Archive for the Indonesian Tribes Category

Torajaland – South Sulawesi – Indonesia: The Land That Time Forgot

Posted in Indonesian Tribes with tags , , on September 26, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1270

Torajaland: The Land That Time Forgot

Jesse Lewis, OurAmazingPlanet Contributor – Sep 24, 2012 09:41 AM ET
Thank you so much to Jesse Lewis for the beautiful Pictures and Story. (Yappy)
Step into Torajaland
Step into Torajaland
Credit: Jesse Lewis
The strangely shaped island of Sulawesi looks like someone squished a giant spider on the map of Indonesia. Squashed between Borneo to the west and the small islands of Muluku to the east, adrift between the continents of Asia and Australia, it is a place where land and water, species and cultures blend and converge. 

Here, in the southern highlands of Sulawesi is a place known as Torajaland. Visiting these misty mountain valleys is a little like walking into an anthropology lesson in unusual customs and ritual. The people of Torajaland build jutting “tangokonan” houses that vault out like ships from the snaking rice fields. But it is the ownership of water buffaloes, not houses, that indicates wealth and prestige in Torajaland.

Most distinct though are the elaborate funeral ceremonies that the Torajans are famous for. Huge, week-long events include dancing, poetry, music and hundreds of animal sacrifices to prepare the deceased for the afterlife, a journey to the stars.

Tectonic collisions

Tectonic collisions

Credit: Jesse Lewis

To ward off car sickness, I try to close my eyes and zone out as the battered jeep rattles around looping hairpin turns that come one after another. An enormous bag of rice takes up my leg space so I sit cross-legged. A young mother and four small kids crowd beside me, falling into my lap, and a screaming, bound pig in the back makes the zoning-out part tricky. This is overland transport Toraja-style.

Formed by crustal fragments of the Asian and Australian Plates that collided, central Sulawesi is rugged and mountainous. Streaked by several fault lines it is also highly prone to earthquakes, and several active volcanoes on the island keep things lively.

Covering an area of 67,413 square miles (174,600 square km), Sulawesi is the world’s 11th largest island. Roughly divided into four large peninsulas, a mountainous backbone straddles the interior cutting off each peninsula from one another. With such challenging geography, it is often easier for people to travel to different regions by sea than by land.

Evolution's laboratory

Evolution’s laboratory
Credit: Jesse Lewis
Over time, the bizarre geography of Sulawesi created ideal conditions to create equally bizarrely evolved species. With large peninsulas separated by rugged mountains, plant and animal populations evolved in isolation. Because of this the whole island is a bit like a living laboratory for studying evolution today, much like the evolutionary wonder of the Galapagos. 

The isolation of the island from other landmasses also makes it unique. Sulawesi sits in the heart of Wallacea, a biogeographical region that separates the flora and fauna of Asia from that of Australia via deep water straights. On one side are species from Asia, on the other those from Australia, with Sulawesi sitting in the middle; a transitional zone mixing species from both, and others found nowhere else.

So far 127 mammal species have been documented in Sulawesi, of which 62 percent (79 species) are endemic and found nowhere else in the world. Anoas (dwarf buffalos); tusked, hairless pigs called babirusas; and tiny primate tarsiers all call these forests home, along with a menagerie of birds, fishes, insects and plants. Indeed, the whole island is a global biodiversity hotspot, barely understood and documented but already critically threatened.

Growing eden
Growing eden
Credit: Jesse Lewis
Stumbling, dizzy and a little nauseous from my “Indiana Jones” jeep ride, I welcome the cool, fresh air of the mountains with relief. Looking over the landscape, I see rice paddies march up the hillside in terraced snaking designs. Stands of coffee, cacao and banana border the paths where ducks and pigs wander. Tall stands of bamboo jut out like islands from the watery fields, dimpled with so many green rice stalks. 

This lush, Eden-like landscape is both wild and cultivated and represents a complex agroecological system. Monsoon rains nourish the rice fields that are the staple of Torajaland and much of Southeast Asia. Snails, small fishes, slippery eels and innumerable insects thrive in the paddies. Ducks eat these creatures while buffaloes and pigs root in the mud, all adding fertilizer to the system in the process.

Between the rice paddies, dense patches of forest contain fruit trees, lumber and enormous bamboo galleries used for all number of things, including building houses. Perhaps most notable though are the lush coffee bushes that thrive in the cool mountain air producing some of the finest java in the world, touted as better even than that from neighboring Java.

Land of the water buffalo
Land of the water buffalo
Credit: Jesse Lewis
As I’m finding out in Sulawesi, exotic cultures are almost as numerous as the exotic species that thrive here. That being said Torajan culture is unique. Living in the interior, people in upland Torajaland often grew up in isolation from one another and developed elaborate cultural and belief systems governed by interwoven kinship relations. 

Each village is a closely related family clan where kinship is reciprocal. This means marriage between distant cousins is common, helping to strengthen bonds and create unity. Likewise, family clans work together to share work, property and wealth communally.

And in Torajaland, water buffaloes are wealth serving as labor, food and the means to pay off debts. Lazing in the mud, grazing by roadsides, or being bartered for in the markets, I saw these beasts adorned and adored everywhere I traveled. The most revered animals are rare albino buffalos that can be worth a fortune.

Aluk todolo
Aluk todolo
Credit: Jesse Lewis
Torajans are gifted artists and the unusual designs of their work catch the eye and kindle the curiosity. Geometric shapes depict harmony, natural images represent fertility, while the ubiquitous water buffalo symbolizes prosperity and wealth Torajan-style. 

Historically Torajans practiced a form of animism tied to nature and ancestor worship known as aluk todolo. Aluk was and is more than a belief system, though; it is also a common law that governs social life, rituals and planting times.

When Dutch missionaries arrived in the early1900′s, Torajan animist beliefs combined in unusual ways with Christianity. Discouraged from practicing traditional spirit worship, many customs became incorporated into Christian ceremonies, including the renowned Torajan death rites. Today the fusion of these influences, part animist and part Christian, symbolizes the unique heritage of Torajaland — the water buffalo juxtaposed with the cross.

Credit: Jesse Lewis
Vaulted, split-bamboo roofs jut out like Viking ships over my head. On the ceilings, psychedelic red, yellow and black designs swirl together in intricate designs. Buffalo horns march up pillars stacked one upon another from generations of funeral sacrifices representing this village’s history. 

Traditional Torajan ancestral houses like these are called tongkonan. These iconic structures lie at the center of Torajan social life, linking ancestors to living and future kin. What are the origins of this unusual architecture though?

According to myth, the first tongkonan were said to be have been built in heaven on four poles with a vaulted roof of Indian cloth. However, ethnographic research by some anthropologists suggests the Torajan people migrated to Sulawesi in boats from mainland Southeast Asia and this architecture symbolizes those origins in the shape of boats. Still others believe they represent space ships, literally linking Torajans to their mythical heavens — in a sense, a gateway to the cosmos.

Journey to the stars
Journey to the stars
Credit: Jesse Lewis
Torajan culture is probably most famous for its elaborate funeral ceremonies. The richer and more powerful the deceased, the larger is the funeral. These giant social events can go on for days and thousands of people have been known to attend. Often the family of the deceased saves up money for years to pay expenses for the funeral ceremony. This is the most important event of a person’s life as the body is prepared for a mythical journey to the stars. 

For the living it is quite a party, complete with dancing, chanting, poetry, many animal sacrifices and subsequent feasting. At the one I visited, hundreds of people were in attendance with water buffalo and squealing pigs being sacrificed by the dozen.

It is not for the faint of heart, though sitting around a rante funeral site watching the festivities with Torajan families starts to feel oddly like a family reunion after a while. Minus the visceral animal sacrifices and colorful, exotic ceremonies, Torajans are simply paying tribute to their elders as we all do. In Torajaland the deceased are celebrated and honored in a spectacular way.

Gaze of the tau tau
Gaze of the tau tau
Credit: Jesse Lewis
Water drips on my head and my hand recoils as something scurries away in the darkness. As I stumble deeper, following my guide’s weak light through a narrow passage, the cave opens up and there, illuminated in the lantern light are coffins. Holed away in the rock, this cave is a macabre tomb filled with recent, and half-rotten caskets spilling over with skulls and human bones. 

In Torajaland the dead are buried in caves, hung suspended from cliff walls, or sheltered in stone tombs carved out of the numerous karst rock formations that dot the landscape. Such unusual burial rites embody the living culture and traditions of Torajaland, while offering a glimpse into the deep cultural past.

For the higher status deceased, stone graves are sometimes carved out of cliffs like these where spooky wooden effigies called tau tau guard the graves. Often many generations worth of tau tau sit shoulder to shoulder, looking eerily down on trespassers.

Songs of the ancestors
Songs of the ancestors
Credit: Jesse Lewis
As my pupils adjust to the bright afternoon light following the cave darkness, I shuffle slowly back along a cliffside path. Bamboo platforms hold ancient coffins in the rocks above while an assortment of human scapulas, femurs and skulls litter the ground at my feet. Small offerings like flowers, bottles of water and clove cigarettes intermingle with the bones. 

Ahead on the trail a small boy holds up a skull and carefully places it on a rock. As I watch, he collects bones stacking them neatly in piles and tidying up the trail. He looks up and smiles as two other boys arrive to play. Their relaxed demeanor seems odd at first here in this place of death, but then I realize it too is a place of life. After all, this boy is probably tending the bones of a great-grandparent, maintaining a long tradition and serving as a lifeline to the ancestors.

Like emerging from the cave darkness, exploring Torajaland is like emerging back from a journey into the deep past. A place where dreams and reality mix and intermingle, where life and death have little distinction, where the songs of ancestors still ring over the hills.

Punan Tribe of Kalimantan

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

Punan Tribe of Kalimantan


An elderly Punan man performing Bungan rites. Photo taken at Punan Sama
Total population 5,000 (Sarawak only)
Office website Punan.Net
Region Sarawak
Language Punan
Religion Christianity & Animist
Related Ethnic Groups Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan’

Bah’ or Punan is an ethnic group found in SarawakMalaysia. They are distinct, unrelated to the Penan and also the other so called Punan found in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Their name stems from two rivers along the banks of which they have been living time immemorial. They do have other names – ‘Mikuang Bungulan’ or ‘Mikuang’ and ‘Aveang Buan’. But these terms are only used ritually these days.
The Punan (or Punan Bah) have never been nomad. In the old days they base their living on a mixed economy. Swidden agriculture with hill paddy as the main crop, supplemented by a range of tropical plants which include maniok, taro, sugar cane, tobacco, etc. Hunting especially wild boar, fishing, and gathering of forest resources are the other important factors in their economy.
However, in the late 1980s many Punan, notably the younger, more educated, gradually migrating to urban areas such as BintuluSibuKuching and Kuala Lumpur in search of better living. However that doesn’t they abandon their longhouses altogether. Many would still return home – especially during major festivities such as Harvest Festival / or Bungan festival as it is known among Punan.
Punan is a stratified society of ‘laja’ (aristocrats), ‘panyen’ (commoners), and ‘lipen’ (slaves). This is a fact determine their historical traditions that have been preserved. Just like most of the history of European Middle Ages is linked to and mainly concerned the various ruling monarchs, so are the historical and mythical traditions of Punan closely connected to their rulings aristocrats.
‘Are all Punan related tribes/ethnic?’ There is this popular misunderstanding that all the so called Punan on the island of Borneo are related and referring to the same tribe. In Sarawak there is the confusion between Punan and Penan. On the whole island of Borneo the term Punan have been indiscrimately use referring then an unknown tribes as such as Punan Busang, Penihing, Sajau Hovongan, Uheng Kareho, Merah, Aput, Tubu, Bukat, Ukit, Habongkot, Penyawung asPunan. Sadly this colonial naming system name stick until today. Hence, there are now more than 20 different tribes / ethnics found on the island of Borneo being called Punan. They are;



 Punan Busang

 Punan Penihing

 Punan Batu

 Punan Sajau

 Punan Hovongan di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

 Punan Uheng Kereho di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

 Punan Murung di Murung Raya, Kalteng

 Punan Aoheng (Suku Dayak Pnihing) di Kalimantan Timur

 Punan Merah (Siau)

 Punan Aput

 Punan Merap

 Punan Tubu

 Punan Ukit/Bukitan

 Dayak Bukat

 Punan Habongkot

 Punan Panyawung
These so called Punans are not related to the
 Punan or Punan Bah as being described in this page.


Officially, as under the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance and Article 161A, Clause 6 of the Malaysia
 Constitution”, Punan is group under Kajang together with Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan and Sihan. 
Unoffically, they are also included in the politically coined term
 Orang Ulu – popularized by a political association known as Orang Ulu National Association or (OUNA). The association is a Kayan andKenyah dominated association which they established in 1969.


‘Where are the Punan to found?’ Punan are mostly found around
Bintulu, Sarawak. Punan peoples can only be found at Pandan, Jelalong and Kakus in Bintulu Division; along the Rajang River, theirlonghouses dotted areas spanning fromMerit District to lower Belagatown. 
The Punan are believed to be one of the earliest peoples to have settled in the central part of Borneo, the Rajang River and
 Balui areas together with the Sekapan, Kejaman and Lahanan. However the mass migrations of Kayans, subsequently followed by the warfaring Ibans into Rejang and Balui areas approximately some 200 years ago, forcing the Punan communities living in these areas retreating to Kakus and subsequently to Kemena basin.
As in year 2006, there were more than 10 Punan settlements (longhouses) found along the Rejang, Kakus, Kemena and Jelalong river. These settlements (longhouses) are:

 Punan Lovuk Sama,

 Punan Lovuk Ba,

 Punan Lovuk Biau,

 Punan Lovuk Meluyou,

 Punan Lovuk Lirung Belang (name by Rumah Bilong before and now as known as Rumah Ado)

 Punan Lovuk Mina,

 Punan Lovuk Pedan (also Rumah Nyipa Tingang), and

 Punan Lo’o Buong (Jelalong also known as Rumah Adi). 
Total Punan population is estimated to be around 3000 – 5000 people.


Punan speak a language categorized as
 Punan Bah-Biau, a sub Rajang-Sajau language. Although often confused for the Penan, Punan language is actually closer to the language spoken by the Sekapans and Kejamans but not the Penan.
Here some word spoken in Punan:

1. Nu denge? – How are you?

2. Nu ngaro no? – What is your name?

3. Piro umun no? – How old are you?

4. Tupu koman si – Do you have your lunch/diner/breakfast?



Punan traditional regilion was a form
 animist known as “Besavik”. TheBrooke era saw the arrival of Christianmissionaries, bringing education and modern medicine into Sarawak. But the Punan communities remain with their traditional religion of Besavik and subsequently adopting a cult religion – Bungan brought by Jok Apui, a Kenyah from Kalimantan. 
However in the late 1990 show an increase in the number of Punan converting to Christianity. This is partly due to more and more Punan have became educated and modernization. As in 2006 almost half of Punan are now Christian, leaving only the elderly, less educated still remain observing “Bungan” religion.
The Punan have a unique burial custom. In the early days they did not bury their aristocrats or “lajar”. Instead they built a pole known as kelirieng of 50 meter high to lay down their beloved leaders. In Sarawak it is estimated to be less than 30 kelirieng left standing. The Punan still practice secondary burial ceremony – whereby the dead body is kept at their longhouse for at least 3 – 7 days. This is partly to give more time for far away relatives to give their last respect to the deceased.



 Nicolaisen, IDA.1976. ”Form and Function of Punan Bah Ethno-historical Tradition” in Sarawak Museum Journal Vol XXIV No.45 (New Series). Kuching.

 ‘Punan National Association’.

 ‘Leigh, MICHEAL’. 2002. ”Mapping the People of Sarawak”. UNIMAS. Samarahan.

 The Official Punan Community site

 The Official Punan Community Blog

 Punan Community Forum

 Calvin Jemarang


‘Note:’ There is still lack of literatures on Punan peoples. Available information about these peoples were often sourced from either passing notes written by Brooke and Colonial administrators not in-depth scholarly research. The earliest? literature on Punan is probably one written by Eduardo Beccari, an Italian botanist and traveller in 1876?. In the late 1950s, Rodney Needham, Tom Harrisson, de Martinoir wrote a brief notes on Punan people they either personally met or heard from their guides along the Rajang river. Because of the lack of information many have confused them for Penan and also the Punan of Kalimantan. In Sarawak for example the Punan was wrongly classified as Penan by the National Registeration Department in the late 1990. They are also often confused for a politically coined term such as “Kajang” and “Orang Ulu”. As such the Punan through their association ‘Punan National Association’ is willing to collaborate with both foreign and local scholars who interested in doing social, economic research among the communities.


East Kalimantan – 48 Tribes

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

East Kalimantan – 48 Tribes

East-Kalimantan 48 Tribes

East Kalimantan is one of province in Indonesia. It’s serves as a gateway to other destinations on Kalimantan Island. Most destinations, such as the Dayak settlements in the hinterland along the big rivers, can be reached from here, moreover, a visit toKalimantan does not seem complete without a visit to East Kalimantan.The province of East Kalimantan occupies an area of 211,440 square kilometres. It is the biggest province of Indonesiasince Irian Jaya has been officially divided into three. It has a population of more than two million, distributed over 1,080 villages, in 73 districts, or seven people per square kilometer.The province consists of four regencies : Kutai, with the capital Tenggarong: Pasir ( capital Tanah Grogot ) ; Berau ( capital Tanjung Redeb),and Bulungan (capital Tanjung Selor).
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The average annual rainfalls is 1,642 mm in the coastal regions, and 3,963 mm in the hinterland up to the northern parts of the province, bordering on Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo.

