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Life history of Puang Tarongko

Puang Tarongko lives in Tongkonan Mamullu, Makale. He was born to a father named Puang Mamullu who is a child of Puang Massora from Tongkonan Tangti, Mengkendek and a mother named Puang Tumba’ Makongkan who is a child from Puang Tumba’ Payung Allo from Tongkonan Tarongko, Makale and Puang Makongkan from Tongkonan Bebo’, Sangalla’. Puang Tarongko is also commonly called Puang Laso’ Sesa because in fact he has several siblings, all of whom died when he was young so he lived alone.

Puang Tarongko married several times in his household to various villages in Tallu Lembangna, especially in Makale with the aim of strengthening his power.

His first marriage was married to Tumba’ Manukallo from Tongkonan Manggau, Makale and gave birth to Puang Manukallo, who was given the title Puang Andi’ Lolo by the Sidenreng Kingdom nobility after being sent by Puang Tarongko to the Bugis area to learn the Lontara’ language and war strategy.

The second marriage he married with Puang Tangnga Layuk from Tongkonan Rante Dada, Tampo, Mengkendek and gave birth to Puang Indo’ Ranteallo, Puang Laso’ Tampo (Puang Pantan) and Puang A. Ranteallo (Puang Tondon).

The third marriage he marries with Tumba’ Todingallo from Tongkonan Batupapan, Makale and gives birth to Puang Toding Allo (Puang Ranteallo).

The fourth marriage he married with Tumba’ Salu Rapa’ from Tongkonan Lallangan Tondon, Makale and gave birth to Puang Sumbung Massora and Puang Lai’ Tambing.

His fifth marriage marries Tumba’ Arung La’bi’ (Tumba’ Kende’) from Tongkonan Tambolang, Sarira, Rantelemo, but does not get offspring.

His sixth marriage was married to Tumba’ Tongan from Tongkonan Borong, Sarira, Rantelemo and gave birth to Puang Lai’ Sa’dan.

His seventh marriage married Tumba’ Datu Bubun from Tongkonan To’pao, Mandetek, Makale and gave birth to Puang Baratu.

His eighth marriage married Tumba’ Pidun from Mengkendek and gave birth to Puang Sumbung (Pidun).

His ninth marriage was married to Tumba’ Liling from Tongkonan Makula’, Sangalla’ but did not produce offspring.

In his government Puang Tarongko sacrificed much of his property in the form of dry land and rice fields to expand the city of Makale. At first the place called Ma’kale was the area around Rante Kasimpo, Kamali and Batupapan. Bombongan, which is the center of Makale at this time, at that time was still largely a rice field area, then developed with the formation of new settlements in To’ Kaluku’ / Paku / Tongkonan Ada’, Mamullu, Kampung Pisang and Kampung Baru which are now the center of Makale city.

Puang Tarongko is known as a very kind and generous person because he often gives his land to people who do not have land to build his house without seeing its origin; both the indigenous Toraja community and traders from the Bugis region. They got the land to build their house in To’ Kaluku / Paku, Mamullu, Kampung Pisang and Kampung Baru while building a market for trading places, so that it gradually developed into the center of Makale today. As a thank for giving the land, usually Bugis traders or the community give cigarettes placed in bamboo (pelo’ pa’langga’) and dried fish (kandilo’ etc) and other items needed at that time. That is why Puang Tarongko is very favored by people, especially those who do not have a place to live around Makale.

The current pool was originally a rice field belonging to Puang Tarongko, which every season the yield was in the form of rice and fish deliberately donated to the people of Makale and its surroundings. This rice field after being planted with rice is also included fish seeds. At the time they were about to harvest, Puang Tarongko announced to the whole community that they would come and fight for rice and fish in the fields. Puang Tarongko intentionally made a hut in the middle of the rice fields to watch the crowd party, where he saw people fighting over rice and fish in the fields. Because this crowd party is held regularly every harvest season arrives, the people who attend are not only Makale people but also others who come from other places.

After the government of Tana Toraja district was formed, to beautify the city of Makale, the paddy field was walled so that it became a pond and in the middle of the pond which was once the construction site of Puang Tarongko resort, a monument of Puang Lakipadada was also an ancestor of Puang Tarongko.

Puang Lakipadada and the royal family who lived in Sangalla’ at that time, attacked by a deadly disease (ra’ba biang) caused many of their families to die, so as to avoid the rampant death, not only did Puang Lakipadada leave Sangalla’, but some of his remaining families fled from Toraja (Sangalla’) to seek life (undaka’ tangmate) to several regions or kingdoms, and at present they have been difficult to trace because some have never returned, because they may have married local communities and has changed its name, because the name is given a title or got a new nickname to adjust the area inhabited. There is another version saying that the exodus of some members of the royal family from Sangalla’ at that time, in addition to the outbreak of a deadly disease (undaka’ tangmate), was also due to a split in the royal body at Sangalla’ at that time.

