National Geographic : 1940 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Photograph by Maynard Owen Willialms Makassar's Popular Taxi is a One-Man-Power Tricycle Sometimes this open-top sports model, called "wheels-three," is used by seven passengers, propelled by one pair of brown legs. Such vehicles are seen in Singapore as delivery wagons, but Makassar leads in their use for pleasure rides. cliff-tomb entrance, lowered the wooden door, and removed the clutter within, the tinsel, if not the dust, of earlier corpses. Carried between shoulder poles, the tightly packed cylinder, covered with old tapestry, was brought up the steep bank below the gray cliff, and once more the veiled figure of grief spread loving hands upon this human clay. An Athlete Bears the Body Slowly and carefully the slim-muscled ath lete carried the body up the cliff face while a wrinkled old man mumbled a solemn requiem, and a sea of brown faces looked up at the tall cliff, honeycombed with funerary niches carved in solid rock. As we moved slowly down to the valley floor, the void was lighted by flickering flames where buffalo meat was being roasted. A drink was passed around and the sweaty man who had carried the corpse to its niche in the cliff took a deep draught, smacking his lips at an unpleasant task well done. The noisy scene suggested by my first sight of the barbecue was already developing, but I had not counted on seeing that pitiful little bundle stuffed like a bag of guncotton into a gaping muzzle in that silent cliff of death. Now, as I looked up, the guardian figures seemed to lean forward in their places. Dressed though they were in bright bits of cloth, they had the appearance of watch ful mummies, wearing masks with large bright eyes. On the morrow I started south to Watansop peng, where trees hang heavy with big bats, to a great cave near Watampone, where brown youngsters, leading the way, carved the cav ernous darkness with the sweep of roaring torches, and home to Makassar, metropolis of the Celebes, which spreads wide its sprawling arms in welcome to the Javanese. A benevolent government, restoring man power to the fertile earth, is creating a new man's land amid former wastes and leaving a bit more elbowroom and breathing space for Java's teeming millions. For them, the un exploited jungles of the Celebes are a safety valve from record-smashing population pres sure in the Garden Isle.