Tanah Beru of Bulukuma South Sulawesi – Oldest Location of Phinisi Boat Building

Tana Beru – The phinisi boat bulding location.
Tana Beru is located 176 kilometres from Makassar City or 23 kilometres from Bulukumba District. Tana Beru is widely known as a place for making traditional Phini boat. In the dry dock we can see a great amount of sailing boat are being made in various size. Phinisi boat (Perahu Phinisi) is well-known as a means of traditional sea transportation amongst the Bugis people since many centuries ago.

According to the manuscript of Lontara I Babad La Lagaligo, the phinisis boat has already existed since around the 14th century. Phinisi Nusantara, one of the greatest sailing boats that have sailed to Pacific Ocean, the phinisi nusantara was also made in there and the other great famous sailing boat is “Ammana Gappa” which has sailed to Madagaskar.

The pieces of his ship were cast onto three territories of Bulukumba Regency: Ara, Tana Beru, and Lemo-lemo. The local people in those territories used the pieces to make a new luxurious ship named Perahu Pinisi.

Being in the Centre of Phinisi Boat Industry in Tana Beru, visitors will be amazed by the skill of the artisans for making the boat. They can make a very strong and luxurious ship only based on the experience and knowledge passed down from their ancestors, without using picture or even written sources.

The making process of Phinisi Boat is some what unique, because it mixes technical skill with magical power. The first stage starts with deciding the good day to collect the wood. It is usually the 5th and the 7th day of the coming month.

Number five symbolizes naparilimai dalle‘na, which means bless is in the hand, while seven symbolizes natujuangngi dalle‘na, which means always having blessing. The next stage is chopping down the tree, drying the wood and cutting it off. Then the wood will be made a ship by putting keel, board, boat caulking, and ship‘s mast. The last stage is launching the ship to the sea.

Every stage requires certain traditional ceremony. Before the boat is launched to the sea, maccera lopi (purify the ship) ceremony must be held, marked with the animal sacrifice. If the the boat weights less than 100 tons, the sacrifice is a goat. And if the weight is more than 100 ton, the sacrifice is a cow.

Source : http://www.sulawesi-experience.com/bulukumba-tourism.html

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