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Bada Valley

Coordinates: 1°52′48″S 120°15′00″E / 1.88000°S 120.25000°E / -1.88000; 120.25000
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Two Dutch ladies standing by a statue in Bada Valley in the 1930s

Bada Valley or Napu Valley, located in the Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, contains hundreds of megaliths of undetermined age that are called watu ("stone") in the local Badaic languages and arca ("statue") in Indonesian. The purpose of the megaliths and their builders are unknown.

Main Megaliths[edit]

Megalithic Baula statue in the Bada Valley
Two tourists next to the Palindo megalith in 2015.
Local Name Translation Size Comments Location
Palindo Entertainer 4.5m 1°51′34.54″S 120°15′17.79″E / 1.8595944°S 120.2549417°E / -1.8595944; 120.2549417
Mesinga Wearing a Scarf
Maturu Sleeping 3.5m
Oba Monkey 1°52′6.99″S 120°13′53.26″E / 1.8686083°S 120.2314611°E / -1.8686083; 120.2314611
Baula Buffalo
Ari Ipohi 1°52′38.73″S 120°15′20.23″E / 1.8774250°S 120.2556194°E / -1.8774250; 120.2556194
Loga Relieved Heart 1°51′49.50″S 120°16′46.68″E / 1.8637500°S 120.2796333°E / -1.8637500; 120.2796333
Langke Bulawa Golden Bracelet 1.8m 1°51′11.23″S 120°17′29.50″E / 1.8531194°S 120.2915278°E / -1.8531194; 120.2915278

Megalithic statue in Bada Valley


Two Dutch women standing next to one of the statues in Bada Valley in the 1930s

These ancient statues are said to have existed since the 14th century.[1] The megaliths in Bada Valley were first discovered in 1908. Despite the discovery occurring over 100 years ago, little is known about these objects, including when the stone statues were created. Some speculate that the stones were carved around 5,000 years ago, while others believe the megaliths were made about 1,000 years ago.[2]

Meanwhile, some others suspect that the stones are related to the megalithic culture in Laos, Cambodia, and several regions in Indonesia from 2,000 years ago.[2]

According to Ancient Origins, it is still unknown who created the megalithic statues in Bada Valley. Although there are theories that the stones were made by a culture that created megaliths elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the megaliths in Bada Valley are considered unique.

However, in the notes of A.C. Kruyt, the founder of Poso, it is mentioned that before the arrival of the Dutch in Lore in 1908, it was still common for people to make stone tombs. There were still places where Kalamba (stone jars used for burial) were made. Thus, the creation of these objects comes from various periods, with some being as recent as a few hundred years ago or young megaliths.[3]


Bada Valley is situated in a relatively flat area surrounded by hills, which creates dramatic scenery with clouds often trapped at the hilltops around the valley. It is common to see one part of Bada Valley experiencing rain while another part is bathed in sunlight peeking through the clouds.[4]

In the middle of Bada Valley, the Lariang River flows, merging with the Malei River, making the flow of the Lariang River stronger. For this reason, the Lariang River was once used for river rafting. In the center of Bada Valley, the current of the Lariang River is quite calm due to the relatively flat terrain.[4]

Local Wisdom[edit]

The exact purpose of the megaliths is still unknown. The local community believes that the stones were used for ancestor worship. Additionally, the residents have stories about the origins of these megaliths. One story mentions a megalith named Tokala'ea, who was a rapist and was cursed to become a stone.[2]

Another story tells of a megalith named Tadulako. The community says Tadulako was once known as the village guardian, but after stealing rice, he was cursed to become a stone. Other stories associate the megaliths with human sacrifices. Some people also believe that the stones were intended to ward off evil spirits, while others claim that the objects have supernatural powers and can disappear or move.

Palindo, Torompana, Tarae Roe, and Loga are some of the names given by locals to the ancient statues in Bada Valley. Each statue has a unique story, one of which is Palindo. The local community once believed that Palindo stood upright.[5]

In Lore Lindu National Park, the traditional customs of the Lore tribe are still strong. Besides the stone statues and green rice fields, visitors will also find traditional Lore houses lined up. These wooden houses with ijuk (sugar palm fiber) roofs and bamboo walls are often used as lodging for visitors.

Elders in Sepe Village believe that the Palindo statue, which means "the entertainer" in the local language, represents their ancestors, the Tosaloge tribe. According to legend, the King of Luwuk ordered 1800 statues from Sepe to Palopo to mark his reign over Bada. These statues were supposed to face south, but the mission failed because the Bada people placed them facing west. When the king requested to change their position, the statues fell on the king's troops, killing around 200 people. The Bada people in the past offered sacrifices to these statues before undertaking major tasks, such as opening new farmland.[6]

Megalithic Statues[edit]


The Megalithic statues in Bada Valley represent human faces that have been stylized, where the eyebrows and nose are depicted as one, while the mouth is omitted. The statues in Bada Valley generally have clear gender markers. On the Palindo and Meturu statues, male genitalia are carved. On the Langke Bulawa statue, female genitalia are depicted. Gender differences are also depicted in facial features, where the female statues have faces with a fringe covering the forehead.[4]

The carvings on these megaliths are also described as minimalist. The figures are usually depicted with large heads, bodies without curves, and without legs. The faces are typically shown with round eyes and a single line representing the eyebrows, cheeks, and chin. Most of the statues appear to stand alone, but some are placed in groups. These megalithic stones are scattered throughout the valley. They include carvings of humans, animals, Kalamba, and many more.[2]

Other human statues are about 1.5 meters tall with a diameter of about 50 cm. Besides adult human statues, there is the Oba statue, which is 70 cm tall with a humorous face and unclear gender markers. Locals refer to it as a monkey figure, but it can also be interpreted as representing children.[1]


Kalamba are artifacts in the form of large jars with lids, 1.5-2 meters in diameter,

used for burial, found in Bada Valley. These Kalamba are often found with a stone cover. Around Kalamba, smaller stones are often found. It is suspected that these smaller stones served as small Kalamba for the remains of babies or children. Additionally, circular stones resembling small tables or stone mortars are also found around Kalamba.[2]

The human statues and Kalamba are suspected to have been created by the same culture. This is based on the presence of small Kalamba and mortar-like stones often found near the human statues.[4]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Misteri Patung Megalitikum di Poso". Detik. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lembah Bada, Situs Misterius di Indonesia yang Memukau Dunia". Liputan 6. Archived from the original on 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  3. ^ "Wisata Sejarah di Lembah Bada, Napu, dan Besoa". Little Deja. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  4. ^ a b c d "Trekking di Lembah Bada". Palu Gate. Archived from the original on 2016-07-23. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  5. ^ "Lembah Bada, Nuansa Pulau Paskah di Daratan Indonesia". Bintang.com. Archived from the original on 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  6. ^ "Bertualang Mencari Patung Megalitik". A S R I T O. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  • Tarling, Nicholas, The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia: From early times to c.1500, p. 134, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-35505-2 and ISBN 0-521-35506-0

1°52′48″S 120°15′00″E / 1.88000°S 120.25000°E / -1.88000; 120.25000