South Sulawesi Benteng Alla Village Fort Alla

Written by on May 20, 2012 in Indonesia, Central Indonesia Forts with 0 Comments

South Sulawesi Benteng Alla Village Fort Alla

Pong Tiku was born in 1846 in Tondon Village. Tana Toraja. He became the traditional leader after his father KaraEng passed away. During his reign he strengthened the economy by improving the quality and quantity of coffee production. The Arabica coffee is very well known and became the much sought commodity among traders, making Tana Toraja a much visited area by traders coming from around Tana Toraja and from outside Sulawesi, even from Holland. Upon hearing that the Kingdom of Bone, the strongest kingdom, was defeated by the Dutch, Pong Tiku held a meeting with the other traibal heads deliberating on the Dutch expansion toward Tana Toraja. Pong Tiku then built several forts and defense strongholds. One of them was Fort Alla which is located on a coral hill surrounded by layers of mountains making it difficult to penetrate; a large number of soldiers was needed to attack it. As the leader of a tribe living in a free area, he became the only tribal leader in Pangala who firmly held out and strongly defied the Dutch, unlike other tribal heads who surrendered when summoned by the Dutch. Pong Tiku firmly replied to the letter of Captain Kilian who summoned him:  I together with my people are born only once and die only once, we will not deliberate or surrender anything. Because of his firm standpoint, the Dutch did everything to catch Pong Tiku to prevent him from becoming a the symbol of defiance for the people of Tanah Toraja against the Dutch. After the Dutch succeeded to defeat the strongest Fort Buntu Batu, came the turn of Fort Alla and Ambesso to be attacked by the Dutch. Fort Alla was the last stronghold of Pong Tiku after the other forts were taken over by the Dutch. Twice did the Dutch launch the attack; the first on February 18, 1907 failed; the second attack was on March 13 in the same year when the Dutch succeeded to conquer Fort Alla but Pong Tiku and several of his soldiers managed to run away. He was however eventually caught after a traitor revealed his hiding place. Pong Tiku was given the death sentence by firing squad on July 10, 1907. ( Rian Timadar, 2010)

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