Kabupaten Sigi

Beyond the Local Wisdom of Lindu Enclave

Posted in 07 Oct 2016 by Ace Saraswati

“Belo Hanjagai, Geho Hapaka Belo…“
“Belo Rapovia, Belo Rakava…”

In the district of Lindu, Sigi Regency, Central Sulawesi, there is a lake named Lindu. It is so big that there are seven villages surrounding it—Puro’o, Langko, Tomado, Anca, Bamba, Paku, and Kanavu. The area is known as Lindu Enclave and the tribe of people inhabiting it is called Lindu as well. In order to get there, you need to gear up because it is quite remote.

There are two ways to reach this place. First, by walking through mountainous road for about five hours. Second, by motorbike. You need a special kind of bike, of course, because the road is hilly and it is only enough for two walking people. Local people modify their motorcycles so that it can be used to transport daily goods. Before using the machine, they made use of horses. The most interesting thing is there is no cellphone signal here. People get electricity from generator operating from 18.00 WITA-23.00 WITA and communicate by radio communication system. You can find the area at UTM 0172664-9851090.

Not a long time ago this area was isolated because of landslide. To transport logistics, the volunteer flew helicopter.

Lansekap Danau Lindu

Speaking of culture, this enclave is anthropologically rich. People of Lindu speak the language of Lindu, unlike most of the area of Central Sulawesi that talk in Kaili. Though both languages sound alike, they are quite different. My ears could only catch several vocabularies of Lindu, such as ‘mangande’ for to eat, ‘manginu’ for to drink, ‘komiu’ for addressing ‘you’ politely, ‘yaku’ which means ‘I,’ and ‘tabe’ for ‘excuse me.’

One of the local wisdoms having been preserved throughout history by people of Lindu is ‘makan adat’ or ‘traditional banquet’ which is usually held on special occasions, such as the inauguration ceremony of lobo (traditional house of Lindu), pertemuan adat (traditional meeting), traditional healing ceremony, and so on. The rule is if one starts eating before the elders, one must pay fine, which is a water-buffalo. One also has to pay fine in the form of water-buffalo if one wounds other’s pets or livestocks, steals other’s produces such as manggo, durian, or cacao. You can imagine what is going to happen if you hit a group of chicken and steal other people’s manggo at the same time!

Local people also hold traditional dance party. Usually held in wedding ceremony, birthday, or other celebrations, the dance party becomes a place to hangout, get acquaintained with new people, and, for the youngsters, to find partner.

The most popular dance is dero, which is dancing together while holding hands and forming a circle. The moves are simple. All you have to do is moving your arms and hips, stepping your legs to the right, then left—following the music. People do the dance at night, from earlier to the small hours or even until dawn. Dero can not be done by only several people—it has to be joined by the whole village. So the circle could be as wide as a football field. The last dero I joined was so big that in order to fit in the football field people have to be divided into smaller circles within the big one.

Other than dero, there is another dance party called rego, which is kind of different. This dance is done in pairs and the music comes from live performance. What makes it unique is only special people could play music for the dance. People of Lindu have two special persons who have to be present in the dance of Rego—Ibu Tanda Bunga and Pak Kunci Rantai.

Enough with the sociocultural. Now I am going to tell you about its natural wonders and the local wisdoms that preserve them.

Lake Lindu is a fresh-water lake situated 1000 masl, on which we can find so many parrot fish (Oreochromis niloticus), eel or sugili or Aguilla sp that is so expensive in Japan. All of the fish were preserved by traditional rule, which is not to caught the fish to sell. People are only allowed to fish to fulfill their daily needs so they don’t need to go downhill to buy groceries too often. During my one-week stay here, all I ate was processed parrot-fish, either day or night. Sometimes the diet was intervalled with vegetables such as fern gathered from the woods.

Ikan Nila merupakan komoditas utama Danau Lindu

Sulawesi serpent eagle, elang bondol (brahminy-kite eagle), and alo bird are part of the daily scene here. Seeing them is as natural as spotting sparrow in Surabaya. I also got to see the endemic Tarsius sp or the ghost monkey which has been appointed as the icon of Sulawesi. I was fortunate because this tiny primate is a noctural and quite hard to encounter. I also spotted leda tree, a camouflage-patterned tree from euchalyptus family whose diameter can reach 5 meters.

Euchalyptus atau biasa disebut dengan Pohon Leda dapat tumbuh tinggi lebih dari 5 meter

Euchalyptus which is commonly known as Pohon Leda can grow to more than 5 m high.

This place is accessible enough though. To get to Lore Lindu National Park, you can go by public car which runs from Palu to Kulavi (IDR 25,000) and stop at Sadaunta junction in Namo village in the District of Kulavi. From here, you can either walk or hire an ojek (IDR 50,000-60,000) one way (2013). For lodging, you can stay at the national park’s rather-expensive cottage or resort situated in the village of Tomado, or at local people’s house. To minimize your budget, you can tag along with the locals who are going to fish on the lake—you just have to pay for the fuel—to get to the island of Boola, where megalithic sites and the remnants of ancient kingdom and tomb are preserved.


This article is written by Ace Saraswati and previously published on her personal blog. Translated by telusuRI.

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