A taste of East Indonesia; the sea and the BAJO people

A taste of East Indonesia, the sea and the BAJO people

In 1990 I had the opportunity to join my husband on a travel to the easte rn Indonesian islands of Ternate , Bacan and surroundings.


It was for me an eyeopening experience. The beauty of the islands, its shoreline and traveling in a “longboat”  (which wasn’t   really long at all) powered by 2 yamaha engines carrying four persons of our group plus the boatsman.

The boatsman by the way was also a manadonese coming from Amurang.

I made a lot of pictures but could not find any except these 5 or 6 ones.

Business transactions at sea?
Business transactions at sea?

I cannot recollect about what they were doing at “mid sea”. But travelling at sea was apparently more easy than overland. And therefore trading at sea was apparent.

Fish trading
This is a boat like ours, a so called LONGBOAT.

I remember that the bigger boat on the left was called a “collector”

Fish for caught at Molibagu area
Fish for domestic consumption caught at Molibagu area
Shipbuilding by the Bajo's
Shipbuilding by the Bajo’s

Without any technical drawing, but all by feeling and experience the Bajo tribe people make ships for local transportation.

A boat  in construction
A boat in construction

The Bajo’s originate from southern Sulawesi. It is said that they migrated to find more freedom than they might have got in their home towns. The Bajo’s have build communities all over the shores in eastern Indonesia.

Another boat in the making by the Bajo's
Another boat in the making by the Bajo’s

The housing of the Bajo people are mostly as in the picture directly over the sea.

This is a boat for local transportation
This is a boat for local transportation

These are, of course also produced by Bajo people.

Logs unsuitable for export
Logs unsuitable for export

In Java or Bali these logs might find a way to handicraft craftsmen, but in the eastern part of Indonesia, except for Papua the woodworking for souvenirs is not very much developed. And for use in the production of boat/ships specific types of wood may only be used.

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