About 80 percent of East Kalimantan consists of tropical rain forests, which cover on area of about 15.9 million hectares, consisting of nature and wildlife reserves and recreational forests (1.9 million hectares);protected forests(3.6 million hectares); limited production forests (4.8 million hectares ); production forests (5.5 million hectares); and research and educational forests (18,000 hectares). The acreage covered by convertible production forests is 5.1 million hectares.
The forests of East Kalimantan contain a wealth of rare flora and fauna. The black Orchid (Clogena pandurata), Nephents Amularia and Rattan vines growing up to 200 meters long, grow in these forests. So do various species of valuable tropical hardwoods.
Among the animal species typical of Kalimantan, living in the forests are chimpanzees (Pongee pygmaeus), bekantan (Nasalis Larvatus), Mahakam fresh – water dolphins or pesut (Orcela fluminalis) and many bird varieties.

The cultural and artistic traditions of the island’s indigenous Dayak population are still preserved in this region, especially in the hinterland of East Kalimantan. Sailing up the streams near the Malaysian border, one can still meet Traditional Dayak settlements than seem to have been little touched by the advent of modernity.
Decades ago, a stone bearing inscriptions in the ancient Palawa script of India was found revealing advanced civilization in this area in as early as the Fourth century A.D. The inscriptions mention the name Mulawarman as that of a great and noble king, reigning in the area.Apart from that ancient monument , however , very little has been left of the Hindu and Buddhist period in Kalimantan. Subsequent evidence found attests to the rise of Islam at around the 16th century, in Kalimantan.
The Dutch came to Kalimantan to trade, but although a flotilla visited Kutai in 1635, real attempts to establish a permanent relationship were not made until the middle of the 19th century. An agreement between the Dutch and the Bulungan Kingdom was closed in 1850. The cooperation did not last long , however, because the BulunganKingdom did not gain anything from the relationship . Some tribal chieftains even revolted against the king of Bulungan, who they considered to have become a Dutch puppet.
In 1933, a Dutch company began mining oil in Tarakan and BunyuIsland. During World War II , When the Japanese invaded what was then the Netherlands East Indies, the first target for their attaches was Tarakan, which they occupied for the main purpose of taking over its oil field.


Kwangkai is the death ceremony of the Tunjung and Benuaq, Dayaks of East Kalimantan . It usually lasts for ten days and ten nights and is designed to fulfill the dual purpose of leading the soul of the dead to the hereafter, and welcoming the new spirits which are arriving through the newborn.The first part of the ceremony is called Setanggih, which reflects the Dayak cult of ancestor worship.

The follows the Ngerangkai, in which a dance is performed by group of women.Next come the Pekanan Saru, in which offering are made to the spirits. This involves the performance of ritual dances by the Belian Bawo (shaman). Also the Gantar Adat Dance is performed. The most important part of the ceremony involves the killing of buffaloes and other animals.

The Kwangkai ceremony is held either by individual families or collectively. It is usually held shortly after the harvest season. Before the ceremony takes place , the corpse is placed in the Lungun, a round wooden coffin, where , it is kept for many months so that the bones become dry.

.In Families which cannot afford to keep the remains in the house for so long, (it must be given food every day), they are preserved for a few days only. Then the corpse is buried in the usual way, to be dug up and moved as soon as the means needed to hold a Kwangkai are available.

Ngungu Tahun is an annual post-harvest offering ceremony. It is held as a kind of thanksgiving ritual after a prosperous year.The ceremony starts with the worship of the ancestors, followed by a series of rituals.

(thanks to  Upacara_Adat_Kematian_Dayak_di_Kubar for the nice pictures)

Erau Paray

Erau Paray is a ceremonial feast of the Kenyah and Punan Dayaks. It starts with the worship of the ancestors and the offering of thanks.
Bob Jenggeu is ceremony of the Medang tribe in the Muara Ancalong and Muara Wahau district, Kutai regency , which is accompanied by other rituals such as Uding, Dang Tung, Ne Legur , Ne Lei, Ne Blok and Nam Bleu. It is also accompanied by traditional sport events, as well as dances such as the Jong Nyelong, Ngeway and Ding Suk.

Erau Hudeg or Hudeg Feast is ceremony of the Bahau, in Long Iram and Long Bangun, Kutai regency This feast is held after the harvest season as an expression of gratitude. It lasts for several days and is accompanied by traditional dances and sporting contest.

Dangai is ceremony held by the Bussang and Penihing Umak Suling Dayaks in the hinterland along the Mahakam river, in the Long Pahangai and Long Apari districts, and in the hinterland of the Kutai regency. It is also held by the Kayan Dayaks in the hinterland regions of Bulungan regency. Dangai is held after the harvest season, and usually lasts for ten days and ten nights. It starts with the worship of the ancestors, with food offerings for the gods and the spirits of the ancestors. Dancing girls circle the offerings, dancing and singing in worship of the ancestors. The Tepung Mawar ceremony is held at the same time for girls entering adulthood , so that they will get good, honest and responsible husbands. Newly born babies are givens names. The highlight of the Dangai ceremony is a fight a kind of wrestling contest – between men, which takes place on rotten rice spread on banana’s leaves . While the match goes on , women dance and sing in a circle around the arena, stamping their feet all the while.

(Thanks to for the nice pictures)
Palas Tahun is a thanksgiving ceremony of the Malayu Kutai Tribe , in Muara Bengkal , Kutai Regency. It lasts for three days and three nights, and is accompanied by traditional dances and sporting events.
Pangkon is ceremony originating from the Kutai Sultanate. It is held apart from the tribal Erau feast to honor the quest. There are various other rituals and ceremonies, designed to mark important events too numerous to mention one by one.

Ampanang 33.000 Animism
central, southeast of Tunjung, Jambu, Lamper area
The Ampanang people group lives just east of Central Kalimantan, southeast of the city of Tunjung, not far from the cities of Jambu and Lamper. Kalimantan, meaning “River of Diamonds,” is the name for the Indonesian two-thirds of the island of Borneo; Malaysia and Brunei occupy the other one-third. The Ampanang are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster, which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic complex. Dayak peoples tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan. They are sometimes sub-divided as either Land or Sea Dayaks, although this is primarily a European designation to distinguish the various groups. They are usually further characterized by: (1) bilinear inheritance and bilateral kinship reckoning; (2) uxorilocal residence or living with or near the kin of the wife; (3) political unity rarely above the level of the village; (4) absence of social stratification (although slavery is or was practiced by some groups); (5) multifamily dwellings (often including longhouses); and (6) in most cases, secondary burials. The Dayak tribes apparently came from West Asia as a migration of the Mongols who entered the archipelago through the southern Kalimantan coastal city, which is now called Martapura.
The primary means of livelihood for the Ampanang include hunting, gathering forest products, fishing, farming, and trade. Although most Ampanang live beside rivers, there are also those who live in areas far from any river. The Ampanang culture is intertwined with their belief in unseen spirits. In the same way, the arts and various other activities are incorporated into their belief system. The Ampanang also uphold various traditional ceremonies. These ceremonies include matchmaking and engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth, healing of a sickness, and burial. Ritual ceremonies are also often observed during the time of celebrating their important holidays.
Generally the Ampanang people are followers of the traditional Dayak beliefs, called Kaharingan. In addition, some are also followers of the Nyuli belief. The focus of the Nyuli teaching is that there is a resurrection after death (Suli). According to Nyuli teaching, Bukit Lumut releases the departed spirit. Such a spirit then returns to their village, bringing something from eternity that can be used to improve the condition of the world. The Ampanang people also give praise to the spirits of their ancestors (duwata). Each Ampanang family has a place of worship for their own duwata in their house. This place of worship is usually called kunau. They also use a pangantuhu, a piece of human bone, as a tool to call departed ancestors. 


Aoheng 2.630 Animism
north central near Sarawak border, upper reaches of Kapuas, Barito, and Mahakam rivers. Alternate names: Penihing. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Kereho [xke], 67% with Hovongan [hov].
Bahau 4.800  Animism 

Bahau , kalimantan, tribe, dayak, suku

Northeast, north, and southeast of Busang. Long Apari, Long Pahangai, Long Bagun, and Long Hubung subdistricts, Kutai Barat Regency.
Bakumpai 108.000 Islam 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, Bakumpai , suku

Kapuas and Barito rivers, northeast of Kuala Kapuas. Alternate names: Bakambai, Bara-Jida. Dialects: Bakumpai, Mengkatip (Mangkatip, Oloh Mengkatip). Lexical similarity: 75% with Ngaju [nij], 45% with Banjar [bjn].
The majority of the Bakumpai live near the Barito River, which flows through the province of Central Kalimantan. In southern Kalimantan, the Bakumpai live in Bakumpai District of Barito Kuala Regency while those in Central Kalimantan live in South Barito Regency. Their neighbors in the south are the Banjar people and in the north the Ngaju and Maanyan peoples. Some experts speculate that the Bakumpai are one of the sub-groups of the Ngaju people group, although the Bakumpai consider themselves a separate people group. The Bakumpai are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic cluster. Dayak peoples (sometimes subdivided as either Land or Sea Dayaks) tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan. The Dayak tribes probably originated from West Asia as migratory Mongols who entered the archipelago from the west through the coastal city which is now called Martapura (in South Kalimantan).
The area where the Bakumpai live is crisscrossed with many rivers. The Bakumpai have therefore developed technology for water transportation. They usually farm wet rice fields due to the rise and fall of the tide. Other work is cultivation of un-irrigated fields, fishing in the rivers, trade, and production of household tools. Although the Bakumpai are considered part of the larger group of Dayak tribes, their social life and culture is influenced more by the culture of the Banjar people. In the past, when the area of the Banjarmasin was still controlled by a Hindu kingdom, the social system was influenced by the caste system according to the Hindu religion. The system of kinship of the Bakumpai is also similar to the bilateral system of the Banjar. Along with the husband, the wife also exercises an important role in the nuclear family. According to the traditions of the Bakumpai, the newly married couple is free to choose their place to live. They may choose to live with the husband’s relatives, with the wife’s relatives, or separately in their own home. The system of dividing inheritance tends to be implemented according to the rules of the religion of Islam.
Generally, the Bakumpai are followers of Islam.
Banjar  3.916.000 Islam 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, , banjar, suku

Around Banjarmasin south and east; East Kalimantan, coastal regions of Pulau Laut, Kutai and Pasir; Central Kalimantan as far as Sampit. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Bandjarese, Banjar Malay, Banjarese, Labuhan. Dialects: Kuala, Hulu. Lexical similarity: 73% with Indonesian [ind], 66% with Tamuan (Malayic Dayak), 45% with Bakumpai [bkr], 35% with Ngaju [nij]. 

The southern and eastern coast of Kalimantan is home to the Banjar people, who live up and down the rivers from the interior rainforest to the coastal cities. Banjar culture dominates the province of South Kalimantan, and there are also significant Banjar populations in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and Malaysia. Although they are devout Muslims, the Banjar proudly trace their origins to a legendary Hindu kingdom, the Negara Dipa. Contemporary ethnic identity developed from a combination of Jawa (Java), Melayu (Malay), and Dayak cultures. Through the Jawa people, Buddhism, Hinduism and finally Islam were introduced into South Kalimantan. In 1526, Banjar Prince Samudera accepted Islam and took the name of Sultan Suriansyah as a condition of receiving help from a Jawa army in overthrowing his uncle.
Banjarmasin, the capital city of South Kalimantan, is located 22 kilometers from the Jawa Sea, and since portions of the city are below sea level, the city rises and falls with the tides. Lanting (houses on stilts) line the multiple waterways, which crisscross the city. Taking a small klotok (motorized boat) around the rivers and canals shows a wide variety of activity: people bathing, washing laundry, gossiping, and buying fruit and vegetables and fish from women vendors in tiny canoes. The Banjar people seldom move to other areas of Indonesia. They tend to marry and settle near their parents or other relatives in Kalimantan. Most seek their livelihood through farming and plantation work near the rivers. Trade, transport, and mining are also prominent occupational fields. Many Banjar work in traditional manual sawmills but are reluctant to work in the plywood factories and commercial sawmills because of the unhealthy conditions.
The all-pervasiveness of Islam in Banjar society has a great influence on every aspect of individual and family life.
Basap 26.000 Animism
scattered in Bulungan, Sangkulirang, and Kutai regencies. Dialects: Jembayan, Bulungan, Berau, Dumaring, Binatang, Karangan.
Berau Malay 12.000 Islam
central coastal area, Tanjungreder and Muaramalinau north to Sepinang south. Alternate names: Berau, Merau Malay.
The Berau live in Berau Regency, East Kalimantan Province and especially in the districts of Tanjungredeb, Gunung Tabur, Sembaliung, and Babanir. The Berau speak their own language. This language differentiates them from other people groups in East Kalimantan. According to a linguist, there are not more than 45,000 people speaking the Berau language.
The Berau mainly make their living as either farmers or fishermen. The farmers grow sweet potatoes, cassava, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Like other Kalimantan people groups in general, the Berau practice migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another) mainly because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. New farmland is opened by cutting down trees and burning the underbrush. The initial clearing of a field is accomplished with the help of a large group of neighbors. This farming method is often accused of being the main cause of forest fires in Kalimantan. Even though their actions do cause some damage, it is not comparable to the destruction done by businessmen who hold “Forest Enterprise Rights” from the government. Some Berau living in cities work for government or private businesses. Others work as craftsmen or day laborers.The Berau people also produce a handicraft of specially woven fabric, which they often sell to outsiders. A new form of income that has developed recently is the presenting of their traditional ancestral ceremonies as a tourist attraction.Most of the Berau follow the patrilineal kinship system (tracing descent from the father). Male primacy is very important and is dominant in every aspect of life. The men determine issues concerning marriages and inheritance. In the past, the Berau apparently had class distinctions but these have since faded in modern times. Today, wealth and formal education are factors determining one’s social status. The richer a person is or the higher a person’s formal education, the higher their position and social standing in the eyes of the Berau community.
Today most Berau identify themselves as Muslims.
Bolongan  18.000 Christian
Tanjungselor area, lower Kayan River. Alternate names: Bulungan. Dialects: May be a dialect of Tidong [tid] or Segai [sge]. Classification uncertain.
Bukit Malay  76.000 Animism
Bukitan 570
Iwan River, Sarawak border. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Bakatan, Bakitan, Beketan, Mangkettan, Manketa, Pakatan. Dialects: Punan Ukit, Punan Busang.
Burusu  9.100 Animism
Bulungan Regency, Sesayap subdistrict, Sekatakbunyi area, north of Sajau Basap [sjb] language. Alternate names: Berusuh, Bulusu.
Busang Kayan 4.500  Animism
upper Mahakam, Oga, Belayan rivers. Alternate names: Busang, Kajan, Kajang. Dialects: Mahakam Busang, Belayan, Long Bleh.
Dusun Malang 4.600  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, North Barito Regency, west of Muarainu, northeast of Muarateweh. Dialects: Bayan, Dusun Malang. Most similar to Ma’anyan [mhy], Paku [pku], Dusun Witu [duw], Malagasy [plt]. Lexical similarity: 90% between the 2 dialects.
Dusun Deyah 30.000 Animism
South Kalimantan Province, Tabalong River northeast of Bongkang. Alternate names: Deah, Dejah. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 53% with Lawangan [lbx], 52% with Tawoyan [twy].
Dusun Witu 5.300  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, South Barito Regency, Pendang and Buntokecil regions; south of Muarateweh. Dialects: Dusun Pepas, Dusun Witu. Most similar to Ma’anyan [mhy], Paku, Dusun Malang [duq], Malagasy [plt]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Ma’anyan, 73% with Paku [pku].
Hovongan  1.200 Animism
West Kalimantan Province near Sarawak and East Kalimantan Province borders; Kapuas Hulu Regency, far northeast corner. Alternate names: Punan Bungan. Dialects: Hovongan, Penyavung, Semukung Uheng. Lexical similarity: 69% with Kereho [xke], 67% with Aoheng [pni].
Kayan Mahakan 1.800 Animism
West Kutai and Malinau regencies, 2 areas.
Kayan River Kayan 3.000 Animism 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, kayan, , suku

Kayan River, 2 areas. Alternate names: Kajang, Kayan River Kajan. Dialects: Uma Leken, Kayaniyut Kayan, Uma Laran.
Kelabit  5.200 Christian 

Kelabit, kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

remote mountains, on Sarawak border, northwest of Longkemuat. Mainly in Sarawak. Alternate names: Kalabit, Kerabit, Apo Duat. Dialects: Lon Bangag, Tring, Bareo (Bario), Pa’ Mada, Long Napir. 

Kelabit, kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

The Kelabit are an ethnic group in Malaysia with a small number living in Indonesia. The main Kelabit settlement is in northeast Sarawak, Malaysia. The Kelabit heartland, Bario lies 1,000 metres above sea level in the remote Kelabit Highlands. Bario is accessible only by air transport. Sixteen Kelabit villages are located within this highland plateau, while four other villages are located in the lowlands along the tributaries of the Baram River. 

The Kelabit’s ancestors were traditionally farmers and headhunters. The Kelabit of today live a more progressive life. Many have migrated to urban areas for work or further education.

The Kelabit are a close-knit community, noted for their cheerful, industrious and refined nature and generous hospitality. Family life and friendships are highly valued in their society.
Most Kelabit villages are longhouse settlements. The rural Kelabit plant wet-paddy, producing high quality rice commonly known as ‘Bario Rice’. They also cultivate fruits and raise buffaloes, sheep and cattle. The people hunt and fish when the rice-planting season is over. The level of education among the Kelabit is considerably high. Many work in the civil service and the private sector in major urban areas.

They used to strictly observe a social hierarchy which consists of three classes, namely the paran ‘aristocrats’, the pupa ‘middle class’ and the anak lun ian ada ‘commoners’. However with the advent of Christianity and education, such classifications are slowly diminishing.

A Kelabit couple may mark their new status as parents and grandparents by changing their names at a special festive ceremony called Irau Naru Ngadan. The Kelabit are good dancers. Well-known dances include the Arang Papate (The Dance of War) and the graceful Arang Menengang (The Dance of the Hornbill).

