Indonesian Temple Gargoyle, Sulawesi region, mid-nineteenth
Celebes or Sulawesi is an Indonesian island located 300 kilometers east of Borneo, 600 kilometers south of the Philippines, 200 kilometers west of the Moluccas and northeast of Java.
Sulawesi is the modern Indonesian French name “Celebes”. The name means “iron trident” (Sula, Sanskrit trisula, “trident”, one of the attributes of the god Shiva, and wesi or besi, “iron”), because of the characteristic shape of the island, so “K”, the upper branch curves towards the east. It is attributed to young nationalists of South Sulawesi came to study in Java during colonial times. The shape of the island is known to Europeans since at least the eighteenth century, as evidenced by a map drawn by the Dutch engraver Jacobus van der Schley, titled Isles Philippines Celebes and Moluccas and published in 1747.