Phinisi Festival: Traces of the world renowned legendary wooden boat

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The activity of pulling the phinisi boat from the ship to the waters is known as the Annyorong Lopi ritual, or the ritual of launching the phinisi boat. Annyorong Lopi is a Tanah Beru community tradition that is often done before the phinisi boat is sailed to the ocean. (photo: IO/Paramitha Hendra)

IO – Unusual riots occur in one of the shipyards of phinisi boats in Tanah Beru Village, Bonto Bahari Subdis­trict, Bulukumba. Dozens of resi­dents joined visitors coming from various regions in South Sulawesi and even other provinces around a phinisi boat with a red-painted white hull. Two strings of rope tied to the back of the phinisi stretch from the back of the ship towards the beach. At each quarry, as many as 20-30 people hold the rope while strength­ening the horses, simultaneously pulling the ship.

On both sides of the ship’s hull, dozens of people tried to lean their palms up and push the hull so it wouldn’t flutter left or right. From behind, dozens of residents help to push the Phinisi towards the waters. The Phinisi ship is then pulled to­wards the shoreline which is about 50 meters from the bar. Due to the heavy load and sandy bottom, the movement of the lopi was jammed. Various attempts were made. Like prying lopi with a beam. La’lere (a type of vines) as a lubricant given above galasara (boat runway).

The activity of pulling the phinisi boat from the ship to the waters is known as the Annyorong Lopi ritual, or the ritual of launching the phini­si boat. Annyorong Lopi is a Tanah Beru community tradition that is often done before the phinisi boat is sailed to the ocean. The term Anny­orong Lopi comes from the Konjo lan­guage, which means pushing (push­ing) a boat or boat (lopi). The day before this ritual was held, residents carry out the sangka bala ammos­si ‘and apassili ceremonies to raise prayers to be given safety when the Annyorong Lopi ritual is held.

This ritual has become one of the interesting program in the series of the 9th phinisi Festival in 2018 in Bulukumba. In the ninth edition, the phinisi Festival is now a nation­al tourism agenda after the Ministry of Tourism included it in Indonesia’s 100 Wonderful Events this year. The entry of the phinisi Festival in the national tourism agenda is an award for the people of Bulukumba after UNESCO established phinisi as an intangible cultural heritage on 7 De­cember 2017. The prestige of phinisi as a formidable ship with high artis­tic value made it famous and drew people’s interest from various parts of the world.

These various interests lead to phinisi boat building in Bonto Baha­ri Subdistrict. The area is now known as the only center for traditional phi­nisi boat manufacturing in the world. Workers from the Bonto Bahari area are carefully working to build ships whose entire material is from wood. As a world cultural heritage, the con­struction of phinisi has a uniqueness that distinguishes it from other ships. The construction of the phinisi boat begins with building the hull and the mainframe. This process is different from ship building in general which starts with building the frame. In ad­dition, phinisi does not use nails from iron or steel as hooks, but uses wood.

In general, Phinisi ships have a length of 18 meters with a width and height of 5 meters. To make this ship, about 35 cubic meters of wood is needed. Type of material used by wood bassih (iron). This lopi is com­posed of boards with a length of 4-5 meters, 20 cm wide, then 7 cm thick.

The drive is in the form of a 75 pk diesel engine. Previously, this copy only relied on two palajaren screens (large pole screens) as a driver. This screen is assisted by three cocor (small screens) on the front side of the ship. With its quality, this ship has just been docked for maintenance af­ter seven years.

High precision alloys and high artis­tic taste make the price of phinisi soar above other wooden ships. Now phinisi boats made at Bonto Bahari are worth hundreds of millions to billions of rupi­ah, depending on the size of the ship, the interior of the ship, and the type of technology embedded in the boat.

“The expertise to make this Phini­si Ship is recognized. They have al­ways had extraordinary technology, then passed on to the next genera­tion. This is preserved and used as a reference for ship technology de­velopment. So, all the shipbuilding to launch processes are presented at this phinisi Festival, “Explained the Head of Culture and Tourism of South Sulawesi Musaffar Syah.

After the opening of the festival on September 13, 2018, a number of invitees had the opportunity to wade through the sea with two luxurious phinisi boats, the Sea Dragon King and Helena. South, Andi Sudirman Sulaiman, who was recently installed by President Joko Widodo, accom­panied by Bulukumba Regent AM Sukri A. Sappewali, Andi Sudirman, enjoyed two hours of sailing with the screen growing on the phinisi of Raja Naga Laut.

“Phinisi is local wisdom and pride of the people. This phinisi Festival is also good overall, especially for the community economy. In the future, there will be some improvements. Connected information system. Ac­cessibility will be enhanced by the construction of tourist airports in Bulukumba,” said Deputy Governor of South Sulawesi Andi Sudirman Sulaiman.

Through the phinisi Festival 9 this time, Bulukumba wants to invite the public to re-treat the legendary jour­ney of phinisi to various places in the world. While admiring the beauty of phinisi along the coast of Bonto Baha­ri, the festival is also a regional arena to introduce various natural and cultural tourism potentials in the southernmost district on Sulawesi Island.

“High appreciation for the monu­mental work of the Phinisi Ship. This year is very special. After 40 years, Annyorong Lopi is done manually. Driven by human power. For 10 years Wonderful Indonesia also uses phi­nisi as a promotion. What is clear is that the phinisi Festival is very lively,” concluded the Head of Marketing 1 Regional 1 Area 3 Kemenpar Afrida Pelita Sari. (Paramitha Hendra)