Monday, July 6, 2009

White Rhinoceros

This white single-horn rhinoceros sculpture is placed at the fountain pond located at the southern part of the Bandung City Hall Park.

Badak (the Sundanese word for rhinoceros) is an important animal in the Sundanese culture. A native animal of the land where the Sundanese people live, badak has long held a strong cultural significance in their lives. The word badak and its synomyms are used to name a lot of things, literally and figuratively. Here are some examples:

    ngabadak (v) - to open a field
    heuay badak (n) - a kitchen chimney
    badak heuay (n) - (literally: yawning rhino) a traditional Sundanese house architectural style in which the roof is open like that of a yawning rhino
    babadak (n) - a bamboo structure that is used to dam a river or put at a river bank to prevent landslide.
    ngaladog (v) - (ladog = badak = rhino) to roam far

Many places in West Java (the Sundanese land) are also named after this animal, for example cibadak (rhino water), rancabadak or rawabadak (rhino swamp), paguyangan badak (rhino bathing place), etc.

The single-horn Sundanese or Javan rhino (rhinoceros sondaicus) has mostly vanished in most part of the Sundanese land. Currently only about 50 are left in the wild. They are protected at the Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java Island. Not long ago, however, this animal used to roam free in many parts of the island. According to the surviving notes of Europeans visiting the area, for example, this animal could still be found in what now becomes the city of Bandung up until the end of the 18th century CE.


Photo Cache said...

that looks like the centerpiece of the park.

Anonymous said...

Your rhino photo and remarks are fascinating. Thanks. I've been here in Bandung about two weeks and will stay a bit longer. I'm an historian interested in especially natural history. You can look at my photostream (also about Bandung) on (fill in my webname/people 'rana pipiens').
Best wishes.

Mo said...

Maybe where the unicorn came from. A drawing of a skinny rhino.

Babooshka said...

As always such an absorbing read and the image it's self such a marvellous reflection.

Dina said...

Wow, imagine meeting a rhino in the wild!
Thanks Eki, I loved the language lesson here.

Carrie Hayes said...

Wonderful shots as always!! Hope all is well with you and your family.