Singing, story-telling and joke-sharing sessions are popular traditional pastimes. Games such as football and volleyball are also popular among them. Antique beads are highly valued by the Kelabit. These centuries-old valuable beads are not only used as body adornments but also serve as family heirlooms.
The Kelabit’s forefathers were fervent animists. They appeased spirits and depended on the sighting of certain animals to warn them of impending disaster. Certain taboos and bad omens required the abandonment of ripening rice crops, the dissolution of marriages and even the killing of newborn infants.

The arrival of Christianity in the 1940s saw the Kelabit discarding most of their old beliefs. Most Kelabit today are evangelical Christians. Christmas and Easter are two important festivals celebrated as a community.

Kereho  500
West Kalimantan Province, far east Kapuas Hulu Regency, near Sarawak border, Kereho River. Alternate names: Keriau Punan. Dialects: Busang (Kereho-Busang), Seputan, Uheng (Kereho-Uheng). Lexical similarity: 69% with Hovongan [hov], 69% with Aoheng [pni].
Kota Bangun Kutai Malay 80.000 Islam
central Mahakam River basin. Dialects: Not intelligible with Tenggarong Kutai Malay [vkt], but may be intelligible with one of its dialects (Northern Kutai).
Lawangan 100.000 

Karau River area. Alternate names: Luwangan, Northeast Barito. Dialects: Ajuh, Bakoi (Lampung), Bantian (Bentian), Banuwang, Bawu (Bawo), Kali, Karau (Beloh), Lawa, Lolang, Mantararen, Njumit, Purai, Purung, Tuwang, Pasir, Benua, Taboyan. At least 17 dialects. Tawoyan [twy] may be inherently intelligible. Lexical similarity: 77% with Tawoyan, 53% with Dusun Deyah [dun]. 

Lun Bawang 34.000  Animism, Christian 20 %
The Murut comprise several people groups that are scattered in parts of Borneo Island including Brunei, Kalimantan (Indonesia), and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Their largest numbers are in Sabah but some also inhabit the rural Temburong District in Brunei. They were among the last tribal groups on Borneo to renounce headhunting. The largest Murut people groups are Tagal, Tidung, Timugon, Sembakung, Paluan, Bookan, Kalabakan, and Serundung Murut. The Sabah Murut population is around 135,000 while around 1,200 are found in Brunei. 


The literal meaning for Murut is ‘hill people’. The Murut were formerly shifting cultivators moving their settlements every few years. Each people group has their own dialect, but most are also conversant in Malay which is the national language in Brunei and Malaysia. Interior from Brunei Bay to Padas River headwaters, to Baram headwaters, and into East Kalimantan, Indonesian mountains where Sesayap River tributaries arise. Also in Brunei, Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Southern Murut, Lundayeh, Lun Daye, Lun Dayah, Lun Daya, Lun Dayoh, Lundaya Putuk. Dialects: Lun Daye, Papadi, Lun Bawang (Long Bawan, Sarawak Murut). Not Murutic, although sometimes called Southern Murut.

The Murut used to live in communal longhouses, usually near rivers. Today, they have abandoned this style of living for individual family houses. These modern-style Murut villages are still located in the areas of their former longhouse communities. They are a very hospitable people.

Traditionally, they used the rivers as their highways. They planted hill rice and tapioca, and hunted and fished for a living. The men were skilled hunters, using blowpipes, spears and hunting dogs. Today, cultivating hill rice is their main occupation. Saw milling, timber processing and military careers are other means of livelihood.

Generally speaking, the Murut in Brunei have participated in the economic prosperity and modernization of Brunei Darussalam over the past few decades. The Murut in Sabah have also had increased opportunities resulting from modernization, although those who live in remote locations have not benefited as much from these changes.
Many of the Murut peoples in both Sabah and Brunei characterize their entire people group as being Christian. However, this is often done to distinguish their culture from their earlier culture and from the predominant Muslim culture than to characterize individual beliefs.

Many of those that call themselves Christian are nominal believers. Among church members, there is a mix of Roman Catholic and Protestant affiliations. Brunei statistics reveal that the Murut community is 58% Muslim, 30% “tribal religionists” (animists) and the rest Christian. Malaysian census data count the Murut in Sabah as about 82% Christian, 13% Muslim, and 5% other religions. These numbers can be misleading since they count all those in a household as having the same belief as the head of the household.

Ma’anyan 150.000 


Central Kalimantan, Barito Selatan Regency, South Tamianglayang area, Dusun Hilir, Karau Kuala, Dusun Selatan, Dusun Utara, Gunung Bintang Awai, Dusun Tengah, Awang, and Patangkep Tutui subdistricts. Patai River drainage area. Alternate names: Ma’anjan, Maanyak Dayak. Dialects: Samihim (Buluh Kuning), Sihong (Siong), Dusun Balangan. Related to Malagasy languages in Madagascar. Lexical similarity: 77% with Paku [pku], 75% with Dusun Witu [duv].
Mainstream Kenyah 12.000
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau Regency, Pimping, Long Setulang, Batu Kajang, Long Uli, Long Belua villages, Kayan, Mahakam, Upper Baram, Bahau, Upper Balui, Malinau, Belayan, and Telen river areas. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Usun Apau Kenyah, Highland Kenyah. Dialects: Lepo’ Tau, Lepo’ Bem, Uma’ Jalan, Uma’ Tukung, Lepo’ Ke, Lepo’ Kuda, Lepo’ Maut, Lepo’ Ndang, Badeng, Bakung, Lepo’ Tepu’.
Modang 23.000  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Segah, Kelinjau, and Belayan rivers. 5 areas. Dialects: Kelingan (Long Wai, Long We), Long Glat, Long Bento’, Benehes, Nahes, Liah Bing.
Ngaju , Dayak Ngaju, Biadju 958.000 Christian 

Ngaju , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

Kapuas, Kahayan, Katingan, and Mentaya rivers, south. Alternate names: Biadju, Dayak Ngaju, Ngadju, Ngaja, Ngaju Dayak, Southwest Barito. Dialects: Ba’amang (Bara-Bare, Sampit), Katingan Ngaju, Katingan Ngawa, Kahayan, Kahayan Kapuas, Mantangai (Oloh Mangtangai), Pulopetak. Related to Bakumpai [bkr]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Bakumpai, 62% with Kohin [kkx], 50% with Ot Danum [otd], 35% with Banjar [bjn].
Okolod, Murut Okolod 3.390 Animism, Christian40%
East Kalimantan Province along Sabah border, east of Lumbis, north of Lundayeh; also in Sarawak. Also in Malaysia (Sarawak). Alternate names: Kolod, Kolour, Kolur, Okolod Murut. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 82% with Okolod of Sabah, 70% with Pensiangan Murut dialect of Tagal Murut [mvv], 34% with Lun Bawang [lnd].
Ot Dahun 78.800 

Ot Dahun , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

Upper reaches of south Borneo River, large area south of Schwaner Range. Ulu Ai’ on Mandai River with 7 villages. Alternate names: Dohoi, Malahoi, Uud Danum, Uut Danum. Dialects: Ot Balawan, Ot Banu’u, Ot Murung 1 (Murung 1, Punan Ratah), Ot Olang, Ot Tuhup, Sarawai (Melawi), Dohoi, Ulu Ai’ (Da’an), Sebaung, Kadorih, Kuhin. Lexical similarity: 70% with Siang [sya], 65% with Kohin [kkx], 60% with Katingan dialect of Ngaju [nij], 50% with Ngaju (main dialect) [nij].
Paku 3.700 Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, East Barito Regency, south of Ampah. Alternate names: Bakau. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 77% with Ma’anyan [mhy], 73% with Dusun Witu [duv].
Punan Aput 600  Animism 

kalimantan, tribe, dayak, punan, suku

East Kalimantan Province, west and north of Mt. Menyapa. Alternate names: Aput. Dialects: Allegedly unintelligible to other Penan languages.
Punan Merah 200  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Mahakam River, east of Ujohhilang.
Punan Merap 200  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, east of Longkemuat.
Punan Tubu 3.100   Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau, Mentarang, and Sembakung rivers, coastal. 8 locations. Dialects: Not a Kenyah language (Soriente 2003).
Sa’ban 900 Christian
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Sarawak border, south of Lundayeh. Alternate names: Saban, Merau.
The Sa’ban are a small people group living in the Punang Kelapang region in the remote Kelabit Highlands of northeast Sarawak. Long Banga is the main Sa’ban village in the highlands. Many Sa’ban have also moved to urban areas such as Miri for work purposes. 

The Sa’ban originally lived in the upper reaches of the Bahau River in east Kalimantan. Migration to Sarawak began around 1900 and continued until the late 1960s.

Despite sharing many cultural similarities with the neighboring Kelabit, the Sa’ban are a distinct people who even today seldom intermarry with outsiders. Historically their warriors were renowned for their bravery and steadfastness in battle. The Sa’ban are an industrious people. A strong desire exists among them to improve their standard of living.
A typical Sa’ban village consists of houses built in an alignment similar to that of a longhouse. Nowadays, individual houses are also built in the villages. Farming is a major economic activity. They practice shifting paddy cultivation. Coffee and sugarcane are planted as cash crops.

Many Sa’ban have taken up jobs in urban areas. They also work in the logging and plantation industries. The level of education among the Sa’ban is high. Schoolchildren normally have to finish their higher secondary school education in faraway towns. A few individuals are university and college graduates. The Sa’ban live in extended families. The adoption of children among close relatives is common. Sa’ban society consists of aristocrats and commoners. Formerly there was also a slave class. Village heads are usually elected from the aristocratic class. A Sa’ban couple changes their names upon the births of their first child and first grandchild. Parents also address their children using special terms. Certain traditional practices of elongating earlobes and tattooing among both men and women have almost died out. The practice of keeping antique jars and beads as heirlooms continues even today.
The Sa’ban previously practiced animism. Deep in spirit-worship, they kept the skulls of their enemies in their longhouses.

In the early 1950s, the first Protestant Christian missionaries went to the Sa’ban people. The Sa’ban responded positively and the people today are predominantly Christians. Christmas and Easter celebrations are looked forward to as a time of festivities and family reunions.

Sajau  Basap 9.100 Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Berau and Bulungan regencies, northeast of Muaramalinau. Alternate names: Sajau, Sujau. Dialects: Punan Sajau, Punan Basap, Punan Batu 2. Related to Basap [bdb].
Segai 3.000  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Berau regency, Kelai River and around Longlaai. Alternate names: Called Segayi by the Berau, Ga’ay by the Kenyah and Kayan. Dialects: Kelai, Segah.
Selungai Murut 700  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency east of Lumbis on upper reaches of Sembakung River. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Murut.
Sembakung Murut  3.500   Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Sembakung River mouth into Sabah. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Sembakoeng, Sembakong, Simbakong, Tingalun, Tinggalan, Tinggalum
Siang 86.000  Animism
Central Kalimantan Province, Murung Raya Regency, east of Dohoi. Alternate names: Ot Siang. Dialects: Siang, Murung 2. Related to Dohoi.
The Siang people live in the province of Central Kalimantan. They are often called the Siang-Murung people because of the close relationship between the Siang and Murung peoples. The Siang primarily live in the Tanah Siang, Permata Intan, Laung Tuhup, Sumber Barito, and Murung districts of the North Barito Regency.The Siang are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster, which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic cluster. Dayak peoples (sometimes identified as either Land or Sea Dayaks) tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan.Their language is called Siang, which is part of the Ot Danum language cluster. The Siang language is considered a “more polite” language than the Murung language. The Siang are particularly proud of their songs honoring respected guests or praising those who have done extraordinary feats.
The main means of livelihood of the Siang people is farming. Other than that, they tap rubber trees, gather forest products such as rattan, hunt pigs, and pan for gold and diamonds. They still use simple tools such as spears, blowpipes, and trident harpoons. The Siang people’s mobility is low. In spite of this, the Siang people group is not a closed group. They are known as a friendly and open people, but of course any newcomer would have to adapt himself to their customs and traditions.The custom of helping one another is dominant in their communities. For example, during planting and harvest time, neighbors come to help, bringing their own tools, while the owner of the field provides the food and drink. This type of helping one another is called haweh. Nango is helping spontaneously without an invitation, and ndohop is giving aid to one who is unable to proceed with the requirements for a marriage ceremony.The ancestral line is characterized as ambilineal. Extended families are formed by the groom living with the bride’s family. Social interaction is clearly defined. Their customs and manners are carefully defined, in matters concerning parents-in-law relations to their children-in-law. Another example is that a brother-in-law is not allowed to enter the house of his sister-in-law if her husband is not home.
The Siang people follow an ancestral belief system called Kaharingan. They believe invisible creatures and spirits of the deceased inhabit the natural world around them. These spirits at times actually enter the visible world which is called Lewu Liau. When someone dies, they are temporarily buried, then later a special observance called numbeng is held to send the spirit to the spirit world to face the highest god/spirit called Ranying Mahatalla Langit.
Tagal Murut  2.700  Animism
East Kalimantan Province, Nunukan Regency, Pegalan Valley, Alumbis River. Alternate names: Semambu, Semembu, Sumambu, Sumambu-Tagal, Sumambuq. Dialects: Rundum (Arundum), Tagal (Tagol, North Borneo Murut, Sabah Murut), Sumambu (Semembu, Sumambuq), Tolokoson (Telekoson), Sapulot Murut (Sapulut Murut), Pensiangan Murut (Pentjangan, Tagul, Taggal, Lagunan Murut), Alumbis (Lumbis, Loembis), Tawan, Tomani (Tumaniq), Maligan (Mauligan, Meligan, Bol Murut, Bole Murut).
Tawoyan ,Dayak Tawoyan  30.000  Animism
East Central around Palori. Alternate names: Tabojan, Tabojan Tongka, Taboyan, Tabuyan, Tawoyan Dayak, Tewoyan. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 77% with Lawangan [lbx], 52% with Dusun Deyah.
The Tawoyan people (also called Tabojan, Tabuyan, or Taboyan) are almost all involved in tapping rubber trees. They also grow rice and harvest rattan vines. Farmers will cultivate fields until the land is depleted and then move to new fields. Also swallow nests are gathered and sold for birds nest soup. To add to family income, the women and children above 10 years of age typically weave different products for sale.
Common transport for traveling to district capitals is a small motorboat. The area government is developing roads, but during the rainy season, public transportation is only available once a week on market day. Trade and business is almost completely dominated by newcomers from the Banjar and Bakumpai people groups. The Tawoyan from Gunung Pure have not even developed a market system yet. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is not a single market in the area. 

The Tawoyan people do not practice polygamy. The husband is the head of the household, but the opinions of the wife are not to be neglected. There is freedom for women to express their opinion. Both husband and wife have the right to work outside of the home.
Most Tawoyan people follow Kaharingan beliefs. They are obligated to offer food to the spirits of departed ancestors in a ceremony called warah. A cave in the Angah Mountain was designated as a place of ascetic meditation by the Sultan Mangkusari. According to their beliefs, some things which possess special magical powers are Air Silo, a special sacred water and Pupur Silo, a face powder made of finely ground rock sold as a cosmetic that has the power to attract men to women.

Tenggarong Kutai Malay 210.000 Islam 

guitarman-thehague, Online Album, photo, picture, image

100,000 in Tenggarong, 60,000 in Ancalong, 50,000 in Northern Kutai. East Kalimantan Province, Mahakam River basin, east central coastal area, from Sepinang and Tg; Mangkalihat north to Muarabadak and Samarinda south. Alternate names: Kutai, Tenggarong. Dialects: Tenggarong Kutai, Ancalong Kutai, Northern Kutai. Many dialects. Tenggarong and Kota Bangun (Malay, Kota Bangun Kutai [mqg]) are not inherently intelligible. Shares phonological innovations with Berau Malay [bve], Banjar [bjn], and Brunei [xkd]. 

ikat-weaving-pasarmalam, Online Album, photo, picture, image

dance-kutai-woman, Online Album, photo, picture, image

Online Album, photo, picture, image

Sultan Kutai’s Palace

ceremony of Sultan Kutai Kertanegara ing Martadipura XX at     the palace 

Tidong 49.000 Islam
East Kalimantan Province, Bulungan Regency, Sembakung and Sibuka rivers, coast and islands around Tarakan and interior, Malinau River. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Camucones, Tedong, Tidoeng, Tidung, Tiran, Tirones, Tiroon, Zedong. Dialects: Nonukan (Nunukan), Penchangan, Sedalir (Salalir, Sadalir, Saralir, Selalir), Tidung, Tarakan (Terakan), Sesayap (Sesajap), Sibuku.
The Tidong live on the eastern coast of Bulungan Regency in the province of East Kalimantan and to the northeast of Putoh in the coastal area facing the island of Sulawesi. Perhaps, their location in the coastal regions make them more open to outsiders than many other groups. This openness and exposure to the modern world has lead them to be influenced by the outsiders’ cultures. This has been heightened by the fact that most of their dwelling areas have become transmigration areas. The Tidong speak their own language, Bahasa Tidong (Tidong language). 

The Tidong make their living mainly as farmers. They grow sweet potatoes, cassava, lentils, fruits and vegetables. The Tidong practice migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another), mainly because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. The Tidong farmers typically clear new farm land by cutting down trees and burning the underbrush. This farming method is often accused of being the main cause of forest fires in Kalimantan. Even though this process does cause some damage, it is not comparable to the destruction done by businessmen who hold “Forest Enterprise Rights” from the government.Some of the Tidong are ocean fishermen. The Tidong harvest rice, coconuts, and wood from their land. Petroleum is also produced on Bunyu and Tarakan islands. Some of the Tidong young people choose their own marriage partner. However, others marry partners chosen for them by their parents. The birth of a child is gladly welcomed and celebrated by a kenduri (ritual feast), which is a party led by a religious leader. Neighbors are invited to come to the feast in which the child is given a name (tasmiah). Usually, the celebration is held after the child is one or two weeks old. At the party, there is a naik ayun (swing riding) ritual. In this ritual, the child’s parents put the child in a swing and cut the child’s hair and cover him/her with flour.
Generally, the Tidong are Muslims.

