My Ancestors are Sailors

Sailing is something that cannot be separated from the traditions and culture of the people of South Sulawesi. This maritime activity is not only enshrined in the children’s song “My Ancestors are Sailor”, but has even been written since the 14th century in Sureq Galigo. It is told how the main character, Sawerigading, sailed not only around the archipelago to even China to marry a We Cudaiq. Isn’t this an indication that South Sulawesi people have sailed to migrate since ancient times?

I La Galigo which on 3, 5, 6, and 7 July 2019 will be staged at Ciputra Artpreneur is also a work that has sailed far, since its world premiere on Esplanade, Theaters on The Bay, Singapore in 2004. Shows directed by Robert Wilson has sailed across at least 9 countries and 12 major cities in the world with the last staging in Nusa Dua Bali during the IMF conference.

For Indonesia’s Art and Culture

The international response to the I La Galigo performance was very good and one of Robert Wilson’s iconic works from his decades of work across the world stage. The I La Galigo performance in Jakarta this time was the second performance after previously held in 2005 for three days at the Tanah Air Theater, TMII.

With such a long period, it is very important that I La Galigo be re-introduced to the new generation of Indonesia, especially those domiciled in Jakarta. Moreover, a variety of foreign performances have been on stage in Jakarta. Just to remind you that there is a world-class Indonesian performance with the concept of a story based on an ancient book from the 14th century. Sureq Galigo is not just an ancient book, but a ‘story’ that has been recognized as a Memory of the World by UNESCO.

Directly or indirectly, this performance is a form of an effort to preserve Indonesian culture that can open up the insights of modern society. So, they will know about the culture that will become one of the references to respect equality while being able to tolerate differences. In addition, it does not rule out the possibility to encourage the public’s curiosity to explore and study ancient manuscripts that have not been fully revealed.

Courtesy of Bali Purnati/Photo by Fendy Siregar

All In!

Sureq Galigo is a unique Indonesian original story, without any Indian influence. Socially and spiritually, the status is parallel to the Mahabharata or Ramayana. In a literary work, it is longer than Indian works that were already famous among modern Indonesian society. Many fragments of the story were later chosen and rearranged into one very interesting story on the stage.

It begins with the story of the creation of the world and ends with the closing of the upper world and the lower world so that people living in the middle world can live normally as humans. In the midst of it are stories, ranging from taboo love stories, wars with the Kingdom of China, to tricks devised by the gods to conquer a woman. Lighting becomes a crucial part of I La Galigo performance as it will give such an eye-catching visual. Plus, Rahayu Supanggah as one of Indonesia’s best composers coloring the performance soundscape, enlivening the appearance of a group of musicians on stage.

This two-hour show, tickets can already be purchased through, Loket, or Go-Tix, with prices starting at IDR 475,000,-. For more information, visit @artpreneur Instagram, Facebook Ciputra Artpreneur, or