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Eldorado

Asia's isle of five seperate genders

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Eldorado

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi sprawls like a drunken starfish in the western Pacific Ocean, its four emerald limbs reaching into the Celebes, Molucca and Flores seas.

On its south-western tip sits the smog-choked port city of Makassar, long an important trading post and Indonesia's eastern gateway to the world.

In the grey dawn I stood on the waterfront and watched the curved prows of prahu sailing ships proceed elegantly into the chaos of Paotere Harbour, here to unload their bounty of sea cucumbers, cuttlefish and other strange creatures of the deep.

These vessels belong to the Bugis people, a seafaring society remarkable for its recognition of five separate genders.

Full article: BBC Travel

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