We were greeted by two village elders. Sang Pasandere, the traditional chief of the Bajo tribe, and Jackson, the head of the Torosiaje village. They told me that in the past the village was just a soppe (boat).
It is also called a village because this place is usually a stopover for the Bajo tribe, because indeed they are a nomadic sea nation. Around the bay of Tomini, they move around in groups of several soppes.
It is said that a girl from the king’s daughter from the kingdom of Malacca disappeared by boat to Sulawesi.
Then, the King ordered all his subjects to go find his missing son. Finally they migrated to various countries.
They did not find the King’s daughter. Up to several generations. Finally, it is they who are considered the origin of the Bajo tribe. Not surprisingly, they can be found in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Japan, some even reportedly reached European waters.
In Indonesia, the Bajo tribe can be found on the coast of Sulawesi to Flores. In fact, one of the most important ports in Flores itself is called Labuan Bajo, so many Bajo communities stop there.
It is said again, a pilgrim once lived on an island that is now the location of Torosiaje. Bajo people often sell fish to this person called Haji. Toro in Bajo language means Tanjung. They call a cape that contains a small island where Pak Haji lives is Toro the Haji. And, like the easterners who like to shorten their sentences, Toro the Pak Haji became Torosiaje. I don’t know if this folk tale is true or not. But perhaps, these Bajo residents who embraced Muslims could be under the influence of the Haji.
Currently, Torosiaje Village consists of 368 families, about 280 houses with piles directly into the sea, and about 1901 people who live here in two hamlets, namely Bahari Jaya hamlet and Mutira hamlet, since they were advised by the government to stay on land.
“We prefer to live by the sea,” said a mother I met in Torosiaje. He had lived on land, but before long, he returned to the sea. He already feels the sea is a part of his life. He was born there, was bathed for the first time with sea water, he was fed from the sea. So, why live on land?
Maybe that’s what’s on their minds.
Honey, we should have stayed here. However, due to several incidents on the way, we arrived here in the morning. Hopefully next time I can come back here again.
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