These consisted of tripang
(sea slugs), Swift bird's nest for soup on Chinese lauriat tables, tortoise shells (an environmental mortal sin today
This trade involved eastern Indonesia's highly coveted spices (cloves, nutmeg, mace), aromatic woods (cinnamon, sandalwood), and sea products (tortoiseshell, tripang
, or beche-de-mer) (Andaya 2011).
Warren concludes that 'the collecting and curing of a picul of tripang or a picul of mother-of-pearl shell required the average annual labour of two men for tripang and four men for mother-of-pearl'.
It was not uncommon', writes Warren, 'for a Taosug datu to employ several hundred fisherfolk (Samal retainers, slaves, or Samal Bajau Laut) in flotillas of fifty to one hundred small vintas, to collect tripang.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was an infusion of ethnically diverse captive people among the Balangingi--mostly through demands for their labor on raiding prahus and in the tripang
and pearl fisheries--that complicated the identity of the Samal populations.
This integration favoured Selayar's rise in the production of textiles (especially after 1600) and in the tripang trade(5) (since the 1750s).
30) Tjoa Lesang (Baba Lesang) and others were involved in the tripang trade; they had close relations with the Chinese trading community in Makassar, and they were representatives for some Dutch trading firms located there.