. She made sure each of us left the beach with one of her creations. Claudie of Mystic Rhythms is showing her appreciation.

Philip

enjoying the light and breezy shade of these "once a day" hats.

Indonesians

love to laugh at each other and at visitors. I was casually trying to get a good photo of the elegant traditional packaging for sagu, when suddenly this man leaned back on his motorbike to get in the shot...and laughter erupted all around me. Next thing I know...

The Sagu Princess

(I call her) takes down one of her traditional hats and hurriedly arranges and photo for me. All the while laughter and chatter (in Bahasa Indonesia) continued around me. They made my day and I think, I helped to make theirs.

After the Festival Closed

it was time to push south, against the monsoon winds. Highway Star left after Carina but quickly sailed on by.