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Boat Building on the Beach

Boat Building on the Beach

It all started on a beach in Bira, Sulawesi... On the beach at Bira, in the regency dubbed ‘butta panrita lopi’ (shipbuilders’ kampong), Lamima is emerging in the age-old way of the Bugis boat-builders, skin first! Instead of first lofting frames and...

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Lamima’s Keellaying Ceremony, continued…

Lamima’s Keellaying Ceremony, continued…

Builders of the traditional phinisi lay down the keel first. It is made from ironwood which is resistant to wood borers and considered the prime timber for below-waterline construction. Traditional rituals must be faithfully observed during the choosing...

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Lamima’s Keellaying Ceremony

Lamima’s Keellaying Ceremony

Once you have become involved with life in Bira you realise that religion is an enormously important factor in the lives of the Sulawesi people. The Muslim faith was brought into the region via merchants from India and, by incorporating Persian and Indian...

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Deck-plan and special features of Lamima

Deck-plan and special features of Lamima

In earlier times there was no written agreement for the building of a boat in Sulawesi. The masterbuilder or punggawa had the responsibility of constructing the vessel according to the traditional methods and rites while the buyer outlined any...

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Creating a Dream

Creating a Dream

We’re excited – the keel of our amazing ketch, Lamima, has been laid on the shore at Bira in south Sulawesi! True to ancient boat-building traditions of the Konjo tribe, ceremonial sweet rice was prepared, prayers were intoned and incense burned as the...

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