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【Travel】Togean Islands, INDONESIA

東南アジアの海の遊牧民、バジャウ族を訪ねる

By Itxaso Zuniga, Freelance photographer

写真 もりを使って漁をするバジャウの父子

 赤道直下の太平洋に浮かぶ、大小1万7000の島々から成り立つインドネシアは、およそ300の民族が住む多民族国家です。今回の旅の筆者は、ランの花のような特徴的な形をしたスラウェシ島付近のトギアン諸島に、バジャウ族を訪ねました。

 バジャウ族は、東南アジアの海を遊牧民のように移動して暮らしてきた民族で、筆者が書いているように、船こそが本来の家と言うほど、人生のほとんどを海上で過ごしてきたそうです。しかし東南アジアが植民地化されたり、海が国家ごとに分断されるなど、時代の変化を受け、インドネシアやフィリピン、マレーシアの各地に定住しているようです。

 しかし相変わらず文明からかけ離れた生活をしている様子で、筆者は、スラウェシ島のトミニ湾に浮かぶ島々に、2日かかって辿り着きました。どこまでも続く青い海の写真から、その静けさが伝わってきます。

 そこで筆者は、何週間も魚を追って漁をし、米と焼き魚を皆で分かち合って暮らす素朴な人々に出会いました。

 筆者を昼食に招いてくれた男性は、「たくさんの物は必要ないんです」と言います。日本に住み、大量生産・大量消費を享受している私たちには、胸に突き刺さる言葉です。(森)

 Mention the Celebes Sea and one can easily imagine deserted islands, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and, of course, coconut trees. But if you look closer, at Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, and then closer still at Togean archipelago in the Gulf of Tomini, you will find the Badjaos, the nomads of the sea.

 Modernity has encroached on the Badjaos, but they still spend their lives aboard their boats, sailing and fishing. In the past, they would marry at sea and families would sail for months. Nowadays, much has changed, but they still follow the currents and the fish for weeks, stopping only briefly at island villages to sell their catch and pick up supplies.

 It took us more than two days to reach the remote Togean islands after flying into Luwuk, the closest airstrip on Sulawesi. Our journey was just getting started. We used all means of conveyance possible, from local busses to taxis and motorcycles. We clambered aboard a rusty ferry for the last leg. But it was worth it - as soon as I saw the beautiful islands, I knew we were going to stay longer than intended.

 The ferry stopped near one of the islands and we transferred to a small canoe for a quick paddle to the beach. We chose Pulau Kadidiri, but it could have been any one of the 56 islands and islets that make up the archipelago - they're all gorgeous and pristine.

生活の糧はナマコにロブスター

 I walked to the beach the next morning just before sunrise. On the horizon, I could make out a couple of canoes making their way to shore. They were slightly bigger than the usual ones and sported a little hut on deck.

 When I caught up to them at the end of the beach, they already had a fire going and were unloading their catch.

 Bahar Humur, 35, was the friendliest. "We've been away from the village for a week," he explained, "but during high season we can travel for months, just following the currents to find the best fish." He held up a couple of lobsters as if to demonstrate their prowess.

 Humur made it sound easy - easier than it could possibly be - considering they sail in canoes with small motors, no GPS and no access to weather forecasts.

 That morning they'd caught reef fish. Like the lobsters and crabs, they were kept alive in cages under the boat while others were cleaned and dried in the sun on deck.

 To my surprise, sea cucumbers were prized the most. "They are the easiest to catch and they sell well in Hong Kong," Humur said, as if he was going to deliver them personally.

 The next day I went to tiny Pulau Tau Pan Island. Nowadays, the Badjaos have settlements on the islands, once temporary villages - now permanent - so their kids can attend school. Still, they consider their small boats their true homes and the ocean their natural environment.

 On my way to the island, I saw a few canoes close to the reef. We approached one and waited until a head broke the surface. A diver appeared with a big parrotfish on a spear. Sarip Tonan was spear fishing close to the edge of the reef. "The strongest current is here and the biggest fish," he said, and then he was gone, diving down to spear another fish.

 Tonan invited us to his village Kulin Kinari for lunch. "We don't need much," he said pointing at the fish. "We share the rest with neighbors or sometimes sell it."

 The village was quiet. All the houses faced the sea, home to about a dozen of families. We ate on the floor close to the kitchen, sharing from the same dish. The meal was simple, plain rice with grilled fish, but fresh and tasty.

 Suddenly the weather changed dramatically. The wind picked up, whipping the blue turquoise waters dark blue. Gray clouds approached from the west, announcing rain. It was time to go back. We jumped in our boat and set out for the other side of the strait. We made it with a few minutes to spare. As the storm lashed the islands, Togean seemed very far from the peaceful paradise I had learned to love. But I was sure the Badjaos I had met were safe, sheltered in a cove waiting for the storm to pass and carry on with their journeys across the Celebes.


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