Tuesday, December 07, 2004

“The Day of a Thousand Pictures” Sulawesi Travel's #4

Modeling sarong at dawn overlooking terraced rice fields.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Terraced Rice Fields

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Fancy Buffalo

Not quite a thousand and actually two days worth of digital capturing ended yesterday evening. We are in Toraja land and have experienced a variety of things that are truly remarkable. I started snapping with the water buffalo, entered “the zone” when we joined in the funeral festivities and stayed there for the remainder of the day and into the next morning and afternoon and evening... thus the “thousand” pictures. Everywhere you look in Toraja Land another “got to get a picture of that” is staring you in the face.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Custom Trimming a Cows Head

We began our day at the pasar which was rather typical, if such a word can ever be used to adequately characterize a third world market. Old women with red stained mouths and sun wizened, life in the fields faces munch down the profit margin from their stash of betel nuts for sale. A mom and child casually watch as the butcher “chops to order” the recently peeled cow’s head to the specifications requested by the woman for some evening culinary concoction. All this among the more mundane sales of Cleveland Indian World Champion t- shirts, Levii jean jackets, eels writhing about in buckets, hockey puck shaped disks of tobacco, pungent fish oil balls ... Whatever you want (or don’t want or don’t even want to imagine someone else wanting) is available for a price. But the real action was going on across the street at the “live” market where stately water buffalo lazed about and trussed up, stressed out pigs squealed away while cool talking, clove smoking Torajan men negotiated their eventual fate.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Trussed Up Pigs

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