Yale Southeast Asia Studies Monograph #48


by Gene Ammarell

This book is an ethnographic study of the indigenous navigational knowledge and practices of a group of Bugis seafarers who reside in an island village located in the Flores Sea, midway between South Sulawesi and Sumbawa in Indonesia.  Ethnohistorical data has allowed the author to trace both the origins and evolution of Bugis maritime activity from earliest records and the relatively recent settlement and development of the village, Balobaloang.  Changing social, cultural, economic, and political conditions are considered, as well as innovations in maritime technology, providing a context by which transformations in both the science and art of navigation and the role of the navigator can be understood. (Four over-sized maps included with book - see below >>)

Editorial Reviews: “The finest ethnographic account of an island Southeast Asian system of navigation …” -Harold C. Conklin

“Bugis Navigation is one of a small handful of truly distinguished, astute, and searching studies of the structure and transmission of local knowledge.  Ammarell’s impressive achievement ought to find a broad and lasting audience.” - James C. Scott

Reviewer Comments: “….a terrific book….will become a benchmark study….a fun read, leaving the reader convinced that nothing could be more interesting than sailing with (the) Balobaloang though Indonesia’s star-lit seas.”   -E. Tagliacozzo, Indonesia

  “…..fascinating book….excellent collection of maps and figures….One hopes that current ethnographic research on other maritime groups in Indonesia…will be undertaken with this attention to fine, detailed ethnography.”   -C. Duncan,  The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology

Gene Ammarell received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University in 1994, and became an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Ohio.  His primary research interests have included continuity and change of navigational knowledge and practice as well as ship design and construction among the Bugis of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, along with other Malayo-Polynesian peoples; and the political ecology of subsistence fishing and the impacts of destructive fishing practices and climate change on fisheries and the people who depend upon them for livelihood.


>Paper $27.00; ISBN 978-0-938692-70-6
 *Cloth $38.00; ISBN 978-0-938692-69-0

See Yale Southeast Asia Studies Monographs
for Ordering information and listings of other available books.

Paperback available in the US at Amazon.com,
(and in Europe, Japan and Canada on Amazon.uk, .de, .fr, .es, .it, .jp, .ca)

Books purchased direct from the publisher include four oversized fold-out maps

For paperback books purchased from Amazon, PDF versions of all four maps can be downloaded HERE >>

*Cloth bindings are library serial version: no jacket, no cover photo; blank with foil stamp on spine. Paperback includes cover design & photo - order cloth hardcover book directly from publisher.

Yale Southeast Asia Studies is a non-profit publishing entity at Yale University.