Puang Lakipadada itself was the last group to leave Sangalla’ to seek life (undaka’ tangmate) and she was stranded in the Kingdom of Gowa. Because he was a brave and very powerful man, he was favored by King Gowa and he married the daughter of the King of Gowa, Batari Lolo and was given the title Karaeng Bojoe by King Gowa. He was given the title Karaeng Bajoe because when he arrived in the kingdom of Gowa, several parts of his body were overgrown with moss because they often crossed rivers, swamps, and even the sea. In crossing or passing through rivers, swamps and the sea, Puang Lakipadada is often assisted by several animals such as large eels (masapi) and white buffalo (tedong bulan) etc., so that the offspring generally do not eat animals that help Puang Lakipadada, because of oath or agreement that has been set.

After his children had grown up he told his son, Puang Patta La Bantan, to return to Toraja to continue the leadership of his parents and when he arrived there he built the Tongkonan Layuk Kaero. To protect himself on his journey he was equipped with machetes or la’bo’ pinai which were very powerful and some inheritance which is currently still stored in Tongkonan Layuk Kaero. Then his son, Puang Patta La Bunga went to the Luwu Kingdom and to protect himself on the journey he was given a very powerful three-edged spear and some other inheritance.

When Puang Sangalla’ or Puang Laso’ Rinding died and was celebrated, the group from Luwu Kingdom came to share their condolences with the three-eyed spear and was paraded around the ceremony arena.

Then his son, Puang Patta La Merang lived in the Kingdom of Gowa with his parents. There is another version saying that Puang Patta La Didi, who went to the kingdom of Bone, was also a child of Puang Lakipadada, so in fact she had 4 children known as “tallu pocoe appa pada pada” in which means three brothers and one sister . The relationship of the four siblings is very close, known as the term: somba ri gowa, pajuang ri luwu ‘, matasak  ri toraja and mangkau ri bone.

So the statue of Puang Lakipadada in the middle of the pond is a symbol of the historical relationship between Toraja, Luwu’, Bone and Gowa.

To preserve the culture of the crowd in the pond, the Tana Toraja Regency government should continue the tradition that was pioneered by Puang Tarongko who had handed over his rice fields for free to crowded party events by including fish seeds in the pond and harvesting of fish could be done by drying the pond and the crowd can fight over the fish in the pond to enliven the birthday of Tana Toraja Regency or enliven Christmas or New Year every year.

In carrying out his power Puang Tarongko experienced many obstacles and competition, including the occurrence of disputes with Puang Mengkendek namely Puang Randanan caused by many things and one of them was inheritance, so Puang Mengkendek attacked Puang Tarongko with his troops and surrounded Tongkonan Mamullu as the center of government and headquarters the defense of Puang Tarongko’s forces.

When Tongkonan Mamullu was attacked and surrounded by Puang Randanan troops, Puang Tarongko at that time was in Sarira Rantelemo because he married Tumba’ Arung La’bi’ from Tongkonan Tambolang Rantelemo.

After Puang Tarongko heard that his Tongkonan was attacked and surrounded by Puang Randanan’s forces, he ordered his troops there to survive and Puang Tarongko to coordinate the forces of Sarira Rantelemo namely from Tongkonan Biang, Tongkonan Karassik, Tongkonan Tambolang, Tongkonan Timika, Tongkonan Borong and Tongkonan Borong and Tongkonan Sarre under the leadership of Ne’ Bua’ Tasik, Ne’ Tangke Tasik, Ne’ Toding Bua’, Ne’ Senobua’, Ne’ Payung and all tobarani (the brave) including from Limbu Sarira Rantelemo to go to Tongkonan Mamullu to help the Puang Tarongko forces who were there while fighting to defend the Tongkonan Mamullu  from enemy attacks.

With the arrival of additional troops from Rantelemo, there was a quite powerful war which led to the outbreak of civil war between Makale and Shortened at that time.

However, due to a sudden attack, Puang Tarongko was unable to prepare for the war for quite a long time, so because of running out of bullets and other war equipment Puang Tarongko decided to resign first back to Rantelemo to prepare for the counterattack. Indeed, it was not the same as the previous civil war which still relied on machetes, spears and other sharp weapons as war equipment, but during the civil war this time began using firearms that had to be purchased first from the Bugis area.

After Puang Tarongko left Tongkonan Mamullu then Puang Randanan and his troops immediately captured the Tongkonan Mamullu and occupied it. When Puang Tarongko resigned leaving Tongkonan Mamullu and passing through the Saluaka rice fields, the Puang Randanan troops chased and opened fire so the bullets hit the fingers of the wife of Puang Tarongko, Tumba’ Arung La’bi’ so that the ring slipped from his fingers and fell into Saluaka rice fields. Tumba’ Arung La’bi’ tried to find his beloved ring which was very expensive, but because the Puang Randanan forces were chasing from behind, the ring search was stopped and continued the journey. In order to stop the pursuit, the Puang Tarongko forces carried out a counterattack so that the defense forces stopped the pursuit.

After Puang Tarongko arrived back at Rantelemo, he summoned his warlord and his children who at the time of the attack were not in the city of Makale, to prepare for a counterattack and recapture Tongkonan Mamullu from the Puang Randanan forces.

