The Center for International Collections at Alden Library is displaying a collection of model Balobaloang boats in the Southeast Asia Collection located on the first floor. To celebrate the opening of the collection, a reception will be held on Thursday, April 18 from 4 – 6 p.m.
Balobaloang is a small island in the Sabalana Archipelago, located approximately 112 nautical miles southwest of Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. This island is home to around 600 people of Bugis ethnicity, one of over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia.
Dr. Gene Ammarell, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Ohio University, has worked with the people of Balobaloang for over two decades, studying many aspects of this seafaring society. The boats on display in the Southeast Asia Collection are representative of the wooden fishing and cargo vessels used by the people of Balobaloang since they first settled the island in the late 19th century. These models were created by the late Pak Haji Sima Daeng Pasolong. The display also includes information on the livelihoods and traditions of the Bugis of Balobaloang, depicting the unique life ways of the people of this small island society.
Students, staff and community members are all invited to the reception where Dr. Ammarell will share some of his experiences working on the island of Balobaloang. In addition, there will be a traditional Bugis music performance by Abdul Hakim, a student in the Southeast Asian Studies Program and native of South Sulawesi.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Gene Ammarell.