The giant anchor in Kampung Padang

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(Photo: Mia Kamila)

IO – Traveling to Selayar is not only about enjoying the beach. We also can visit the local villages. One of these is Kampung Padang, which is inhabited by the Bajo tribe, which makes a living as fishermen. Kampung Padang is indeed very remote and far from urban civilization, located in Bontosunggu Village, Bontoharu District. 

Archaeologically, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the vicinity of Padang village saw a flow of trade traffic. So it is not surprising a giant anchor was found in this village, which supposedly belonged to a Chinese merchant named Gowa Liong Hui (Baba Bos Kamar). He came to Selayar with a lot of merchandise in a big ship. After years of the ship passing through the waters of Padang (Selayar), it finally broke up and could no longer be used for sailing. 

In the fishing village, there are also relics of an ancient cannon. Local developing folklore, it is said that the cannon is a legacy of a Chinese merchant named Baba Desan who came from Gowa, and who was searching for valuable marine products, such as sea cucumbers, rare fish, and so on. 

The cannon was a weapon to protect crew and cargo. Considering that at that time the waters of Sulawesi were still infested with pirates, on his way Baba Desan fitted out his ship with weapons like cannons, spears, and arrows, anticipating all possible dangers. 

In addition, Padang village is a stopover place to add supplies and restock drinking water as well as shelter from bad weather during the shipping season. Today the ancient anchors and cannons look shrunken, suffering from sea-spray corrosion. The anchors and cannons are stored in the village of Padang, and guarded by a caretaker who is in charge of the surrounding area. (Mia Kamila)