Amatoa of Kajang
 
 
Despite the repeated strong outsider influence, the Kajang People of Konjo ethnic still keep their pre � Moslem civilization. It resists its three big Moslem Kingdom neighbor domination. They are Luwu and Bone in the north and Gowa in the northwest. To trace the influence back in history of the region, it must have been starting from the 10 century AD.

Amazingly Kajang is not a Kingdom but just a community ruled by strict animistic believe system led by a man called Ama Toa. Ama Toa is not inherited but chosen by elders both man and woman through complicate rituals. Anyone who attends the Ama Toa choosing ritual has the rights to be chosen as Ama Toa.

To have a person chosen as Ama Toa the congregation of elders attending the ritual will listen to the supernatural signs. It might be in a form of a buffalo suddenly come to someone house�s and stays there without precedents or a rooster fly in and stops at someone�s shoulder.

Ama Toa is a person who masters Pasang ri Kajang � an oral teaching of Kajang people, which inherited from one generation to the other. The life of Kajang centered to Pasang which is  not only rules the relation among man, man to the Creator but it covers the relation of man with the nature.

There are four substances have to be exists in the life of Kajang�s in the world. Wood or forest, essential as it needed in daily life, used as firewood and the material for house construction. Rattan - used in house construction and other purposes. Shrimp, to be used in any rituals and bee. Honey comes from bee and the life story in the people of Kajang tells that Kajang uses bee as nature�s soldier to drive their enemies away.

As the application of the value of Pasang, there is sacred forest where the Kajang communities� rituals take place. The forest is well protected and none is allowed to harvest things without the elders notice.

Pasang makes people of Kajang to live a simple life, not to seek materialistic purposes. To wear black only color is a real application of live a simple life. Black is the first color humans experience in the womb and black is the only color people see when they die.

It is also the reason why up to now the Kajangs do not use electricity and no motor vehicle is allowed to enter the village. However, the threat is eminent. Education, centuries influence of Middle East origin religions and the latest one � modern lifestyle are big temptation to the younger ones. Will Kajang community keep their centuries old civilization forever?

Recommended itinerary

Kajang � Makassar Tour
Tour Code: ITT 606
Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nites
Grade: Soft
What to wear: all black costume during the visit to Kajang to respect the Kajang people

Day 01 Makassar � Malino
Upon arrival in Makassar meeting service, transfer to restaurant for lunch and then drive to Malino � the highland resort. En route stop in Sungguminasa to visit BALLA LOMPOA � the last palace of Gowa Kingdom � now turn to Museum and cultural heritage of the province.

Day 02 Malino � Kajang � Bira Beach
Early departure to visit Takapala waterfall (about 100 m in height), tea and vegetable plantation. Proceed then to Sinjai through the one of the most scenic drive on the island. There are terraced rice fields, valleys and ravines. Exotic tropical plants such as clove and coffee are common sight along the way. Lunch at the local restaurant in Sinjai. Afternoon drive to Kajang � to get in touch with the people of Tana Toa who are trying to keep the pre Moslem civilization amid the strong Moslem and modern influences. Approaching Kajang there is rubber plantation � the only on the island. The possibility to meet AMATOA � leader of Kajang community - is provided, by walking into the village. Late afternoon proceed to Bira and overnight.

Day 03 Bira Beach � Tana Beru � Makassar
Take your time in the morning to enjoy the pure white sand beach with crystal clear water of Bira. Stay till lunchtime. Afternoon drive to Tana Beru � the village well known for its people who for generations build Phinisi � the Bugis schooner. There are no written designs but traditional method only. Nowadays more and more people got sketches from foreigners to built modified Phinisi for tourism purposes (live aboard). Late Afternoon proceed to Makassar and overnight.

Day 04 Makassar - Airport
After breakfast at hotel. A short city tour visit Fort Rotterdam and Paotere Sailing Boat harbor and then proceed to Airport to take flight for your next destination

Note: The above mentioned program only apply during dry season (April to October) as there might be land slides on the mountain section of the route of Malino to Kajang.

The program during rainy season (November to March) will be revised as follow: Day 01 Makassar - Tana Beru - Bira. Day 02 Bira - Kajang - Bira. Day 03 will be the same as above but no visit to Tana Beru as it already done on Day 01.