Wakatobi is not only charming with its underwater beauty. On the mainland, I also found a variety of uniqueness. At Wangi-Wangi Island, the capital of Wakatobi, I managed to visit the village of the Bajo tribe; the famous “sea adventurers”. See: The Deep Blue Sea Of Wakatobi. I also had a chance to see a number of heritage buildings which originated from the time of the Buton Sultanate.
THE BAJO TRIBE
This tribe is scattered in several villages in Wakatobi, such as the village of South Mola, Wangi-Wangi Island, Mantigola and Sampela in Kaledupa, as well as in Lamanggau in Tomia. Mola has the most, ie 7 thousand people from the total of12 thousand Bajo people in Wakatobi. Among the four villages, Sampela is the most unique one. Stage houses made from wood, with buffers fused to the sea, as if to form their own island.
On this island which has a population of 50 thousand inhabitants, lies the Liya Mosque, which supposedly is the oldest mosque after the Keraton Buton Mosque which lies in the island of Buton. The mosque is located on top of a hill, near Fort Liya Togo. In the colonial period of the Portuguese and Dutch, this place became one of the protected forts of the Buton Sultanate. Not far from the fort, lays the Talo-Talo grave and Kadiye or the “little kingdoms”, a part of the Sultanate of Buton. TaloTalo, in local language means “He who overcomes.”
I also managed to visit the tomb of Djilabu, one of the famous Islamic theologians of the area. A number of historical buildings lay in the village of Liya Togo. Appropriate to its meaning, this place used to be a “Togo” or center of the town. Until now, in this place, people still preserve the traditional ritual Posepa, in the clearing in front of the mosque, every Ied Mubarak. Not far from the Liya Mosque, I also stopped at a house, the inheritance of La Ode Taru, the last “little king” of Liya who was killed in the Japanese colonial era.
Remains of the Sultanate of Buton Island are also located in Tomia. The name of the place is the Patua Fortress. Like the Liya Fortress, the Patua Fortress is also located on top of a hill. A few ancient cannons are still mounted facing the sea, as if it were there to welcome the arrival of the enemy. A long time ago, these waters were passed by colonial ships who “robbed” of spices from Maluku. In this area also lays a number of tombs of local fighters and also very old villages.
Ancient cannons can also be found on the island of Binongko, an Island at the most outer side of the Wakatobi Islands. Another interesting attraction in Binongko Island is the community of blacksmith. In some villages in Binongko, they faithfully carry out the profession as a blacksmith, which was descended from the ancestors.
At the ancient times, parents and their grandparents were also a blacksmith.
The strong and sharp machetes they made which is now well-known as the Binongko machete, are being sold to other areas on the island of Buton and Sulawesi. Due to the numerous amounts of people that became a blacksmith here,
for decades the island was known as the “Island of Blacksmith”. Nowadays, Wakatobi is also known as the Blacksmith Archipelago.
Binongko is last destination during my visit to Wakatobi. Before getting out of the island using a speedboat and going back to Jakarta through Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi, I took time to stop at Cape Rinu. This place is an open space on the edge of a cliff directly overlooking the sea. In addition to its beautiful scenery, Cape Rinu is the only location in Binongko where mobile phone signals are available.
Therefore, this place is always filled with young people who are busy sending short messages via mobile phone or chatting with their love ones on the cellular phone. That is why they call this place Cape Rinu (from rindu which means longing or missing someone or something), because this is a place to release the feeling of longing for someone. However Cape Rinu will no longer be the only place to release that kind of feeling, because the operator is planning to add towers in other places. However, Cape Rinu will always make me long to return to Wakatobi.
Uniqueness Of The Bajo Tribe, Wakatobi – Temporaktif