Tunjung , Tunjung  Dayak  76.000 Animism 

Tunjung , kalimantan, dayak, tribe, suku

East Kalimantan Province, Kutai Regency, between Adas, Dempar, Melak, and east around the lake; south Muntaiwan area. Alternate names: Tunjung Dayak. Dialects: Tunjung (Tunjung Tengah), Tunjung Londong, Tunjung Linggang, Pahu.
Uma’Lasan 1.500
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau regency, primarily Long Pujungan and Long Jelet Mesahan villages, also Long Pejalin (Uma’ Alim). Alternate names: Western Kenyah. Dialects: Uma’ Alim, Uma’ Lasan, Uma’ Baka.
Uma’Lung 3.000
East Kalimantan Province, Malinau regency mostly, Pimping, Long Setulang, Batu Kajang, Long Uli, Long Belua villages. Alternate names: Oma Longh. Dialects: Marginally intelligible with Uma Lasan [xky].
Wahau Kenyah  1.500 Christian
East Kalimantan Province, upper Mahakam River, Batu Majang, Buluk Sen, Uma’ Dian, Muara Pedohon, Kampung Baru, Uma’ Bekuai, Tabang Lama villages. Alternate names: Wahau Kenya, Lebu’ Kulit. Dialects: Uma Timai, Lebu’ Kulit, Uma’ Ujok.


Bali & Nusa Tenggara Barat 13 Tribes :

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

Bali & Nusa Tenggara Barat 13 Tribes :

Bali, Loloan, Nyama Selam,Trunyan, Bayan, Dompu, Donggo,KoreNata, Mbojo, Sasak, Sumbawa :———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Bali :

—  Province —


MottoBali Dwipa Jaya (Kawi)
(Glorious Bali Island)
Location of Bali in Indonesia

Coordinates (Denpasar): 8°39′S 115°13′ECoordinates8°39′S 115°13′E
Country Indonesia
Capital Denpasar
– Governor Made Mangku Pastika
– Total 5,632.86 km2 (2,174.9 sq mi)
Population (2009)
– Total 3,551,000
– Density 630.4/km2 (1,632.7/sq mi)
– Ethnic groups Balinese (89%), Javanese(7%), Baliaga(1%), Madurese(1%)[1]
– Religion Hindu (93.19%), Muslim(4.79%), Christian(1.38%),Buddhist (0.64%)
– Languages Indonesian (official), Balinese
Time zone CIT (UTC+08)

Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombokto the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.

With a population recorded as 3,551,000 in 2009,[2] the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia’s small Hindu minority. About 93.2% of Bali’s population adheres toBalinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest touristdestination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music.


Main article: History of Bali

Bali was inhabited by about 2000 BC by Austronesian peoples who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia.[3]Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania.[4] Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island’s west.[5]

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, in a process beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa (“Bali island”) has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning “Walidwipa”. It was during this time that the complex irrigation systemsubak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century.

File:Tanah Lot.jpg

Tanah Lot, one of the major temples in Bali

The first European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1585 when aPortuguese ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung[6]. In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali and, with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602, the stage was set for colonial control two and a half centuries later when Dutch control expanded across the Indonesian archipelago throughout the second half of the nineteenth century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island’s north coast, when the Dutch pitted various distrustful Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island’s south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 1,000 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali (1908), a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung. Afterwards the Dutch governors were able to exercise administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

In the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologistColin McPhee created a western image of Bali as “an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature”, and western tourism first developed on the island.

File:Balinese dancers.jpg

Balinese dancers show for tourists, Ubud.

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II, during which time a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese ‘freedom army’. The lack of institutional changes from the time of Dutch rule however, and the harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule little better than the Dutch one. Following Japan’s Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch promptly returned to Indonesia, including Bali, immediately to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels now using Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance. In 1946 the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly-proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the “Republic of the United States of Indonesia” when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting these traditional values. Politically, this was represented by opposing supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI’s land reform programs.An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto. The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island’s population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency, and his “New Order” government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as “paradise” was revived in a modern form, and the resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, andanother in 2005, severely affected tourism, bringing much economic hardship to the island. Tourist numbers have now returned to levels before the bombings.


File:Bali Labeled.png

Topography of the island

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of theequator. Bali and Java are separated by Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; its land area is 5,632 km².

Bali’s central mountains include several peaks over 2,000 metres. The highest is Mount Agung (3,142 m), known as the “mother mountain” which is an active volcano. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali’s volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad steadily descending area where most of Bali’s large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

The island is surrounded by coral reefsBeaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500(2002). Bali’s second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar’s urban area; and Ubud, which is north of Denpasar, and is known as the island’s cultural centre. Ubud Palace – Below)

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida,Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait. (Temple of Klungkung – Below)

The temple of Klungkung

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of theIndomalayanecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.


File:Bali Mynah - Houston Zoo.jpg

The Bali Starling is found only on Bali and is critically endangered.

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna which is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali Starling, which is endemic. Others IncludeBarn SwallowBlack-naped OrioleBlack Racket-tailed TreepieCrested Serpent-eagleCrested TreeswiftDollarbirdJava SparrowLesser AdjutantLong-tailed ShrikeMilky StorkPacific Swallow,Red-rumped SwallowSacred KingfisherSea EagleWoodswallowSavanna NightjarStork-billed KingfisherYellow-vented BulbulWhite HeronGreat Egret.

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild BantengLeopard and an endemic subspecies of Tiger, the Bali Tiger. The Banteng still occurs in its domestic form, while Leopards are found only in neighboring Java, and the Bali Tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a Tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s.[13] The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all Tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, while few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan Rusa deer and the Wild Boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian Muntjac, also occurs.

File:Monkey Forest, Ubud 200507-1.jpg

Monkey Forest, Ubud.

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often the Asian Palm Civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi LuwakBatsare well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The Crab-eating Macaque, known locally as “kera”, is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three “monkey forest” temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, far rarer and more elusive is the Silver Leaf Monkeyknown locally as “lutung”. They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. Other, rarer mammals include the Leopard CatSunda Pangolin and Black Giant Squirrel.

Snakes include the King Cobra and Reticulated Python. The Water Monitor can grow to an impressive size and move surprisingly quickly.

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as TulambenAmed, Menjangan or neighboring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance Hawksbill TurtleGiant SunfishGiant Manta RayGiant Moray EelBumphead ParrotfishHammerhead SharkReef Sharkbarracuda, and sea snakesDolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast nearSingaraja and Lovina.

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native. Among the larger trees the most common are: Banyantrees, Jackfruitcoconutsbamboospecies, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscusfrangipani,bougainvilleapoinsettiaoleanderjasminewater lilylotusrosesbegonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salakmangosteencorn, Kintamani orangecoffee and water spinach.

Administrative divisions

The province is divided into 8 regencies (kabupaten) and 1 city (kota). Unless otherwise stated, the regency’s capital:


Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry; and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. About 80% of Bali’s economy depends on tourism.[14] The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry is slowly recovering once again.


Although tourism produces the GDP’s largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer;[15][citation needed] most notablyricecultivation.

Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops.[citation needed] Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs.


Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavors include lemon and other citrus notes.[16]Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on theHindu philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana”. According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.


The tourism industry is overwhelmingly focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well.

kuta beach bali

(Kuta Beach – Above)

The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs (which were once independent townships) of Legian and Seminyak; (Sanur Beach – Below)

the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub); in the center of the island Ubud; to the south of the airport is Jimbaran and the newer development of Nusa Dua.

Another increasingly important source of income for Bali is what is called “Congress Tourism” from the frequent international conferences held on the island. The number of these events increased after the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, to resurrect Bali’s damaged tourism industry as well as its tarnished image. One such event was the 2010 World Geothermal Congress.

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. As of 2009 the Australian government still rates it a 4 danger level (the same as several countries in central Africa) on a scale of 5.

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are springing up along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis have remained stable.

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia’s currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry and not due to any travel warnings.

Bali’s tourism economy has not only survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, the tourism industry has slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels and the longterm trend is a steady increase of visitor arrivals.

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry expects more visitors arrivals in 2010, whose target for visitor arrivals is aimed to be the highest ever.

Bali’s tourism brand is Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti. Where Shanti derived from Sanskrit “Shanti” (शान्‍ति) meaning peace.

Bali, received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure 2010. The award was presented in the show “World’s Best Awards 2010″ in New York, on 21 July. Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran also received an award in the category of “World Best Hotel Spas in Asia 2010″. The award was based upon survey results of travel magazine Travel + Leisure readers, during the period December 15, 2009 through March 31, 2010, and was based upon several criteria. The island of Bali won because its natural state is uniformly attractive (both mountain and coastal areas), tourist attractions are diverse and widely distributed, the excellent availability of restaurants food (international and local), and the friendliness of the local people to visitors.

A coastal road surrounds the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar and enables cars to travel quickly in the heavily populated south. Bali has no railway lines.


The population of Bali is 3,151,000 (as of 2005). There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.


The Mother Temple of Besakih one of Bali’s most significant Hindutemples.

Cremation procession (Ngaben) :

File:Ubud Cremation Procession 1.jpg


Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93.18% of Bali’s population adheres toBalinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam(4.79%),Christianity (1.38%), and Buddhism (0.64%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

When Islam surpassed Hinduism in Java (16th century), Bali became a refuge for many Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practiced in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the “Island of a Thousand Puras”, or “Island of the Gods”.

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and in Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behavior.

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chineseimmigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple’s odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese.Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.


Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual ortrilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing.

English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry.


Main articles: Music of Bali and Balinese art

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De beroemde Balinese danser I Mario TMnr 10004713.jpg

The famous dancer i Mario, picture taken 1940.

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendetlegongbaristopengbaronggong keybar, and kecak(the monkey dance).





Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. But the day before that large, colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendricalsystem.

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Portert van twee jonge Balinese danseressen TMnr 10004678b.jpg

Balinese dancers wearing elaborate headgear, photographed in 1929. Digitally restored.

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context.Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Oftentimes two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other in order to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island’s largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja andkelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardized in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists in order to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

Tourism, Bali’s chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family’s ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied.Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including “kasepekang“, or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratization and decentralization of Indonesia since 1998.

Bali Traditional Wedding Dress :

Aksara Bali

The Balinese alphabet or Carakan descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. The oldest known inscriptions in the Balinese alphabet date from the 11th century AD, but they are thought to be reproductions of texts originally written on palm leaves at an earlier date.

The Balinese alphabet is still used to this day, although very few people are familiar with it and it is mainly used for religious works. Generally a version of the Latin alphabet known as Tulisan Bali is used instead, though what little Balinese printed material exists in the Latin alphabet consists mainly of school books, religious works and a few books of stories. Although Tulisan Bali is a required subject in Balinese primary schools, most people promptly forget it afterwards.

Notable features
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet / abugida.
Each consonant has an inherent vowel. Other vowels can be indicated using diacritics which appear above, below, in front of or after the consonant. If the vowels appear in the middle of a word, the vowel signs are attached to the syllable ha. Independent vowel letters are used when a word begins with a vowel.
Each consonant has an appended form (Pangangge Akśara) which is used when one consonant follows another without a vowel in between.
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
There are no spaces between words.
Used to write
Balinese (Basa Bali), an Austronesian language spoken by about 3 million people mainly on the Indonesian island of Bali and in western part of the neighbouring island of Lombok. Balinese is also spoken in Nusapenida, Java and Sulawesi.

Balinese consonants (Akśara Wreşāstra)

The appended forms (Pangangge Akśara) are shown in red.

Additional Balinese consonants (Akśara Şwalalita)
There consonants are used for writing words from the Kawi (Old Javanese) language.

The final consonants are shown in red.

Balinese vowels (Akśara Suara)

Balinese vowel diacrtics

Balinese semi vowels

Balinese sound killers (Pangangge Tengenan)
These symbols are used at the ends of syllables to add a consonant sound or to mute the inherent vowel.

Balinese numerals

Balinese punctuation

Sample text in Balinese (Balinese alphabet)

Akeh akśarane, 47, luir ipun: akśara suara, 14, akśara wianjana, 33, akśara suara punika talĕr dados pangangge suara, tur madrĕwe suara kakalih, kawāśt,anin: suara hrĕswa miwah dīrgha

Source  :

Loloan Tribe :

The Loloan people are located in the Jembrana Regency of the island of Bali. More specifically, they live in the villages of Pengembangan, Tegal Badeng Islam, Cupel, Tukadaya, Banyubiru, Tuwed, Candi Kusuma, Sumber Sari, Ketatan, Airkuing, Sumbul, and Pekutatan. The word loloan is derived from the word liloan (“wrapped around” or “winding”), which refers to the first settler’s description of the River Ijogading, which is turbulent with changing currents. It is thought that their ancestors were Muslim immigrants from Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Malaysia. Sunan Wajo led the first group of settlers from Sulawesi. They came to Bali in the 17th Century to escape from the Dutch military. At that time, I Gusti Ngurah Pancoran, the King of Jembrana, welcomed them. He had also resisted the Dutch. These Bugis-Makassar immigrants developed good relationship with the King for the purpose of converting all of his people to Islam. Another group of settlers came from Kalimantan and was led by Abdullah bin Yahya Al Qadry, a descendant of the Sultan of Pontianak. Several of the Melayu groups from Malaysia originated from the areas of Pahang, Johor, Kedah and Trengganu and some of the immigrants were of Arab origin. These groups were also seeking to evade the Dutch military and became assimilated into the Loloan people group.
As a community, the Loloan villages have significantly different characteristics than the villages of the Bali people who live in the surrounding areas. In addition to the obvious religious differences, there are also other differences such as the style of homes. The Loloan houses are built on raised platforms, on top of stilts approximately two meters high. The main door of their houses always faces to the east. The location of the door in this manner is designed to avoid any distraction when they are doing their prayers toward Mecca in the west .The decorations of their houses is generally Islamic in nature, such as Arabic calligraphy. The Loloan style of dress, especially the womens’, is also Islamic. In general, they maintain a special and distinctive cultural pattern in the midst of the Hindu Bali people, who have in turn, maintained their own cultural distinctiveness in the midst of an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
They are strong Muslims, which is different from the majority of the Bali people group who are Hindu. This leads to their being ostracized by the Bali people. Loloan traditional laws have been handed down through the generations, and they also strictly enforce Islamic law. Despite this, there are Loloan people who are greatly influenced by animism and many superstitions. These beliefs cause them to seek protection using magic by either appeasing or controlling good and evil spirits.

Makepung and Perancak


Mekepung and Perancak.  Jembrana is best known for its Mekepung, or traditional buffalo race.  The regency even calls itself “the land of the Mekepung”.  The Mekepung was originally held as part of the harvest festivities.  It uses the carts and buffaloes that were used until quite recently as a means of transportation and which originated in Java.

The Mekepung consists of a race between two carts pulled by water buffaloes.  The animals are colourfully decorated and they run a 2 km long course.

Makepung Buffalo RaceMakepung Buffalo Race

Nowadays championship events are organized under the sponsorship of the local government, which uses the race  as a promotional tool for tourism.


Trunyan village is located on the bank of lake Batur just on the foot of the mount Abang . Their unique tradition from the rest of Balinese is their tradition of not burrying their dead member. They have 3 cemetries. One is for the normal dead, second is for abnormal death such as fall from the wood during harvest of greenery for the cattles, or certain sickness which is considered very dangerous, and cemetry for the children.For the normal dead person the corp is not burried like the rest of Balinese, but just put on the narrow spot of land on the foot of hill and just exposed to the atmosphere until the whole flesh disolve from the body and left only the bones. There is really strange because the expored dead body in Trunyan normal cemetry is not radiationg bad smell. Many people say that it is just because of the water absorb the bed smell or probably the tree that is known to name Maja tree can absorb the bed smell. As a matter of fact Trunyan village has been recorded on king charter in the 10th century. A temple dedicated to the God of Bhatara Datonta is clearly mentioned 1000 years ago to be maintained and worshiped.

Trunyan Village Bali Island Tour1 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

trunyan village bali1 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

Skull in Trunyan Village 550x350 Trunyan Village Indigenous Peoples of Bali Island

Lombok Island

Lombok Island (total population in 2001: 2,722,123 inhabitants) [1] is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands or Nusa Tenggara are separated by the Lombok Strait from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait to the east of Sumbawa. The island is roughly spherical with a kind of “tail” on the southwest side of a length less than 70 km. Extensive island reaches 5435 km ², placing it on the ranking list of 108 of the island based on the extent of the world. The main town on the island is Mataram.

Infrared photographs from satellites show Lombok island with crater of Mount Rinjani.

Lombok including West Nusa Tenggara province and the island itself is divided into 4 districts and 1 municipality:

* Municipal Mataram
* District of West Lombok
* Central Lombok District
* District of East Lombok
* District of North Lombok


Lombok Strait marks the boundary of flora and fauna of Asia. Starting from the island of Lombok to the east, much flora and fauna shows similarities to the flora and fauna found in Australia than Asia. Scientist who first stated this is Alfred Russel Wallace, an Englishman in the 19th century. To honor this limit is called the Wallace Line.

Topography of the island is dominated by Rinjani volcano which reaches 3726 meters height above sea level and make it the third highest in Indonesia. The mountain last erupted in June-July 1994. In 1997 the area of the mountain and lakeSegara Anak in its declared protected by the government. Area south of the island consists mostly of fertile land which is used for agriculture, commodities are usually planted in this area include maize, rice, coffee, tobacco and cotton.


Map of the language on the island of Lombok

Approximately 80% of the population of this island is the Sasak tribe, a tribe that is still close to the tribal peoples of Bali, but most converted to Islam. Rest of the population are Balinese, Javanese, Tionghoa and Arabic.


