Tonsawang: a collaborative multimedia project documenting an endangered language of North Sulawesi

Tonsawang: a collaborative multimedia project documenting an endangered language of North Sulawesi

Language: Tonsawang (ISO639-3:tnw)
Depositor: Timothy Brickell
Location: Indonesia
Deposit Id: 0434
ELDP Id: IPF0246
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
The Tonsawang (a.k.a Tombatu) language is traditionally spoken in the village of Tombatu and a number of other smaller villages in the Southeast Minahasa province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This audio and video data corpus was collected during 2016 - 2018 as part of a post-doctoral research fellowship (IPF0246) funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme with Timothy Brickell as the Principal Investigator. This collection seeks to document aspects of Tonsawang language and culture by recording various culturally significant discourse genres, such as: narratives, songs, proverbs, and stories, as well as personal monologues and dialogues from speakers. The video recordings in the collection demonstrate a number of traditional activities such as: palm sugar collection and palm wine making, traditional wood crafting (e.g. making of ’kolintang’, a large wooden xylophone type instrument), preparation of traditional foods, and collection of indigenous flora and fauna.

Group represented
The speakers recorded for this corpus are primarily older residents from the villages of Kali, Silian, and Tonsawang in the Minahasa Tenggara 'Southeast Minahasa' province of North Sulawesi. The speakers are from the Tonsawang ethnic group, are from both genders, and are from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds.

Special characteristics
A specific goal of the project was to produce short, high quality video recordings depicting activities which are indicative of traditional daily life in the province. As well as being a record of daily life, these will be used as elicitation material for additional recordings. The use of culturally relevant videos as stimulus is preferable to the common practice of using videos or pictures which often depict activities in a Western or European context. The videos in this collection have been produced specifically for the speech community involved in the project and allowed speakers to continually see the results of the documentation project.

Of particular interest are the video recordings depicting the making and use of the kolitang intrument as well as various other instruments made of bamboo. These instruments are used at social events, weddings, funerals, and church services, and the process of creating them has not been previously documented.

Deposit history
The audio and video recordings in this collection were collected by Timothy Brickell during 2016 - 2018 as part of a post-doctoral research fellowship (IPF0246) funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme. The recording sessions took place in the Minahasa Tenggara and Minahasa provinces of North Sulawesi in houses and various outdoor areas. Timothy Brickell was the Principal Investigator and assistance was provided by Mr Albert Polii, Mr Djun Lempoy, Mr Jezar Mandey, and Mr Jenry Mandey.

Other information

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Timothy Brickell as the principal investigator and Timothy Brickell, Jezar Mandey, Albert Polii, and Djun Lempoy as the data collectors and researchers. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by name. Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors is available in the metadata.

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Brickell, Timothy. 2016. Tonsawang: a collaborative multimedia project documenting an endangered language of North Sulawesi (Minahasa and Minahasa Tenggara, Indonesia). London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: [insert link here]. Accessed on [insert date here].


Resources online and curated


Timothy Brickell
Affiliation: University of Melbourne

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2017 July 20 to 2017 July 20
Deposit hits:1
Files downloaded:
Without statistics

Showing 1 - 10 of 12 Items

Jan Peleng discusses the history of the village of Kali Oki' and the surrounding area. He speaks about the ethnographic, geographic, and cultural aspects of the region.

Recorded on: 2016-06-26

Following Pak Jan's narration about the history of Kali Oki' village, Pak Jan and Pak Simon discuss aspects of Tonsawang ethnic culture,current village news, and how the village has changed since they were young.

Recorded on: 2016-06-26

Ota Katupaan and Vensi Assa discuss the work they are currently doing in the village of Lolah. This invloves felling, chopping, and removing coconut trees so that the wood can be used for making furniture or in the construction of traditional Minahasan houses.

Recorded on: 2016-03-07

Jan Peleng narrates the traditional story of the 'Putri Korioh'. This story is judged to have originally occurred close to the town of Air Madidi in Minahasa, North Sulawesi.

Recorded on: 2016-07-07

This recording documents the preparation of the Minahasan dish known as tinutu'an 'vegetable stew/porridge'. Fanda Gigir prepares this before she and others eat it for lunch.

Recorded on: 2016-09-27

Pak Ruben Pondaag discusses the history of the Tombatu Timor area of Tombatu town, South eastern Minahasa district.

Recorded on: 2016-09-28

Ibu Karlien describes the ingredients and procedures for making the traditional Tonsawang dish known as "sopulut".

Recorded on: 2016-09-28

Pak Jan Peleng and Ibu Meske Tuerah discuss various aspects of the system of 'mapalus' or collaborative work which is traditionally central to Minahasan culture.

Recorded on: 2016-10-05

Om Bodi is filmed as he goes through the various processes for copra production. He first climbs a coconut tree to chop down some green coconuts. He then collects them in a cow-drawn cart. They coconuts are unloaded and deshusked next to a small hut where they are smoked. The new batch of coconuts and some older coconuts are dehusked and split into halves before being laid out on a rack above the smoking pit. A fire is lit and the coconut halves are smoked for approximately four hours. After this they are removed and an instrument is used to scoop out the smoked coconut flesh. This is then chopped up and put into sacks to be sold.

Recorded on: 2016-10-06