The statue that became the icon of West Halmahera gives the meaning that women are accustomed to working hard and tenaciously for the future of their children. Like what?
Not far from the harbor where our speedboat docked, there was a large statue sighting in the middle of the Jailolo Bay park, West Halmahera. Previously, the statue was built to welcome the Jailolo Festival which was held by the local government in 2015 to attract tourists.
Local residents call the statue as the Statue of Saloi. The shape is like the figure of a mother carrying a basket made of woven bamboo, sago fronds, dedor tree bark, or rattan. The shape is similar to a basket or basket designed to be smaller at the bottom, with a round top section and a rectangular bottom section.
There are two straps on the back so it can be carried like a backpack. That basket is called Saloi, a unique carrying backpack typical of North Maluku. The majority of women in West Halmahera will carry Saloi for activities while gardening. This cannot be separated from the livelihoods of the residents as spice farmers, especially mothers and jujaru ‘North Maluku girls’, who will travel with saloi.
“In the past, brother, Saloi was often used by our parents. When we were harvesting rice or secondary crops in the fields, we brought it as a traditional tool. To transport crops from farming,” said Astriyani Wambes, a local resident.
The women here often help their husbands by staying in huts in the forest for a week. On weekends, they come home with the produce of the garden which is used to support their children until they are successful.
This Saloi statue symbolizes the persistence of a mother in raising her children by planting her fields. Saloi brought down the mountain usually contain coconut, secondary crops, nutmeg, cloves, cassava, durian, and walnuts which are the main commodities of Maluku.
It can also be used to bring firewood, clothes, fish or fisherman’s seafood in exchange for the harvest. The Saloi statue also conveys the meaning that the women of West Halmahera are accustomed to hard work and tenacity. The natural products that exist are symbolized as provisions for progress and success for the common goals of the future.
“This statue seems to pay homage to the women of West Halmahera, Sis. Like my parents, who have struggled to use Saloi as a supporting tool for transporting agricultural products and carrying out daily activities,” continued the woman who is familiarly called Astri Wambes.
The Jailolo Festival Park where the Saloi Statue was built has the potential to attract local and foreign tourists. Moreover, this park is also equipped with public facilities and can be easily accessed by city residents.
A variety of North Maluku specialties that are ready to shake the tongue are also lined up here. If the afternoon comes, people can enjoy the sunset in the Jailolo Festival park, while to see the sunrise in the morning, they will face the Saloi Statue directly.
Even though it is covered by mountains and buildings, we can enjoy the rays of the sun emerging from the east. Currently, Saloi is not only used for gardening but has begun to be used as a souvenir from West Halmahera. Besides saloi, tourists can also buy tolu, a kind of wide hat woven with bamboo skin.
This article was written by detik Travel reader, Ba Gus Rosyid. Travelers who like to share travel stories, let’s send articles, photos or snapshots to Bali Tourism at d’Travelers. The link is here