In addition to Indonesian as the national language, Lombok island residents (mainly ethnic Sasak), Sasak language as the main language in everyday conversation. Lombok itself in the Sasak language can be found in four different dialects of the different dialects of northern Lombok, central, northeast and southeast. In addition to the many tribal people who live in Bali Lombok (mostly from the former Kingdom of Karangasem), in some places, especially in West Lombok and Mataram municipality can be found villages in the Balinese language as the language of everyday conversation.


Most of the islanders, especially Lombok Sasak tribe embraced Islam. The second largest religion professed in this island is the Hindu religion, which is embraced by the descendants of Bali’s population amounted to about 15% of the population there. Christian, Buddhist and other religions can also be found, and especially embraced by the immigrants from various tribes and ethnic groups residing in this island.

In the northern part of West Lombok, precisely in the Bayan, especially among elderly people, still to be found the adherents of Islam flow Wetu Telu (three). Unlike most adherents of Islam who do pray five times a day, the adherents of this teaching practice must pray only three times in the course. It is said that this happens because the propagator of Islam as Islam is taught in stages and for some reason could not complete his preaching.


Form typical rice lombok island

According to the Babad Lombok content, the oldest royal ever ruled the island kingdom called Laeq (in Sasak language means laeq the past), but other sources of Suwung Chronicle, states that the oldest monarchy in the Kingdom Suwung Lombok is built and led by King Bethara Sense. Kingdom Suwung then subsided and was replaced by the Kingdom of Lombok. In the 9th century until the 11th century stood Kingdom Sasak later defeated by one of the kingdom that comes from Bali at the time. Some of the other kingdoms had stood on Lombok island, among others Pejanggik, Langko, Bayan, sokong smarkaton and Selaparang.

Selaparang own kingdoms emerged in the two periods of the 13th century and 16th century. Selaparang kingdom first is a Hindu kingdom and reign ended with the arrival of the Majapahit kingdom expedition in 1357. Kingdom Selaparang second is the Islamic kingdom and the power ended in 1744 after defeated by the combined forces of the Balinese kingdom of Karangasem and Arya who is a brittle Banjar royal family who defected to the Selaparang because problems with the king Selaparang. [2]. This led to the occupation of Bali Balinese influence of a strong culture in the west side of Lombok, as in dance and heritage buildings (eg in AmpenanCakranegaraPalace). It was not until 1894 Lombok Karangasem free from interference from Batavia (Dutch East Indies) who entered because of the rebellion Sasak people invited them to come. However, Lombok and then under the control of the Dutch East Indies directly.

The entry of Japan (1942) makes automatic Lombok was under Japanese occupation government control the eastern region. After World War II, Lombok could be under the State of East Indonesia, before then in 1950 joined with the Republic of Indonesia.

Cidomo, the traditional means of transportation on the island of lombok, major transportation facilities in rural areas

Lombok in many ways similar to Bali, and in the decade of the 1990s began to familiar foreign tourists. But with the emergence of the monetary crisis that hit Indonesia in late 1997 and other crises that accompanied it, the potential for tourism overlooked. Then in early 2000 riots between ethnic and inter-religions throughout Lombok and this caused a massive displacement of minorities. They mainly fled to the island of Bali. But after a while later the situation has become conducive and they’re back. In the year 2007 the tourism sector is the only sector in the developing Lombok.

Object of tourism destinations :

* Beach Senggigi
* Cakranegara
* Gili Air
* Gili Meno
* Gili Trawangan
* MountRinjani
* KutaBeach, Lombok
* Sentanu
* Tetebatu
* Sendang Gile Waterfall
* Gili Nangu
* Gili Sundak
* Gili Tangkong
* PusukMonkeyForest
* Taman Narmada
* Taman Mayura

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Bayan is a village in the surrounding forest is located on the southwest side of the island of Lombok, located at the foot of Mount Rinjani. The village is known as the native Sasak tribe has a loyalty to tradition in many ways, patterns and procedures reside. Architecture can be said to be very relevant and teaches how to appreciate a place and region. The village has an area of 2600 hectares is one of the existing six villages in Bayan district, West Lombok district. The majority of the population converted to Islam, known as the Islamic Wetu Telu.
Administratively, the village of Bayan in Bayan subdistrict, West Lombok NTB. This village area stretching from the foot of Mount Rinjani to the north shore. The location is one route to the mountain. In terms of topography, the parrots and the surrounding hamlets are scattered from the sea directly adjacent to the village which has a height of 700 m above sea level. Livelihoods in this region is largely farming. Agricultural products of rice, vegetables, coconuts, fruits and red onion and garlic into the mainstay.
Habits of the people live very closely kaitanya with the principles set out in the customs. In a village has a variety of custom homes and areas that distinguishes between the general and specific. Kampu in the area (area allotment for stakeholders-adat) there are some traditional houses that are divided and named according to the function or the nature of the profession or maloka stakeholders. Areas in kampu is sacred territory, the customary law is not arbitrary one can go in this area, for that region is isolated by a bamboo fence around it.
Pattern arrangement masses in general buildings in this village has a linear typology. Lengthwise and always in pairs, facing each other and back each other, the whole house is patterned facing west and east. This refers to the guidance and the prevailing customs. In the case of determining the location and setting the building mass, has an absolute requirement in its placement. For houses that occupy the most southern position where the front of the house facing west (Qiblah) becomes imperative for the occupied by the oldest brother, following the lineage, the opposite side of the house facing south east is occupied by the next brother. Traditionally this pattern symbolize the mass order of oldest brother who can protect, maintain and protect the other brothers.
In the structure of mass system is always well marked by a Baruga (meeting place) at the points that have been determined, the middle position of the pattern of a linear arrangement. This position indicates the importance of the function itself Baruga. Baruga is a place for anyone accepting guests, they serve as a traditional ceremony. Baruga size not too big, small, but scattered in several places in a village. Baruga can accommodate approximately 15 people. Closing Baruga roof made of reeds and re (fibers) with a structure supported by six pillars (pillars pillars six). This pole building at the head of each tied with 3 blocks, called pillars enclose a block and two block walls called Aton to be bound by the pins (pen). Both types of blocks are supported bearing the burden of sky (the horses) which in the end there were horses senggoko (ridge beam). Structure of the lower pole of the time the land is cendi (base) stone.
Custom houses (bale) in this village woven bamboo walls, dirt floors, reed roof, with the framework of mixed construction wood and bamboo. Inside the building there is a divided territory and was named inan bale (main house) and also consists of six pillars. Function inan bale itself as a place to store the values that nature can not be known by many people other than the house. Like property, other valuables and rice stored in the barrel (temberasan or kemeras), is also a place to store nenoq (offerings to the spirits of ancestors and the spirit of the inhabitants of the house), and given time to be a place of meditation families. In the area of the house there is also a place reserved for women when visiting, divan bleh. Overall, there is room in the house reflects a unified whole in the pattern room setup. And unique to each house there is a system didesa organizing the same room with each other.
The division of general and specific areas in this village is a picture of the importance of appreciating the meaning and positive values are contained, to be guarded and respected, without exaggeration. Village community life and still hold fast to the customary rules that govern all forms of relationship between man and God, fellow human beings and other creatures (plants and animals) and the surrounding environment. And the other side really appreciate and uphold the value of the life of a village in the settled order.

Toraja People Sulawesi Selatan Province

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

Toraja People
Sulawesi Selatan Province



The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan Province), Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja (“Land of Toraja”). Most of the population is Christian or have local animist beliefs known as aluk (“the way”). The Indonesian government has recognized this animist belief as Aluk To Dolo (“Way of the Ancestors”).

The word toraja comes from the Bugis language’s to riaja, meaning “people of the uplands”. The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days.


Before the 20th century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had changed significantly, from an agrarian model in which social life and customs were outgrowths of the Aluk To Dolo to a largely Christian society.


The Torajan people had little notion of themselves as a distinct ethnic group before the 20th century. Before Dutch colonization and Christianization, Torajans, who lived in highland areas, identified with their villages and did not share a broad sense of identity. Although complexes of rituals created linkages between highland villages, there were variations in dialects, differences in social hierarchies, and an array of ritual practices in the Sulawesi highland region. “Toraja” (from the coastal languages’ to, meaning people; and riaja, uplands) was first used as a lowlander expression for highlanders. As a result, “Toraja” initially had more currency with outsiders such as the Bugis and Makassarese, who constitute a majority of the lowland of Sulawes than with insiders. The Dutch missionaries’ presence in the highlands gave rise to the Toraja ethnic consciousness in the Sa’dan Toraja region, and this shared identity grew with the rise of tourism in the Tana Toraja Regency. Since then, South Sulawesi has four main ethnic groups, the Bugis (the majority, including shipbuilders and seafarers), the Makassarese (lowland traders and seafarers), the Mandarese (traders and fishermen), and the Toraja (highland rice cultivators).

Family is the primary social and political grouping in Torajan society. Each village is one extended family, the seat of which is the tongkonan, a traditional Torajan house. Each tongkonan has a name, which becomes the name of the village. The familial dons maintain village unity. Marriage between distant cousins (fourth cousins and beyond) is a common practice that strengthens kinship. Toraja society prohibits marriage between close cousins (up to and including the third cousin) except for nobles, to prevent the dispersal of property. Kinship is actively reciprocal, meaning that the extended family helps each other farm, share buffalo rituals, and pay off debts.

Each person belongs to both the mother’s and the father’s families, the only bilateral family line in Indonesia. Children, therefore, inherit household affiliation from both mother and father, including land and even family debts. Children’s names are given on the basis of kinship, and are usually chosen after dead relatives. Names of aunts, uncles and cousins are commonly referred to in the names of mothers, fathers and siblings.

Before the start of the formal administration of Toraja villages by the Tana Toraja Regency, each Toraja village was autonomous. In a more complex situation, in which one Toraja family could not handle their problems alone, several villages formed a group; sometimes, villages would unite against other villages. Relationship between families was expressed through blood, marriage, and shared ancestral houses (tongkonan), practically signed by the exchange of buffalo and pigs on ritual occasions. Such exchanges not only built political and cultural ties between families but defined each person’s place in a social hierarchy: who poured palm wine, who wrapped a corpse and prepared offerings, where each person could or could not sit, what dishes should be used or avoided, and even what piece of meat constituted one’s share.

Before the start of the formal administration of Toraja villages by the Tana Toraja Regency, each Toraja village was autonomous. In a more complex situation, in which one Toraja family could not handle their problems alone, several villages formed a group; sometimes, villages would unite against other villages. Relationship between families was expressed through blood, marriage, and shared ancestral houses (tongkonan), practically signed by the exchange of buffalo and pigs on ritual occasions. Such exchanges not only built political and cultural ties between families but defined each person’s place in a social hierarchy: who poured palm wine, who wrapped a corpse and prepared offerings, where each person could or could not sit, what dishes should be used or avoided, and even what piece of meat constituted one’s share.

Nobles, who were believed to be direct descendants of the descended person from heaven, lived in tongkonans, while commoners lived in less lavish houses (bamboo shacks called banua). Slaves lived in small huts, which had to be built around their owner’s tongkonan. Commoners might marry anyone, but nobles preferred to marry in-family to maintain their status. Sometimes nobles married Bugis or Makassarese nobles. Commoners and slaves were prohibited from having death feasts. Despite close kinship and status inheritance, there was some social mobility, as marriage or change in wealth could affect an individuals status. Wealth was counted by the ownership of water buffaloes.

Toraja tongkonan house

Slaves in Toraja society were family property. Sometimes Torajans decided to become slaves when they incurred a debt, pledging to work as payment. Slaves could be taken during wars, and slave trading was common. Slaves could buy their freedom, but their children still inherited slave status. Slaves were prohibited from wearing bronze or gold, carving their houses, eating from the same dishes as their owners, or having sex with free women a crime punishable by death.

Toraja’s indigenous belief system is polytheistic animism, called aluk, or “the way” (sometimes translated as “the law”). In the Toraja myth, the ancestors of Torajan people came down from heaven using stairs, which were then used by the Torajans as a communication medium with Puang Matua, the Creator. The cosmos, according to aluk, is divided into the upper world (heaven), the world of man (earth), and the underworld. At first, heaven and earth were married, then there was a darkness, a separation, and finally the light. Animals live in the underworld, which is represented by rectangular space enclosed by pillars, the earth is for mankind, and the heaven world is located above, covered with a saddle-shaped roof. Other Toraja gods include Pong Banggai di Rante (god of Earth), Indo’ Ongon-Ongon (a goddess who can cause earthquakes), Pong Lalondong (god of death), and Indo’ Belo Tumbang (goddess of medicine); there are many more.

The earthly authority, whose words and actions should be cleaved to both in life (agriculture) and death (funerals), is called to minaa (an aluk priest). Aluk is not just a belief system; it is a combination of law, religion, and habit. Aluk governs social life, agricultural practices, and ancestral rituals. The details of aluk may vary from one village to another. One common law is the requirement that death and life rituals be separated. Torajans believe that performing death rituals might ruin their corpses if combined with life rituals. The two rituals are equally important. During the time of the Dutch missionaries, Christian Torajans were prohibited from attending or performing life rituals, but were allowed to perform death rituals. Consequently, Toraja’s death rituals are still practiced today, while life rituals have diminished.

In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast. The death feast of a nobleman is usually attended by thousands and lasts for several days. A ceremonial site, called rante, is usually prepared in a large, grassy field where shelters for audiences, rice barns, and other ceremonial funeral structures are specially made by the deceased family. Flute music, funeral chants, songs and poems, and crying and wailing are traditional Toraja expressions of grief with the exceptions of funerals for young children, and poor, low-status adults.


The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased’s family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept under the tongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.






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The Toraja are perhaps best know for the elaborate, colorful feasts for the dead. Many buffalos and pigs are slaughtered, at the feast which can occur even long after the person’s death.

Storage House







South Sulawesi 25 Tribes

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

South Sulawesi  25 Tribes

South Sulawesi,  Tribes
ᨀᨚᨈ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ
Kota Makassar
City of Makassar
File:Makassar Collage.jpgLosari Beach (top), Masjid Raya Makassar (center), Makassar skyline (bottom left), and Hasanuddin International Airport(bottom right)
Nickname(s): ”Kota Daeng”
Motto: Sekali Layar Terkembang Pantang Biduk Surut Ke Pantai
File:Sulawesi Locator Topography.pngMakassar

Location of Makassar in Sulawesi

Coordinates: 5°8′S 119°25′E
Country Indonesia
Province South Sulawesi
City November 9, 1607
– Mayor Ir.H.Ilham Arief Sirajuddin,MM.
– Deputy Mayor Supomo Guntur
– Total 175.77 km2 (67.9 sq mi)
– Total 1,130,384
– Density 6,431.04/km2 (16,656.3/sq mi)
Time zone WITA (UTC+8)
– Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+8)
Area code(s) +62 411
Twin Cities
– Qingdao People’s Republic of China
– Hakodate Japan
– Wellington New Zealand
– Aden Yemen
– Makasan Thailand

Makassar, (Makassarese language: ᨀᨚᨈ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ sometimes spelled Macassar,Mangkasar) is the provincial capital of South SulawesiIndonesia, and the largest city on Sulawesi Island. From 1971 to 1999, the city was formally named Ujung Pandang, after a precolonial fort in the city, and the two names are often used interchangeably. The port city is located at 5°8′S 119°25′ECoordinates5°8′S 119°25′E, on the southwest coast of the island of Sulawesi, facing the Makassar Strait.

Its area is 175.77 km2 and has population of 1.25 million.


Beginning in the sixteenth century, Makassar was the dominant trading center of eastern Indonesia, and soon became one of the largest cities in island Southeast Asia. The Makassarese kings maintained a policy of free trade, insisting on the right of any visitor to do business in the city, and rejecting the attempts of the Dutch to establish a monopoly over the city.

Sulawesi’s colourful history is the story of spices and foreign merchants of mariners and sultans and of foreign power wresting control of the spice trade. Much of South Sulawesi’s early history was written in old texts that can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries.

The first European settlers were the Portuguese sailors. When the Portuguese reached Sulawesi in 1511, they found Makassar a thriving cosmopolitan entre-port where ChineseArabsIndiansSiameseJavanese, and Malays came to trade their manufactured metal goods and fine textiles for precious pearls, gold, copper, camphor and spices – nutmeg, cloves and mace imported from the interior and the neighbouring Spice Islands, present day Moluccas.

By the 16th century, Makassar had become Sulawesi‘s major port and centre of the powerful Gowa and Tallo sultanates which between them had a series of 11 fortresses and strongholds and a fortified sea wall which extended along the coast.

The arrival of the Dutch in the early 17th century, altered events dramatically. Their first objective was to create a hegemony over the spice trade and their first move was to capture the fort of Makassar in 1667, which they rebuilt and renamed Fort Rotterdam. From this base they managed to destroy the strongholds of the Sultan of Gowa who was then forced to live on the outskirts of Makassar. Prince Diponegoro; the national hero, born in 1785, to Sultan Hamengkubuwono III of Yogyakarta put up a great resistance against the Dutch in the Java wars of 1825-30. After his capture he was exiled to Fort Rotterdam until his death in 1855.

The character of this old trading centre changed as a walled city known as Vlaardingen grew, a place where slaves were at the bidding of the imposing foreigners. Gradually, in defiance of the Dutch, the Arabs, Malays and Bugisreturned to trade outside the grim fortress walls and later also the Chinese.

Sulawesi, tribe, bugis, suku

The town again became a collecting point for the produce of eastern Indonesia – the copra, rattan, pearls, trepang and sandalwood and the famous oil made from bado nuts used in Europe as men’s hair dressing – hence the anti-macassars (embroidered cloths placed at head rests of upholstered chairs).

