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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More on the 1915 Photographs of a Megalithic Stone Pulling in Nias, Indonesia

Earlier today I wrote this post about some pretty sweet early 20th century photographs from a megalithic stone-pulling ceremony on the island of Nias, Indonesia. I found some additional photos and (I think) figured out a few things that I wanted to pass on. I could be wrong about some of this - if I am please let me know.
PictureA.
First, I'm now 99 percent sure all the photos show the same stone being moved.  If you look carefully at the first photo of the stone (A), you'll notice it has been shaped.  There is a raised area on the "upstream" end, which itself includes another raised area in the center.  The corners of the stone are rounded.

Those same features can be seen on the other stone-pulling photos, convincing me that all the photos are of the same stone.  I think all the photos come from a two volume 1917 publication entitled Nias: Ethnographische, geographische en historische aanteekeningen en studien, by E. E. W. Gs. Schroeder. From what I gather, one of the volumes is text while the other is photographs. I don't have access to either at the moment (let me know if you have it?), but I'm guessing all the Nias stone-pulling photos in the previous post come from the volume of photographs.

Second, I found an additional photo of the stone in the village of Baw├Âmataluo on Alain Testart's website.  It shows a line of slaughtered pigs in the street near the stone.
Third, I think that the stone shown in the photographs is the horizontal stone on the left in the photo ofBaw├Âmataluo below (source).  The stone has been smoothed and carved, but notice the two-level raised portion at the end.http://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/more-on-the-1915-photographs-of-a-megalithic-stone-pulling-in-nias-indonesia

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