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At the time of many kingdoms still held the power in South Sulawesi, horse competition was a great value of pride. Skill of riding horse was the absolute prerequirement to participate in Ma’jonga or hunting deer event which was organized by king. To the common people, Ma’jonga was the moment where they could show their hunting skill and could raise their lower status to higher status as well. Ma’jonga competition was usually arranged by a king for his family pleasure. It was arranged in the yard inside the jungle. Deer from jungle were driven into the yard for being hunted by hunters. While the king and noblemen were watching from a tower. Hunters were riding their horses and holding tado, a wooden stick with lasso in its tip for catching deer. Tough chasing after deer requires a lot of shrewdness, more a hunter became shrewd both riding and catching dee, more the respects he got.
Actually riding horse tradition can be found in every village or town in Sulawesi. From Manado in the north to Jeneponto in the south, where is best known as horse village. The tradition has survived for hundred of years until to now in South Sulawesi, but we will face it in the different style now. Formerly it was a hunting event but now it was organized only for amusement and performance event. It became the predilection or hobby for many people from children to adult. Much of the horses’ jockeys are adolescents or younger people. They usually came from traditional horse breeder family. People regarded horse as symbol of masculinity.
- Translated from Kompas with some edits, Dari Ma'jonga hingga Pacuan Prestasi, January 21, 2007. Retrieved on March 28, 2007
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