Sulawesi, tribe, makassar, suku

Although the Dutch controlled the coast, it was not until the early 20th century that they gained power over the interior of the south through a series of treaties with local rulers. Meanwhile Dutch missionariesconverted many of the Toraja people to Christianity. By 1938, the population of Makassar had reached around 84,000 – a town described by writer Joseph Conrad as “the prettiest and perhaps, cleanest looking of all the towns in the islands”. Following the Indonesian National Revolutionin 1950, Makassar was the site of fighting between pro-Federalist forces underCaptain Abdul Assiz and Republican forces under Colonel Sunkono.[1] By the 1950s, the population had increased to such a degree that many of the historic sites gave way to modern development and today you need to look very carefully to find the few remains of the city’s once grand history.

Sulawesi, tribe, enrekang, suku

Further, tolerant religious attitudes meant that even as Islam became the dominant faith in the region, Christians and others were still able to trade in the city. With these attractions, Makassar was a key center for Malays working in the Spice Islands trade, as well as a valuable base for European and Arab traders from much further afield.



Pinisi boats at the port of Paotere in Makassar

The city is southern Sulawesi’s primary port, with regular domestic and international shipping connections. It is nationally famous as an important port of call for the pinisi boats, sailing ships which are among the last in use for regular long-distance trade.

During the colonial era, the city was famous for being the namesake of Makassar oil, which it exported in great quantity. Makassar ebony is a warm black hue, streaked with tan or brown tones, and highly prized for use in making fine cabinetry and veneers.

[edit]Contact with Australia

Main article: Macassan contact with Australia

Makassar is also a major fishing center in Sulawesi. One of its major industries is the trepang (sea cucumber) industry. Trepang fishing brought the Makassan people into contact with the Yolŋu people of Northern Australia.

C. C. MacKnight in his 1976 work entitled Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia has shown that they began frequenting the north of Australia some time around 1700 in search of trepang (sea-slug, sea cucumber, Beche-de-mer) an edible Holothurian. They left their waters during the North-west Monsoon in December or January for what is now Arnhem Land, Marege or Marega and to the Kimberley region or Kayu Djawa. They returned home with the South-east Trades in April. A fleet of between 24 and 26 Macassan prahus was seen in 1803 by the French explorers under Nicolas Baudin on the Holothuria Banks in the Timor Sea. In February 1803, Matthew Flinders in the Investigator met six prahus with 20-25 men each on board and was told that there were 60 prahus then on the north Australian coast. They were fishing for trepang and appeared to have only a small compass as a navigation aid. In June 1818 Macassan trepang fishing was noted by Phillip Parker King in the vicinity of Port Essington in the Arafura Sea. In 1864 R.J. Sholl, then resident magistrate for the European settlement at Camden Sound (near Augustus Island in the Kimberley region) observed seven ‘Macassan’ prahus with around 300 men on board. He believed that they made kidnapping raids and ranged as far south asRoebuck Bay (later Broome) where ‘quite a fleet’ was seen around 1866. Sholl believed that they did not venture south into other areas such as Nickol Bay (where the European pearling industry commenced around 1865) due to the absence of trepang in those waters. The Macassan voyages appear to have ceased sometime in the late nineteenth century and their place was taken by other sailors operating from elsewhere in the Indonesian Archipelago.


Makassar has a public transportation system called ‘pete-pete’. A pete-pete (known elsewhere in Indonesia as angkot) is a mini-bus that has been modified to carry passengers. The route of Makassar’s pete-petes is denoted by the letter on the windshield. Makassar is famous for their “becak” (pedicab) which is smaller than the “becak” in the island of Java. In Makassar, people who drive pedicab are called Daeng. The city airport is Hasanuddin International Airport which is actually located outside the Makassar city administration area. It is formally located in the regency of Maros. In addition to “becak” and “pete-pete”, the city has government-run bus system, and taxis.


File:Masjid Raya Makassar.JPG

Mosque in Makassar

Makassar is home to several prominent landmarks including the 16th century Dutch fort Fort RotterdamTrans Studio Makassar—the third largest indoor theme park in the world and theKarebosi Link—the first underground shopping center in Indonesia.

Traditional food

Makassar has several famous traditional foods. The most famous is Coto Makassar. It is a stew made from the mixture of nuts and spices with beef parts which include beef brain, tongue and intestine.

In addition, Makassar is the home of pisang epe, or pressed bananas. These are bananas which are pressed, grilled, and covered with palm sugar sauce and sometimes eaten with Durian. Many street vendors sell pisang epe, especially around the area of Losari beach.


Since 9 September 2009, Makassar was home to the Trans Kalla—the biggest indoor theme park in Southeast Asia and third largest in the world.[2]. The theme park was created by a joint company between Trans TV and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla‘s company Kalla Group. Beside the Theme Park, it also has a tourist resort, a marina, a bank office, and a shopping center which will be completed around 2012. The theme park is located in Tanjung Bunga. The local government is planning to build a CPI which includes the Presidential House near the theme park.

On July 2010, the first exclusive shopping centre Trans Mahagaya Mallwhich just inside the Jusuf Kalla was open. Some famous brand were open on that mall such as Hugo BossArmani JeansAignerMothercareMangoTod’sMiu MiuFrancesco Biasia. There are other store that just temporary open their store to look over the market. This shopping mall is the first mall that have medium to high range of store and the market target is the people from eastern Indonesia.

South Sulawesi Map

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Makassar

[edit]Notes and references

  1. ^ Westerling (1952), p. 210
  2. ^ Word Biggest Indoor Theme Park – Trans Studio (September 09, 2009).

Further reading

  • McCarthy, M., 2000, Indonesian divers in Australian waters. The Great Circle, vol. 20, No.2:120-137.
  • MacKnight, C.C., Voyage to Marege. Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1976.
  • Reid, Anthony. 1999. Charting the shape of early modern Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books. ISBN 974-7551-06-3. pp. 100–154.

PINISI Traditional boat from Sulawesi

A cave in Bantimurung limestone massif

Lontara and Makasar scripts

The Lontara and Makasar scripts are descended from the Brahmi script of ancient India. The name lontara derives from the Malay word for the palmyra palm, lontar, the leaves of which are the traditional material for manuscripts in India, South East Asia and Indonesia.

Notable features
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet/alphasyllabary
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
In common with other Brahmi-derived syllabic alphabets, each consonant has an inherent vowel [a], other vowels are indicated by adding diacritics above or below a consonant.
Used to write:
Bugis or Buginese, Makasar and Mandar, Austronesian languages spoken on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Both scripts were once used to write laws, treaties, maps, etc in Bugis, but are now only used for marriage ceremonies. The Makasar script is still widely used to write Makasar, although the Latin alphabet is officially favoured.

Lontara consonants

Makasar consonants

Vowel diacritics

Sample text in the Lontara script

source :

Ujung Pandang

Hasanuddin Airport – Makasar

Bantimurung – The Kingdom of Buterfly


Bantimurung Maros, South Sulawesi Indonesia

National Park Bantimurung, Maros, South Sulawesi, became one of the most popular tourist tourists, both local, national and foreign.

“Bantimurung National Park has many uniqueness which makes it as one of the tourist and recreation destination,” said National Park officials Bantimurung, Abidin in Maro.

The National Park Bantimurung is a natural park the proudest people of South Sulawesi. Its location in the valley with a steep limestone hill with tropical vegetation.

Not surprisingly, this area also became a limestone mining area as a cement raw material. Unfortunately, this kind of activity if continued would be very damaging nature and potential of tourism itself.

Bantimurung Nature Park is also famous for its waterfalls, caves, and the butterfly. This place is only about 30 kilometers (km) from Makassar City.

Abidin explains, species of butterflies in the butterfly museum also has Bantimurung two caves that can be used as a special interest tours, Batu Caves and Cave Dreams.

“Bantimurung known as a butterfly paradise because of all the species here. At least 20 species of butterflies are protected by the government and established through Government Regulation No. 7 / 1999,” he said.

Some unique species found only in Sulawesi, which is Troides helena Linne, Troides hypolitus Cramer, Troides haliphron Boisduval, Papilo adamantius, and Cethosia myrana.

He said that in 1856-1857 Alfred Russel Wallace spent most of his life here to examine different types of butterflies. “Wallace said Bantimurung is ‘The Kingdom of Butterfly’ (the kingdom of butterflies),” he said.

“Therefore, based on studies of English people there are 150 species of butterflies here and this is the main attraction for tourists,” he said.

Butterfly Bantimurung-8

Butterfly Bantimurung-7

Butterfly Bantimurung-6

Butterfly Bantimurung-5

Butterfly Bantimurung-4


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Johor-AbuBakar 140x190.jpgBacharuddin Jusuf Habibie official portrait 140x190.jpg
Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak 140x190.jpgJusuf Kalla 140x190.jpgZiana Zain 140x190.jpg
Abu Bakar of Johor • B.J. Habibie
Najib Tun Razak • Jusuf Kalla • Ziana Zain
Total population
6.0 million (2000 census)
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (2000 census) 5,157,000 [1]
South Sulawesi 3,400,000
South East Sulawesi 372 289
Central Sulawesi 314 008
East Kalimantan 522 570
South Kalimantan 366 495
West Kalimantan 135 490
Riau 120 508
Jambi 64 393
Bangka-Belitung Islands 33 200
Riau Islands 26 400
 Malaysia 728,465
 Singapore (1990 census) 15 374
Predomatinely Muslim, some animism
a An estimated 3,500,000 claim Bugis descent.

The Bugis are the most numerous of the three major linguistic and ethnic groups of South Sulawesi, the southwestern province of Sulawesi, Indonesia’s third largest island. Although many Bugis live in the large port cities of Makassar and Parepare, the majority are farmers who grow wet rice on the lowland plains to the north and west of the town of Maros. The name Bugis is an exonym which represents an older form of the name; (To) Ugi is theendonym.

The Bugis speak a distinct regional language in addition to Indonesian, called Basa Ugi, Bugis or Buginese. In reality, there are a several dialects, some of which are sufficiently different from others to be considered separate languages. Bugis belongs to the South Sulawesi language group; other members include Makasar, Toraja, Mandar and Enrekang, each being a series of dialects.[2]

In historical European literature, the Bugis have a reputation for being fierce, war-like, and industrious. Honor, status, and rank are of great importance to the Bugis. They are a self-sufficient people who have a positive self-image and are very confident of their own abilities. As the most numerous group in the region (more than 5 million), they have had considerable influence on their neighbors.


The homeland of the Bugis is the area around Lake Tempe and Lake Sidenreng in theWalennae Depression in the southwest peninsula. It was here that the ancestors of the present-day Bugis settled, probably in the mid- to late second millennium BC. The area is rich in fish and wildlife and the annual fluctuation of Lake Tempe (a reservoir lake for theBila and Walennae rivers) allows speculative planting of wet rice, while the hills can be farmed by swidden or shifting cultivation, wet rice, gathering and hunting. Around AD 1200 the availability of prestigious imported goods including Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics and Gujerati print-block textiles, coupled with newly discovered sources of iron ore in Luwu stimulated an agrarian revolution which expanded from the great lakes region into the lowland plains to the east, south and west of the Walennae depression. This led over the next 400 years to the development of the major kingdoms of South Sulawesi, and the social transformation of chiefly societies into hierarchical proto-states.[3]

Pengantin Bugis

In Malay peninsular and Sumatra

The conclusion in 1669 of a protracted civil war led to a diaspora of Bugis and their entry into the politics of peninsular MalaysiaandSumatra. The Bugis played an important role in defeating Jambi and had a huge influence in Sultanate of Johor. Apart from the Malays, another influential faction in Johor at that time was the Minangkabau. Both the Bugis and the Minangkabau realized how the death of Sultan Mahmud II had provided them with the chance to exert power in Johor. Under the leadership of Daeng Parani, the descendants of two families settled on the Linggi and Selangor rivers and became the power behind the Johor throne, with the creation of the office of the Yang Dipertuan Muda (Yam Tuan Muda), or Bugis underking.[4]


In Northern Australia

Long before European colonialists extended their influence into these waters, the Makasar, the Bajau, and the Bugis built elegant, ocean-going schooners in which they plied the trade routes. Intrepid and doughty, they travelled as far east as the Aru Islands, off New Guinea, where they traded in the skins of birds of paradise and medicinal masoya bark, and to northern Australia, where they exchanged shells, birds’-nests and mother-of-pearl for knives and salt with Aboriginaltribes. The products of the forest and sea that they brought back were avidly sought after in the markets and entrepots of Asia, where the Bugis bartered for opiumsilkcotton, firearms and gunpowder.[citation needed]

Some Pictures from Thanks


The Bugis sailors left their mark and culture on an area of the northern Australian coast which stretches over two thousand kilometers from the Kimberley to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Throughout these parts of northern Australia, there is much evidence of a significant Bugis presence. There are the remains of Bugis buildings on islands, Bugis words have become part of the Aboriginal languages and Bugis men and their craft feature in the indigenous art of the people of Arnhem Land.[ Each year, the Bugis sailors would sail down on the northwestern monsoon in their wooden pinisi. They would stay in Australian waters for several months to trade and taketrepang (or dried sea cucumber) before returning to Makassar on the dry season off shore winds. These trading voyages continued until 1907.[citation needed]


As Thomas Forrest wrote in Voyage from Calcutta, “The Bugis are a high-spirited people: they will not bear ill-usage…They are fond of adventures, emigration, and capable of undertaking the most dangerous enterprises.”


Present Lifestyle

Most present-day Bugis now earn their living as rice farmers, tradersor fishermen. Women help with the agricultural cycle and work in the homes. Some women still weave the silk sarongs worn on festive occasions by men and women.

Indo Logo (a Bugis song)

Most Bugis live in stilted houses, sometimes three meters (9 ft) or more off the ground, with plank walls and floors. During growing seasons some family members may reside in little huts dispersed among the fields.

Many of the marriages are still arranged by parents and ideally take place between cousins. A newlywed couple often lives with the wife’s family for the first few years of their marriage. Divorce is a fairly common occurrence, particularly when the married couple are still in their teens.


The Bugis’ diet consists mainly of rice, maize, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit and coffee. On festive occasions, goat is served as a special dish. Visual and performing arts, such as dance and recitations of epic poetry have largely been replaced by modern entertainments such as karaoke.


The Bugis culture also recognizes five separate genders that are necessary to keep the world in balance and harmony. These includemakkunrai (feminine woman), calabai (feminine man), calalai(masculine woman), oroané (masculine man), and bissu (embodying both male and female energies, revered as a shaman).



In the early 17th century, the Minangkabau ulema, Dato Ri Bandang, Dato Ri Tiro, and Dato Ri Patimang spread Islam in South Sulawesi.[5]The Bugis converted from indigenous animistic practices and beliefs to Islam. A few west coast rulers converted to Christianity in the mid-16th century, but failure by the Portuguese at Malacca to provide priests meant that this did not last. By 1611, all the Makasar and Bugis kingdoms had converted to Islam, though pockets of animists among the Bugis To Lotang at Amparita and the Makasar Konja in Bulukumbapersist to this day. Practices originating in the pre-Islamic period also survive, such as ancestor veneration and spirit possession, though these practices are less inclined to be performed by the current generation, as most are now educated in Islam.

Sulawesi, tribe, mamasa, suku

Sea Exploration


Respected as traders and sailors, and feared occasionally as adventurers and pirates, the seafarers of southern Sulawesi looked outwards, seeking their fortunes throughout the Indonesian archipelago. While trade was the seafarers’ main goal, the Makasar, Bajau, and Bugis often set up permanent settlements, either through conquest or diplomacy, and marrying into local societies. However, their reputation as seafarers dates to after 1670; most Bugis were, and are, rice farmers.


Bissu community and cultural heritage south sulawesi, indonesia.
bissu01_south_sulawesiBissu was known since the growing of Buginese Empire, and its one of the genders of the Bugisese Tribe, an ethnic group of South Sulawesi. The Bissu are commonly termed “gender transcendent” or as “having a ritual role” in the Bugis culture. There are divergent theories regarding the definitive origins and meaning of “gender transcendent” in this context.

Traditional Bugis society has five types of gender. Australian author, Sharyn Graham, in a research report titled Sex, Gender and Priests inSouth Sulawesi, Indonesia (in years 2002), said the classification of gender in South Sulawesi were Male (or in Buginese language call it Oroane), Women (or in Buginese language call it Makunrai), Women who look like men (or in Buginese language call it Calabai), Men who look like women (or in Buginese language call it Calabai), and paragender (or in Buginese language call it Bissu).

In popular language is called trans-gender. Bissu is cultural heritage in pre-Islamic in South Sulawesi. Sharyn mentioned as gender bissu because bissu truly transcendent is pastor. Despite their graceful movements, has a side bissu masculinity, which is carrying a machete and Badik or martial arts expert. Even they have a supernatural power. The Bissu are sometimes portrayed as transvestites, but this seems to be a misunderstanding to much of their history and role in society. To be Bissu, one has to fuse all aspects of gender. In many examples this means to be born hermaphroditic or an inter-sexual individual. There appears also be examples of Bissu, in which male or female Bissu are fully sexually formed.

The unusual inter-sexual role of the Bissu is not exclusively connected to their anatomy, but to their point in the Bugis culture, their gender-less (or all all-encompassing gender) identity and their exhibit of many types that can not be accurately allocated to any one sex. This is in evidence in the Bissu’s attire. The Bissu dresses in a type of garment that is not worn by any other sex and which incorporates both “female” and “male” qualities, which explains why Bissu cannot be termed Transvestites, or Cross-dressers, as they are only permitted to wear the garment which is appropriate for their given gender caste.

