By Nigel Barley
In 1985, Dr. Nigel Barley, senior anthropologist on the British Museum, trigger for the really unknown Indonesian island of Sulawesi looking for the Toraja, a humans whose tradition contains headhunting, transvestite monks and the bloodbath of buffalo. In witty and finely crafted prose, Barley deals attention-grabbing perception into the folks of Sulawesi and he recounts the story of the 4 Torajan woodcarvers he invitations again to London to build an Indonesian rice barn within the British Museum. formerly released as "Not a damaging Sport".
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Extra resources for Toraja: Misadventures of an Anthropologist in Sulawesi, Indonesia
Without notice we got here to a halt on a mournful plateau coated with scrubby grass. A goat, munching on it, looked us with detachment. The engine used to be minimize and the area was once silent except the sound of working water and the scrunching of the goat. a tender guy climbed out and moved in the direction of a far off condominium – no longer a noble constitution of carved wooden yet a shack of haphazard visual appeal. ladies got here out and stood crying in determined wailings that left them gasping for breath. by surprise, the younger guy started to sob, his head falling on his chest and large, rainy tears streaming down his cheeks. different males climbed out and hugged one another, crying within the mist. ‘He cries simply because his good friend is dead,’ defined the motive force. It appeared ferry had capsized among Malaysia and Sumatra. some of the sailors were Torajan, for the world is one of these difficult position to make a residing that it truly is one of many few landlocked mountain areas to supply seamen in huge numbers. Many were drowned. the driving force and Bambang acquired out too and clung wetly including the others within the rain. Embarrassed, I descended and stood to at least one aspect, now not wishing to interfere on their grief, staring out over the sodden panorama as though engrossed in contemplation of the goat. An arm reached out, groped blindly at my shoulder and, seizing me via the elbow, pulled me into their global of fellow-feeling. i started to cry too. i've got no notion how lengthy we stood sobbing within the rain. it may possibly were for ten mins, in all likelihood for much longer. after we back to the bus, we have been all one way or the other shriven and chastened, extra like brothers are meant to be yet by no means relatively are. the driving force now kept away from the potholes and blew not more cigarette smoke in Bambang’s eyes. The dialog grew to become to the cruel lifetime of the seafarer, how he returns from an extended voyage and is stripped of his gains through rapacious family members. Slowly, we started to snicker back. rising at the summit of a hill, we observed town of Pangala’ stretched out under us. it should take one other 30 minutes of twisting and turning down the slope ahead of we might succeed in it. It was once one other wood shanty city, awash with schoolchildren. ‘When I got here down the mountain to visit tuition here,’ acknowledged Johannis, ‘I used to need to hold a sack of rice twelve kilometres so i might have adequate to devour. i used to be robust then. After such a lot of years on the town, i'm susceptible. ’ We disembarked into one other espresso store as another rain squall swept down upon us. once more humans got here from the kitchen to examine this unusual guy – unusual no longer simply because i used to be white yet simply because I had requested for espresso with out sugar. at the wall was once a condom displayed in a tumbler case like a trophy – a part of the family-planning crusade. We learnt, even though, that we have been in success. there has been a cement truck going up the line to Johannis’s village, wearing fabric for the recent center college. we'd be able to purchase a boost. Bambang wandered away yet some of the different passengers transferred to the truck – together with the coconuts. Ropes have been strung the size of the again and we insinuated ourselves into them or draped ourselves over them after the style of a flop-house.