Monitor Lizard Children of Bugis Country in South Sulawesi - Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd
Monitor Lizard Children of Bugis Country in South Sulawesi

Monitor Lizard Children of Bugis Country in South Sulawesi

Mar 14 2024

Pinrang, small town on the Toraja country road in South Sulawesi. I have a meeting with Yunus and his twin brother Andi Lawang at the family home. Not just any meeting because Yunus is a boy, human therefore, and his twin Andi Lawang is a monitor lizard, of the komodo monitor type (varanus komodoensis) whose size must be around 1.50m. A very curious custom that these mixed human/animal children have and which has persisted for centuries in the Bugis country. Andi Lawang's 2nd sister welcomes me into her simple wooden house, the monitor lizard in her arms. He seems nice Andi. The meal time is invariable, around ten o'clock in the morning, consisting mainly of chicken eggs which he greedily swallows while opening his mouth wide with its fine chiseled teeth. Andi is listed in the city's birth certificates in the same way as any human being. He even has his KTP, local identity card. Mrs. Suharti, the midwife who helped give birth to Yunus and Andi Lawang, receives me in her office at the small hospital and explains to me that the customs of lizard children or crocodile children are commonplace in Sulawesi and that in the case of Yunus, he was born first. However, where the problem lies is that Andi only appeared several hours later without the help of the midwife... We sometimes come from far away to see him because he brings luck. A big party is being prepared for the twins' birthday, the local imam is there and the sacrifice of a young cow is an opportunity for everyone to eat meat, except Andi for whom just the smell of blood could wake him up. gregarious instincts like its Komodo colleagues. A suburb of Makassar, there is a family whose twins are a daughter and a crocodile. Rani, the human sister has just married a man from another village and her crocodile sister has gone completely “amok” (crazy). He had to be locked in a cage downstairs. Rani returns to her childhood village as often as possible to ease the sorrow of Herlina the croc, she takes him out of his cage and takes him to the family home. Herlina is not far from 1.80 m tall and weighs 65 kg but she lets herself be caressed. What a world this Indonesia is! monitor lizard children from Sulawesi, horsemen from Java, medicine tiger man in Jakarta, flower-healing shamans in Sibeirut, Dayak bewitching sorcerers in Tanjung Isuy, even this Dugong (marine mammal) seen in Fak-Fak in Papua whose tears are collected to cure some anemic patients….. The journey never ends in this immense archipelago of 17,000 islands, a mosaic of the most diverse peoples and with very particular customs, encounters born from this desire to share a daily life, a a meal, a smile, a kretek (cigarette)… This is all Indonesia, the people of millions of smiles. Based on the texts of Thierry Robinet, adventurer & guide in Indonesia since 1977.


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