In addition to acting as liaison between the king, man, and gods in the days of empire, Bissu also considered sacred. In the Bugis language, means Bissu holy man who is not menstruating and not bleeding. Sacred because they are pastors. No periods because even as their women are men. No bleeding because their bodies can not penetrate metal or tin. Because of their ability to extraordinary bissu entrusted by the king to keep royal heritage. The existence of royal heritage today are not separated from the role of bissu.

bissu02_south_sulawesi bissu03_south_sulawesi bissu04_south_sulawesi

Nowday, the community increasingly rare Bissu and they has a leader which keeps their existence as old tradition rooted in the La Galigo epic. This community can be found atBone, Wajo, Soppeng, and Pangkep Regency, but most of them found it at Pangkep Regency. If lucky, visitors can see the attraction of the Bissu in various ceremonies from the court to rice planting rituals and records the chants, drumming, dances and ceremonies central to the life of the Bissu priests and early Bugis people. One of the ceremony that always held is “Mappasili ritual Segeri” in the early growing season or around the month of November, Located about 70 kilometers north of Makassar, they can also present the atractions base on request but it will be pay for it.

Selayar 131.000 IslamSulawesi, tribe, selayar, suku
South Sulawesi, Selayar Island. Alternate names: Salajar, Salayar, Salayer, Saleier, Siladja, Silajara. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Makassar [mak].
The inland Salajarese are primarily farmers. Maize is their staple crop; grain and dry rice are secondary crops. Coconuts and lemons are cash crops that are exchanged for other necessary items. Fishing is the main occupation for those living on the coast. Sea cucumbers, turtles, and shellfish comprise part of their catch.There are very few Salajarese villages. Homes tend to be scattered around the various farming areas. Most homes have plank walls with thatched roofs. Each house contains a kitchen, a porch, and bedrooms. They are usually built up on stilts. The average household consists of a nuclear family. Often when relatives do not possess a house, they will live with their close relatives. Children are raised by their parents, elder siblings, and other relatives or household members.The island of Salajar is divided into regions, some of which are ruled by women. Regalia (sacred emblems) represent each region. There are a number of subtle social classes evident, including the descendants of rulers, nobility, commoners, and slaves.

In general, the division of labor is strict because of the rigid separation of sexes in everyday life. In agriculture, men do the hard work, such as plowing and carrying the farm produce. Traditionally, women tend to most of the harvesting, in addition to the traditional household duties.

In the rural locations, marriages are still arranged exclusively by the parents or close relatives. Traditionally, the groom’s social rank must be equal to or higher than that of the bride. Marriages between second cousins are preferred among the commoners; while only nobles are allowed to marry first cousins. This is in order to retain the nobility and wealth within the close family. The “bride price” is divided into “spending money,” which is used by the bride’s family to cover the costs of the wedding feast, and a “rank price,” which is given to the bride. If the groom’s family cannot afford to pay an acceptable bride price, the couples often elope.

Intermarriage between villages tends to be the rule. This has resulted in complex, widespread kinship networks. Social rank among the Salajarese is established by the rank of ancestors.
Islam has been the dominant religion among the Salajarese since the seventeenth century. Today, virtually all of the Salajarese are Sunni Muslims. However, animistic beliefs (belief that non-living objects have spirits) are still prevalent. The belief that all things in nature have souls strongly influences their daily lives and religious practices.

Tae’ 250.000 Islam
South Sulawesi, Kabupaten Luwu from Larompong District through Sabbang, and scattered pockets. Rongkong in Luwu District, southeast Limbong and Sabbang subdistricts. Also an enclave in Wasuponda, Nuha subdistrict near Soroako town. Alternate names: East Toraja, Luwu, Rongkong, Rongkong Kanandede, Sada, Sangangalla’, Tae’ Tae’, Taeq, To Rongkong, Toraja Timur, Toware. Dialects: Rongkong, Northeast Luwu, South Luwu, Bua, Toala’, Palili’. Lexical similarity: 92% among dialects, over 86% with the northern dialects, 80% with Toraja-Sa’dan.
Toala’ 44.000 Islam
South Sulawesi, Luwu District from Masamba to south tip of the district. Toala’ from foothills to the divide. Palili’ on a narrow coastal strip overlapping with Bugis Luwu. Alternate names: East Toraja, Luwu’, Sada, Sangangalla’, Toala, Toala-Palili, Toraja Timur, Toware. Dialects: Toala’, Palili’. Probably at least 4 dialects. Lexical similarity: 74% with Toraja-Sa’dan [sda]. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, South Sulawesi, Northern, Toraja-Sa’dan
Prior to the twentieth century, the Toala highlands were often raided for coffee and slaves. Headhunting raids to avenge the death of a kinsman were also common.
Most Toala raise all of their own food. Rice, the major crop, is planted in terraced paddies and harvested by hand. Single metal-bladed plows drawn by water buffalo or men are still in use. Toala farmers also grow maize, chilies, beans, yams, and potatoes. Cash crops include coffee and cloves. They also gather snails, eels, and small fish from unplanted wet rice fields. Domestic animals include chickens, pigs, and water buffaloes, which are sacrificed on ritual occasions.
Villages tend to be small and are located either on hilltops or scattered along the plains. As many as four to six families may live together in one house. Villages are based on local “kin groups,” with all of the members being related by blood or marriage. Emphasis is placed on respect for one’s elders, diligence, and the importance of the family over one’s individual and personal needs.
In the past, some marriages of the aristocracy were polygynous (having many wives), but today most are monogamous (having only one spouse). Once married, a person could choose to live in the village of his father, mother, or spouse. Some marriages are still arranged by the parents; but today, most young people are allowed to select their own mates.
Adoption is a very common occurrence among the Toala. Children are reared by both their parents and their siblings. It is believed that family ties can be extended and strengthened by allowing relatives and friends to adopt one’s children. In such cases, the children will often move back and forth between the households of their adoptive and biological parents.
The Toala are known for their elaborately carved houses and rice barns, as well as life-size statues of certain wealthy, deceased aristocrats.
The Toala are 99% Sunni Muslims. However, various forms of animistic practices (belief that non-human objects have spirits) have continued to influence their culture.
Among the Toala, the funeral is the most critical event in life. They believe that this ritual allows the deceased to leave the world of the living and proceed to the next. Funeral ceremonies vary in length and complexity, depending on one’s wealth and status.

North Sulawesi, West & South Sulawesi Tribes

Posted in Indonesian Tribes on November 10, 2011 by 2eyeswatching

North Sulawesi 15 Tribes

Source & Others

North Sulawesi ,  Tribes

The Bajau  7000 Islam (also called the Bayo, Gaj, Luaan, or Lutaos) are a highly mobile maritime people group that is found throughout the coastal areas of Sulawesi, Maluku, Kalimantan, Sumatera, and East Nusa Tenggara. Their high mobility led to outsiders calling them ‘sea gypsies.’ In eastern Indonesia, the largest numbers of Bajau are found on the islands and in the coastal districts of Sulawesi. Their everyday language is the Bajau language, which is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster.  


While some Bajau have begun to live on land, many Bajau are still boat dwellers. Among the Bajau boat dwellers, local communities consist of scattered moorage groups made up of families whose members regularly return, between intervals of fishing, to a common anchorage site.


Two to six families will group together in an alliance to regularly fish and anchor together, often sharing food and pooling labor, nets, and other gear. The boats that are used as family dwellings vary in size and construction.



In Indonesia and Malaysia, boats average 10 meters in length with a beam of about 2 meters. They are plank constructed with solid keel and bow sections.


All are equipped with a roofed living area made of poles and kajang matting and a portable earthenware hearth, usually carried near the stern, used for preparing family meals.


The marine life exploited by the Bajau fishermen is diverse, including over 200 species of fish. Fishing activity varies with the tides, monsoonal and local winds, currents, migrations of pelagic fish, and the monthly lunar cycle. During moonless nights, fishing is often done with lanterns, using spears and handlines.



Today, fishing is primarily for market sale. Most fish are preserved by salting or drying. The boat-dwelling Bajau see themselves (in contrast to their neighbors), as non-aggressive people who prefer flight to physical confrontation.


As a consequence, the politically dominant groups of the region have historically viewed the Bajau with disdain as timid, unreliable subjects.
The Bajau are Sunni Muslims


Bantik 17.000 Animism  

11 villages around Manado
Bintauna 12.000 Islam
around Bintauna
Bolango 20.000 Islam
5,000 in Bolango, 15,000 in Atinggola. North Sulawesi Province, south coast of the peninsula, Bolaang Mongondow District, around Molibagu; Gorontalo Province, north coast around Atinggola, between Kaidipang and Gorontalo. 

Gorontalo  900.000 Islam

The Gorontalo homeland in northern Sulawesi is surrounded by North Sulawesi Province to the east, Central Sulawesi Province to the west, the Sulawesi Sea to the north, and Tomini Bay to the south. In the year 2000, Gorontalo officially gained povincial status when North Sulawesi Province was divded in two. This new province has two counties; Gorontalo and Bualemo. The area is composed of extensive coastlines, rugged mountains, and a large central valley with beautiful Lake Limboto at its center. The Gorontalo have traditionally lived along the coast and in the fertile lowlands beside rivers and streams. The Gorontalo language cluster includes three branches: Gorontalo (spoken by 90% of Gorontalo), Suwawa (spoken in the extreme eastern district) and Atinggola (spoken on the northern coast near Bolaang Mongondow Regency). 

Sulawesi, tribe, gorontalo,suku
The Gorontalo make their living by farming or fishing. An important segment is active in various businesses, from selling used clothing in the marketplace to running national companies. A number are powerful national figures. Locally made crafts include rattan kopiah (a type of Muslim hat), distinctive Kerawang embroidery, and woven mats. Handicraft centers are found in the various districts and in the municipality of Gorontalo. Tourists enjoy the view of Lake Limboto from a cluster of three ancient Portuguese forts. The city offers a number of budget hotels. Currently, four airlines serve the newly expanded airport. Gorontalo genealogy is bilateral (traced through both parents). Within the immediate family, children are not allowed to joke with their father, but must act respectfully. This is also true for dealings with older adult relatives. However, relationships are more open with grandmothers and older siblings.
The Gorontalo have been Muslims

Kaidipang  27.000 Islam
The Kaidipang are found on the outskirts of the Bolaang Mongondow District of North Sulawesi Province. Sulawesi is a large mountainous island often described as being shaped like an orchid or crab. It has a coastline of about 5,000 kilometers and consists mainly of four peninsulas separated by deep gulfs, with two of the peninsulas extending southward and two northeastward. The Kaidipang area is surrounded by North Sulawesi Province to the east, Gorontalo Province to the west, the Sulawesi Sea to the north, and Tomini Bay to the south.Historically, the Kaidipang formed their own kingdom. In 1910, they joined with the neighboring Bolang Itang kingdom. This enlarged kingdom lasted until 1950 when it joined the recently independent Republic of Indonesia.
Traditional lifestyle was one of shifting agricultural. New fields were cleared, farmed and then abandoned after becoming depleted of nutrients and unproductive. After three to five years of lying fallow, an old area would be fertile enough to be cleared and farmed again. This method is called “slash and burn” farming because clearing of land is done by cutting down the bigger trees and burning unwanted vegetation. Unfortunately, this method is often cited as a primary cause for deforestation as well as forest fires which often rage out of control. In recent times, however, the Kaidipang have become more settled, resulting in an increase of their population. Kaidipang villages are usually found along roadways in the highlands. Many have already become rice farmers, fishers, day laborers, and owners of small shops. They also raise livestock such as cattle, goats, and chickens.The lineage of descent for the Kaidipang people is bilateral (traced through both mother and father). Inheritance is handled in the same way for both male and female descendants. Unlike most other ethnic groups in Indonesia, the Kaidipang reserve no special treatment or rights for male family members.
Traditional law (adat) is still in use, although it has become intertwined with Islamic practice.
Lolak 3.000 Islam
Bolaang Mongondow District, Lolak, Mongkoinit, and Motabang villages. Dialects: Structurally related to Gorontalo [gor], but with heavy lexical borrowing from Mongondow [mog]. Lexical similarity: 79% with Mongondow, 66% with Ponosakan [pns], 63% with Kaidipang [kzp].
The Lolak are an agrarian people who have always lived on the fringes of more powerful neighboring groups. They live in the Lolak District in the northeastern portion of Sulawesi. Sulawesi is a large mountainous island often described as being shaped like an orchid or crab. In their district, the Lolak comprise 80% of the population and live in only three villages: Lolak, Mongkoinit, and Motabang. Lolak District is sparsely populated, with only 21,000 inhabitants. The chief characteristic that distinguishes the Lolak from other native Mongondow groups is their language which is structurally similar to Gorontalo. Despite this similarity, the Lolak language has heavily borrowed from the neighboring Mongondow language. In fact, the Lolak homeland is surrounded by the Mongondow people, and Mongondow is the second language of most Lolak people.
The Lolak area is a fertile area with long black sand beaches, flat grassy fields, coconut plantations, and rugged inland mountains. The Lolak are farmers who grow rice, coconuts, corn, cacao, and large healthy cattle. The government provides assistance in the form of subsidized pesticides when insects or blight threaten the rice crop. Large areas belong to rich absentee landowners and are worked by area residents. Rice and sago are food staples. Sometimes they hunt deer in the forest. Housing is basic and in some places very poor. When a Lolak family becomes wealthy enough, they replace their thatch roof (made from rumbia or sago leaves) with tin. The wealthiest ones will buy satellite dishes. Access to fresh water is not a problem since many families have wells. Their main village of Lolak has its own small hospital. Although the area has typhoid, there is very little malaria. The district has twenty elementary schools and most Lolak children are able to attend. Further education requires relocation. Those able to attend high school typically study in Kotamobagu or Manado. Of the few who seek further education, most study farming, husbandry (livestock breeding), economics, or law at Sam Ratulangi University in Manado. Lolak genealogy is bilateral (traced through both parents). Inheritance is handled in the same way for both male and female descendants. Male family members receive no special treatment. They typically marry before 20 years of age and have more than two children per family.
The Lolak are Sunni Muslims.
Mongondow  1.158.000 Christian
between Tontemboan and Gorontalo. Alternate names: Bolaang Mongondow, Minahassa, Mongondou. Dialects: Lolayan, Dumoga, Pasi.
Ponosakan 3.000 Animism
Belang area. Alternate names: Ponasakan. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Mongondow [mog], 66% with Lolak [llq].
Ratahan 39.000 Christian
northeast section, Ratahan area to southeast coast. Alternate names: Bentenan, Pasan.
Suwawa 21.000 Islam

Sulawesi, tribe, suwawa, suku

Suwawa and Pinogu area, east of Gorontalo town, Lake Limboto. Alternate names: Bonda, Bunda, Bune, Suwawa-Bunda. Dialects: Bunda.
Tombulu 60.000  Christian
Tanawangko and Tomohon areas. Alternate names: Minahasa, Minhasa, Tombalu, Tombula, Tombulu’, Toumbulu. Dialects: Taratara, Tomohon. Most similar to Tondano [tdn], Tonsea [txs].
Tondano 100.000 Christian
Tondano area and north peninsula; southeast coast, Toulour District. Also in United States. Alternate names: Tolou, Tolour, Tondanou, Toulour. Dialects: Tondano, Kakas (Ka’kas), Remboken. Most similar to Tombulu [tom], Tonsea [txs]. 

Sulawesi, tribe, tondano, suku

Tonsawang  30.000 Christian
Tombatu area. Alternate names: Tombatu.
Tontemboang  189.000 Christian
northeast coast, Sonder to Motoling and Tompasobaru areas. Alternate names: Pakewa, Tompakewa, Tountemboan. Dialects: Langoan, Tompaso (Makelai, Makela’i-Maotow), Sonder (Matanai, Matana’i-Maore’).

Waruga, The Ancient Grave in Tomohon


Minahasa Culinary: Ayam Rica-rica


West Sulawesi  23 Tribes

West Sulawesi , Tribes


Aralle-Tabulahan 17.000 Islam
Mambi subdistrict, between Mandar and Kalumpang. Dialects: Aralle, Tabulahan, Mambi. Aralle has 84%–89% lexical similarity with other dialects listed, 75%–80% with Bambam [ptu], Pannei [pnc], Ulumandak [ulm] dialects.
Bada 10.000
South central portion of central Sulawesi, Lore Selatan subdistrict, 14 villages; Pamona Selatan subdistrict, 2 mixed villages; Poso Pesisir subdistrict, 4 mixed villages; Parigi subdistrict, some in Lemusa village; Ampibabo subdistrict. Ako in northern Mamuju District, Pasangkayu subdistrict. 23 villages or parts of villages. Alternate names: Bada’, Tobada’. Dialects: Bada, Ako. Lexical similarity: 85% between Bada and Behoa [bep], 91% between Behoa and Napu [npy], 80% between Bada and Napu [npy]. The three are geographically, politically, culturally separate.
Bambam, Pitu Ulunna Salu 30.000 Christian 

Bambam, Pitu Ulunna Salu People Photo

west Polmas District, Mambi subdistrict, Maloso and Mapilli rivers watershed, into Majene and Mamuju districts. Alternate names: Pitu-Ulunna-Salu. Dialects: Bambam Hulu, Salu Mokanam, Bumal, Mehalaan, Pattae’, Matangnga, Issilita’, Pakkau. Complex dialect chain. Lexical similarity: 83%–94% with Bumal; 85%–80% with dialects of Aralle-Tabulahan [atq], Pannei [pnc], and Ulumanda [ulm].
The Bambam people trace their beginnings to the seven offspring of Pongkapadang and Torije’ne’ who formed a confederacy called Pitu Ulunna Salu (Seven River Heads), which provided a united front against outside, hostile groups. The Dutch colonial government came in the early 1900′s and brought schools, abolished slavery, introduced taxes, and brought Christianity. During World War II the Japanese sent troops to control the area, even though it was quite remote and not economically significant.The Bambam area suffered further hardships from 1950 through 1965 – a time of raids and rebellion. A group of fanatical Muslim rebels took over the town of Mambi and began forcing people in other villages to convert to Islam. In response, the people of Bambam formed the Peoples’ Defense Organization (Organisasi Pertahanan Rakyat). With assistance from the nationalist Battalion 710, the OPR attacked Mambi and drove the rebels back to the coast near Mamuju. After this, the 710 Battalion began abusing the people of the Bambam area, so the OPR forced the 710 to retreat. The OPR cut off all trails into the area, and continued to guard it until civil order was restored in 1964. 

