Buton Island, off the south east coast of Sulawesi. is the former capital of the Sultan of Wolio, who ruled Buton and the nearby islands of Muna, Kabaena, Wowini and Tukangbesi. These rare Butonese fishing saddles, providing a support for the fisherman while line or rod fishing for many hours at a time, are part of the original island culture, and are found nowhere else in Indonesia .
I presume that each fisherman had his own personal saddle carved for him. A hole drilled underneath slides onto a support pole on the side of the fishing boat to provide a seat that swivels to make landing the fish or baiting the hook easier. This old and well used example is carved in the form of a fighting cock. I have not seen many of these rare artefacts, but those I have seen have all been carved as birds, a form that fits the upswept shape. This saddle is painted in trade paints (as are the boats themselves) and has an old and weathered patina. The dimensions are 33 x 18 cm / 13 x 7 inches. The saddle is supplied on a simple display stand.