The troops prepared by Puang Tarongko were joint forces consisting of troops led by their children (Puang Andilolo, Puang Tondon / Puang Pantan, Puang Todingallo and other children) and assisted by troops from Tongkonan Tambolang and tobarani from Sarira Rantelemo and the Makale community who fought to drive out the Puang Mengkendek forces who had occupied Tongkonan Mamullu.

For information that the troops from Tongkonan Tambolang and tobarani from Sarira Rantelemo, in the future were once famous for fighting with traders from the Sidenreng kingdom led by Uwa’ Situru’ who was usually called Andi Guru. This war was triggered by misunderstandings during cockfighting and gambling parties held at Buntang Rantelemo. In the gambling game several troops from Tambolang took part in gambling, but there was a dispute with traders from Sidenreng, which led to the outbreak of war between the Sidenreng traders led by the teacher and the army from Tongkonan Tambolang, Sarira Rantelemo and surroundings.

The troops, led by Andi Guru, were still limited, so they began to push so they asked for help from the Sidenreng kingdom, so troops from the Sidenreng kingdom came directly led by their warlords. Before leaving for Tambolang Rantelemo then the Sidenreng royal warlord, he said he had tested his immunity by opening his shirt and being shot in the chest he could not penetrate the bullet.

But when he arrived at Rantelemo to help the Sidenreng merchants and start attacking Tongkonan Tambolang, Sarira Rantelemo and its surroundings, he was killed along with a number of his troops in the battle due to being crushed by large stones which were deliberately overthrown from the direction of Tongkonan Tambolang as one of the weapons powerful to kill opposing forces who will try to attack the center of defense. It was these troops who had previously helped the Puang Tarongko forces fight the Puang Randanan forces.

Before carrying out the counterattack, Puang Tarongko and his children bought war equipment in the form of firearms and bullets which were quite a lot from Bugis traders to strengthen their defenses.

In order to reclaim his gang which had been occupied by Puang Tarongko’s forces and his children, Puang Randanan consolidated his forces by recruiting additional troops to counterattack to expel the Puang Tarongko forces.

To avoid the ongoing war, Puang Sangngalla’ (Puang Limbu Langi’) intervened as a mediator and invited both parties to reconcile. However, Puang Randanan made a requirement before entering the negotiating table, namely the Puang Tarongko forces had to be withdrawn first to the new border area. Otherwise, Puang Randanan will continue the war.

To stop the ongoing war, Puang Sangalla’ persuaded Puang Tarongko and his children to withdraw their troops to the border area. This was reluctantly approved by Puang Tarongko and his children. After the withdrawal of troops to the border area is carried out, negotiations can be carried out and peace can be achieved.

In order for this civil war to not repeat itself in the future, basse (egreement) was held and binded the sacred oath by burying a buffalo that had tekken langi’ horn. Then it was agreed that the war would be completed and whoever attacked the two parties first would be punished by the prescribed basse.

Besides that, then to strengthen the brotherhood, it was agreed that between the two parties there must be a cross between Makale and Mengkendek.

Then as a follow-up to the cross-breeding, the children of Puang Tarongko, Puang Andilolo, married many times to Mengkendek and Puang Laso’ Torantu from Mengkendek married to the child of Puang Andilolo from Tongkonan Bungin, Makale. Similarly, Puang Tondon marries Puang Lai’ Sirande from Mengkendek and the son of Puang Andilolo from Tongkonan Bungin Makale, Puang Mendedek, marries to Pangrorean Mengkendek and several other families who hold a cross between Makale and Mengkendek.

A few years later after the completion of the civil war, the Dutch began entering Tana Toraja. In running its government, the Netherlands invited Puang Tarongko to work together to build the city of Makale as the center of government in Tana Toraja.

The Dutch government’s invitation was welcomed by Puang Tarongko so that he handed over part of his land and rice fields to the Dutch government as a place to build government facilities and infrastructure in the form of government offices, educational buildings, places of worship, markets and shops, employee housing, soccer fields ball and pool which is now a place that helped beautify the city of Makale.

As a sign of gratitude for the surrender of some of the fields and dry land for the construction of government facilities and infrastructure, the Dutch government awarded the highest award in the form of a star to Puang Tarongko and at the same time appointed Puang Tarongko as the first District Head in Makale.

After Puang Tarongko died he was replaced by his son, Puang Tondon (Puang A. Ranteallo). Puang Tarongko was buried together with his parents at the funeral of the kings of Makale in Buntu Tondon, Makale.

Thus a brief curriculum vitae from Puang Tarongko or Puang Laso’ Sesa, as a very generous person and very instrumental in building the city of Makale and its surroundings as a center of government and community settlement center in Makale.

Citation with minor revision. This article was taken from the writings of Faizal Tanri Baru, “Riwayat Hidup Puang Tarongko”, 23 Maret 2017, on facebook page “Forum Komunikasi & Informasi tentang arung Batulappa & Arung Maiwa”.

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