For many centuries the Phinisi Boat cruising throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. They are wooden two-mast vessels. Traditionally, these schooners are made from tropical “Iron Wood”. They were used to transport cargo, such as spices, from the East Indies Islands and further afield from Indonesia. The term “Phinisi” technically refers to the rig itself. However, in reality, the word describes the gaff-ketch type of rig. Locally named a “seven sail schooner”.
The traditional crafters of these vessel are, among other tribs, the Bugi people from South Sulawesi. Four distinct cultural sub-sets exist around Sulawesi who are specialized in building these traditional crafts. The Konjo, Mandar, Bugis and Makassarese people live throughout the Sulawesi region.
Around Bira, in South Sulawesi, the crafting of Phinisi Schooners has been handed down for countless generations. This ship building culture originates from a myth based on the creation of the first boat ever built by their ancestors. Mystical beliefs and the mythology surrounding the boat-building still permeate the crafting process. The building of a traditional Phinisi Schooner still involves many rituals.