Friday, November 17, 2006

Writing wood and water

Meant to type "Boise, ID" in the Yahoo! weather search, but somehow received the weather report for Amurang, Indonesia instead, where it's 87 degrees with scattered thunderstorms, feels like 93 with 63% humidity.

Results of cyber-traveling around Amurang, North Sulawesi:

What on earth are you doing staying in Amurang anyway? There's nothing to do here!! However, if you must, this is your only choice of hotel. The room was large and comfortable enough, but not great value for money. The staff spoke no English, so make sure you can speak Indonesian. They are clearly not used to having Western travellers staying. There are a couple of pleasant little warungs and cafes in the vicinity for meals, though most things are closed on Sundays. -- from a traveler's blog

The Amurang fishermen of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, believe that the blood of childbirth will attract the much-feared Pontianak, the spirit of a woman who ...

North Sulawesi or Sulawesi Utara is a province of Indonesia. It is on the island of Sulawesi. The region is predominantly Christian (95%) with a Hindu minority, which is an exception in this largely Muslim country.

Sulawesi has been plagued by Muslim-Christian violence in recent years. The most serious violence occurred between 1998 and 2001 on the once peaceful island.

Sulawesi sprawls in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago, its bizarre outline resembling a 1000–kilometre letter "K". Nowhere in Sulawesi is much more than 100km from the sea...

Indonesia is almost unimaginably vast. There are 18,110 Islands, 108,000 Km of beaches, and more than 400 volcanoes in Indonesia. Devastating earthquake in May 2006...

Sulawesi is renowned for the intriguing culture of the Torajans. Torajan indigenous belief is polytheistic animism, called aluk, or the law. In Torajan myth, the ancestors of Torajan people came down from heaven by using a stair.

The Torajan language is only spoken; no writing system exists. To express social and religious concepts, Torajans carve wood, calling it Pa'ssura (or The Writing). The carvings' motifs are usually taken from animals and plants. For example, water plants and animals, such as crabs, tadpoles and water weeds, symbolize fertility.

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