Where are they located?
The majority of the Bambam people reside in the Mamasa regency in the highlands of West Sulawesi province of Indonesia. Villages are scattered throughout the watersheds of the Salu Mambi, Salu Dengen and Salu Mokanam rivers. It is a very mountainous region, with peaks reaching heights of up to 3000 meters.

Home and family are top priority to most Bambam people. The nuclear family consists of parents and unmarried children, but often a household includes elderly parents or newly married children. On the surface, relationships appear to be very harmonious. Anger is rarely expressed. Conforming, keeping the peace, and maintaining the status quo are cultural values. The people are generally very cooperative and sociable, which goes hand in hand with their way of working together. Whether it is preparing fields, planting, weeding, harvesting, repairing paths or building a house, people like to work with companions. Sometimes wages are paid, but often it is a matter of helping someone in return for their help at another time. The rice growing cycle is central to the Bambam lifestyle. Daily activities and planning are based on the cycle of repairing paddies, planting, weeding and harvesting. Feasts and ceremonies are also tied into this cycle. Tasks are clearly defined by gender.

While the rice growing cycle is central to the Bambam lifestyle, in recent years the economy has been most affected by the coffee and cacao crops. These provide the needed cash for purchasing goods brought in from outside.

There are three religious groups among the Bambam: the Christians (Protestant and Catholic), the Moslems, and the Mappuhondo (animists). The traditional beliefs of the Mappuhondo affect the beliefs of those who call themselves Christian or Moslem.

Traditionally, one finds favor with the gods by having penaba sambulo-bulo “straight breath”. This is being good, which means caring for others, not lying, doing what one says they will do. The gods will not like it if you seek to destroy the plans of others. You need to look out for the good of others.

“Tometampa” the creator god made man, animals, plants, everything which is in the world. He is the creator god, but is not consider the boss of the gods. Each of the gods controls their domain (river, hill, village, type of work or task, etc). The Christians believe in the creator God and that He is in charge of all things.

When a Bambam person dies he goes sau’ anitu “downriver to the ghost place” which is the place of the dead. People are not sure where that place is, “maybe at the edge of the world”. The river is crossed (salu sidilambam), and they cannot go across if they have no water buffalo to pull across carrying all their belongings. That is why the family must butcher at least one water buffalo for their funeral.
Christians still butcher buffalos for funerals, but they say they do this because they’d be ashamed if they did not.

Baras 300 Islam
Mamuju District, south Pasangkayu and north Budong-Budong subdistricts, between Lariang and Budong-Budong rivers, a few villages mainly in Desa Baras. Alternate names: Ende. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 84% with Da’a Kaili [kzf], 85% with Inde dialect of Kaili, Da’a [kzf], 80% or more with other Kaili varieties, 64% with Uma [pkk].
Budong Budong Tangkou 90 Islam
Mamuju District, Budong-Budong subdistrict, Tongkou village, on Budong-Budong River. Alternate names: Tangkou, Tongkou. Dialects: Similar to Aralle-Tabulahan [atq], Ulumandak [ulm]. Lexical similarity: 56% with Mamuju [mqx] and Seko Padang [skx], 61% with Seko Tengah [sko], 72% with Panasuan [psn].
Bugis  3.500.000 Islam
Western coast of southeast Sulawesi in Kolaka, Wundulako, Rumbia, and Poleang districts. Also in major towns of Sulawesi. Large enclaves also in other provinces of Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku, Papua, and Sumatra; coastal swamp areas such as Bulukumba, Luwu, Polewali in Polmas, Pasangkayu in Mamuju districts. Also in Malaysia (Sabah). Alternate names: Boegineesche, Boeginezen, Bugi, Buginese, De’, Rappang Buginese, Ugi. Dialects: Bone (Palakka, Dua Boccoe, Mare), Pangkep (Pangkajene), Camba, Sidrap (Sidenrang, Pinrang Utara, Alitta), Pasangkayu (Ugi Riawa), Sinjai (Enna, Palattae, Bulukumba), Soppeng (Kessi), Wajo, Barru (Pare-Pare, Nepo, Soppeng Riaja, Tompo, Tanete), Sawitto (Pinrang), Luwu (Luwu’, Bua Ponrang, Wara, Malangke-Ussu). Bone or Soppeng dialects are central.
The Bugis (sometimes called the Ugi) live in the province of South Sulawesi. The Bugis region is called Tellumponcoe, and it consists of the regencies of Bone, Wajo, and Soppeng. There are also Bugis people settled throughout the regencies of Luwu, Sidenneng, Polmas, Pinrang, Pare-pare, Barru, Pangkajene, Maros, Bulukumba, and Sinjai. The Bugis are a dynamic and highly mobile people, considered by many to be the dominant people group in South Sulawesi. Many Bugis have left their home area to seek success and wealth. In particular, they have migrated to Sumbawa, Jawa, Papua, and even Malaysia. Their Ugi language is divided into several dialects, namely Luwu, Wajo, Bira Selayar, Palaka, Sindenneng and Sawito.Most Bugis make their living by hunting, fishing, farming, raising livestock or making handicrafts. Typically, the Bugis who live in the mountain ranges gain their livelihood by working the soil, while those living in the coastal areas generally work as fishermen. The Bugis traditional dress is called Wajo Ponco, which is believed to have originated from Melayu (Malay) dress. Currently, the dress is only used for traditional ceremonies and dances. The Bugis believe very strongly that certain days are good days, with good fortune for events and activities held on the first Wednesday and last Thursday of each month. Conversely, they consider Saturday to be a bad day, with misfortune more likely to happen on this day. In Bugis tradition there are different levels of social status that are based upon one’s ancestors. These different levels include descendants of a king, descendants of nobles (La Patau), descendants of district administrators (Aru Lili) and descendants of various kinds of slaves. Two of the most important cultural values for the Bugis people are called siri (personal honor) and siri-pesse (communal honor). A Bugis person must defend, maintain, and build one’s own siri. The effort to obtain and maintain siri varies according to the context. For instance, in an economic context, siri means working hard and being faithful. In a personal context, if a person’s siri is offended serious forms of revenge will be considered. Islam reinforced the traditional Bugis concept of siri in such a way that today the typical Bugis person sees siri as the key to his or her self-identity as a Bugis Muslim. The Bugis line of descent is bilateral (traced through both parents). After marriage the newlyweds may choose to live near either the husband’s or wife’s family, although initially, they live at least briefly near the wife’s family.
The Bugis people are famous for their fervent adherence to Sunni Islam.
Campalagian  33.000 Islam
Majene District, Polmas, south coast. Alternate names: Tallumpanuae, Tasing, Tjampalagian. Dialects: Campalagian, Buku. Lexical similarity: 50%–58% with Mandar [mdr], 50%–62% with Bugis [bug], 55% with Bugis Bone [bug], 62% with Bugis Pangkajene [bug], Bugis Sidrap [bug].
The Campalagian people primarily live in the cities of Polmas and Campalagian and the surrounding district of Majene. This area is located in the province of South Sulawesi. Sulawesi is a large mountainous island often described as being shaped like an orchid or crab. It has a coastline of about 5,000 kilometers and consists mainly of four peninsulas separated by deep gulfs, with two of the peninsulas extending southward and two northeastward. The majority of Campalagian live in lowland areas, which are typically fertile for various forms of agriculture. Other names for these people are Tulumpanuae or Tasing. They speak the Campalagian language. The culture of the Campalagian has been influenced by its more populous and more powerful neighbors, namely the Toraja and Bugis peoples. The languages of Toraja and Bugis have influenced the Campalagian language and consequently there are many similarities.
The Campalagian live as farmers, fishermen, and traders. Trading is usually done in the city of Campalagian which is located in the coastal area. They also raise water buffalo, goats, cattle, and chickens. A farming community is known as pallaung-ruma, consisting of two groups: pa’galung (farmers of irrigated fields) and pa’dare (farmers of unirrigated fields). The fishermen are known as pakkaja. The tools used distinguish them: pameng use hook and line; pa’bagang use a fishing platform; pajala use nets; and pa’belle use special traps made of long nets. Traders are usually known as padagang or saudagara. Trading is usually done in the city of Campalagian, which is located on the coast. Marriage among the Campalagian people is still under the direction of the parents, including the selection of a spouse. Unlike some areas, there is already a high school in the city. Health-care seems to be adequate, particularly when compared to other more poorly served areas.
Almost every Campalagian person identifies himself or herself as a follower of the religion of Islam.
Da’a Kaili 35.000
Da’a and Inde. 3,000 to 5,000 Da’a and Inde are in south Sulawesi. Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi provinces in Marawola, Dolo, Sigi-Biromaru, Palolo, Banawa subdistricts. ‘Bunggu’ used for Da’a and Inde in south Sulawesi, Mamuju District, Pasangkayu subdistrict, near Palu. Alternate names: Bunggu, Da’a. Dialects: Da’a (Pekawa, Pekava, Pakawa), Inde. Some intelligibility with Ledo dialect of Kaili, Ledo [lew] and other Kaili varieties, but with major sociolinguistic differences. Lexical similarity: 98% between the Da’a and Inde dialects.
Dakka 2.000 Islam
Polewali-Mamasa District, Wonomulyo subdistrict. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 72%–77% with Pannei [pnc] and Bambam [ptu].
Kalumpang 15.000 Christian
southeast Mamuju District, Kalumpang subdistrict. Alternate names: Galumpang, Ma’ki, Maki, Makki, Mangki, Mangkir. Dialects: Karataun, Mablei, Mangki (E’da), Bone Hau (Ta’da). Small dialects not listed. Lexical similarity: 78% with Mamasa [mqj], 78% with Tae’ [rob], 74% with Toraja-Sa’dan [sda]. Between Karataun and Bone Hau dialects: average 82%.
The Kalumpang people are located within the jungles of central Western Sulawesi. This is a new province and they were origianlly classified as Southern Sulawesi. There are several large villages, such as Kalumpang, Buttu, Tambing-Tambing and Batuisi.
The Kalumpang people are primarily agrarian. Small scale gardens are used to produce the food that they need to survive and wild animals are hunted for food. There is a strong sense of community within this region.
This area is predominantly Christian,
Mamasa 124.000  Christian 

Sulawesi, tribe, mamasa, suku  


Polmas District, Polewali subdistrict, along Mamasa River. Dialects: Northern Mamasa, Central Mamasa, Pattae’ (Southern Mamasa, Patta’ Binuang, Binuang, Tae’, Binuang-Paki-Batetanga-Anteapi). Lexical similarity: 78% with Toraja-Sa’dan [ska].

Sulawesi, tribe, mamuju, suku

Mamuju 77.000 Islam 

Mamuju People Photo

The Mamuju people’s main livelihood is agriculture and fishing. They cultivate copra and cocoa on a small scale, and also grow cloves, corn and cassava along the coast. 

They also raise cattle. Their primary forest product is ebony wood. In the city, some Mamuju work as traders, teachers or nurses.The houses of the Mamuju have a simple structure, with most of the walls made of plaited bamboo and the roof made of palm leaves. Their houses are built on stilts approximately two meters high.The Mamuju people live peacefully with their neighbors, whom they regard as their own family. They work together, such as in building their houses, in preparing festivities, and in drying copra. The Mamuju treat visitors as honored guests, but serious conflict will arise if they feel they have been dishonored or shamed. Many women and girls wear gold earrings to show that they are not poor. Groups of men and women never mix together. When they catch fish, men take the boats, while the women wait on the beach. The Mamuju tribe have several kinds of leaders, who are always men. They rely on a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) to determine the correct days for various activities, such as weddings and harvest ceremonies. They also have a religious leader and a leader who is chosen by the regional government. The religious leader is the most influential, while the governmental leader is only effective when the people regard him as being a good leader. Important informational meetings are usually held at the mesjid (mosque). The Mamuju have many of their own rules and regulations. For serious offenses, a person often has to give a cow to the offended party. In the life of the Mamuju, young people make their own choice of who to marry. Women are usually 16-17 years old when they marry, while men are usually 18-20 years old. They like to have many children and there are usually 5-6 children in a family.
Nearly all of the Mamuju are Muslim.

Mandar 273.000 Islam 

Majene and Polewali-Mamasa districts, Mamuju District, a few settlements; Pangkep District islands, and Ujung Lero near Pare-Pare. Alternate names: Andian, Mandharsche, Manjar. Dialects: Majene, Balanipa (Napo-Tinambung), Malunda, Pamboang, Sendana (Cenrana, Tjendana). A complex dialect grouping, there may be more dialects than those listed. Balanipa and Sendana may each be more than 1 dialect. Balanipa is the prestige dialect. Mandar, Mamuju [mqx], and Bambam [ptu] are separate languages in a language chain. 

The Mandar (or Andian) people live in the low coastal plains and mountains of the regencies of Majene, Mamuju, and Polewali Mandar in the province of West Sulawesi (in Indonesian Sulawesi Barat). Their language is the Mandar language, which has four dialects: Balanipa, Majene, Pamboang, and Awok Sumakengu. The Mandar have been greatly influenced by the larger neighboring Bugis, Makassar, and Toraja Sa’dan peoples.The Mandar region is surrounded by mountains with a large area in the middle suitable for rice fields. Their main sea products are the cakalang fish and turtle. A rare and protected type of bird in the area is known as the mandar bird (in the armimadea family).Many Mandar live by farming rice fields or orchards while some work as fishermen. In the Sendana and Malunda areas, their produce includes copra and cocoa. The rice fields of Polmas are irrigated, while other regencies still use the traditional means of depending on rainfall. As a society that used to be an independent kingdom, the Mandar people recognize three social classes. The high class consists of the nobility (Todiang Laiyana), the middle class is the commoners (Tau Maradika), and the lowest class is the slave class (Batua). The nobility are referred to as Daeng for the “royal class” and Puang for the “proper class”.The history of the development of the Mandar family system has been marked by several periods. First was the Tomakala period, which was during the time when there was no regular government and no law. Second was the the transition period (Pappuangang), when the social relationship system began to form. Third was the Arajang period, which had systematized structures, regulations, and values. Arajang guidelines are still influential but they have been fused with Islamic and modern structures. Currently, the king does not rule by hereditary right, but is chosen by the traditional leaders (hadat). In the Mandar tradition, if the headdress of community leaders is worn angling to the left, it is a call for the king to reconsider his leadership and policies. If all the elders come and walk in front of the palace while wearing their headdress angling to the left and also carrying spears and keris (sacred knives), this is sign for the king to step down from his throne voluntarily. If the king does not step down voluntarily, then they will try to depose him with force (even to the point of killing him). If they are not able to accomplish this by force, then many of them will leave their villages. In the Mandar viewpoint, a king is regarded as a bad king if the people leave in this manner.
The Mandar people are Muslims.
Panasuan 800 Christian
Mamuju District, northeast of Kalumpang [kli], west of Seko area. 2 villages. Alternate names: To Pamosean, To Panasean. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 67% with Seko Tengah [sko], 63% with Seko Padang [skx], 72% with Tangkou [tkx].
Pannei 11.000 Islam
Polewali-Mamasa District, Wonomulyo subdistrict. Alternate names: Tapango. Dialects: Tapango, Bulo. Lexical similarity: 87%–93% between the Bulo dialect and other varieties, 75%–80% with dialects of Ulumanda’ [ulm], Bambam [ptu], Aralle-Tabulahan [atq].
The Pannei people live in the district of Wonomulyo of the regency of Polewali Mandar in the province of West Sulawesi (in
Indonesian Sulawesi Barat). Sulawesi is a large mountainous island often described as being shaped like an orchid or crab. It has a coastline of about 5,000 kilometers and consists mainly of four peninsulas separated by deep gulfs, with two of the peninsulas extending southward and two northeastward. They use the Pannei language in daily life. This language has two dialects, Tapango and Bulo.The Pannei make their living in various ways. They work as farmers, fishermen, craftsmen, traders/merchants, and government officials. The craftsmen usually are known as tukang or panre. The term tukang is used for the group of society that work as carpenters or stonemasons. The term, panre, is used for those that are homebuilders (panre bola), gold and silver crafters (panre ulaweng), and blacksmiths (panre besi). They also use specific terms to describe clothing tailors (pa’jai), cloth weavers (pa’tennung) and those who manufacture iron (pa’lanro).Other jobs include government positions and the military. Government officials are known as pajama kantoro (office officials), which also includes teachers. Those in the military usually are known as surodadu (soldier).In the past guerilla-fighters were called pa’barani (courageous person). These warriors served the Bugis kingdom against other kingdoms initially, and later fought against the Dutch colonialists. The pa’barani were reputed to always be eager to fight; engaging in conflict or war without regard for personal safety, for the glory of the king and kingdom.
Almost all Pannei people are followers of Islam.
Sarudu 5.100 Islam
south Pasangkayu District, Mamuju subdistrict. Alternate names: Doda’. Dialects: Nunu’, Kulu (Lariang). Lexical similarity: 75% with Uma [ppk], 80% with Benggaulu dialect of Uma [ppk].
The Sarudu live in the northern part of the Indonesian province of West Sulawesi (Sulawesi Barat). This province was formally separated from South Sulawesi and became an independent province in 2004. The Sarudu live in the North Mamuju District, and primarily in the Sarudu subdistrict, which is an along the western coast of Sulawesi, just north of the mouth of the Lariang River. Most of the Sarudu live in small towns or villages, and recently a motor road has been built through the area. The area is a flat alluvial plain. Parts of it are swampy, and the weather is always hot and humid.
It is likely that the ancestors of the Sarudu came from the mountains of Central Sulawesi, where the present-day Uma people live, and that they ate rice as their main staple. (The root word in the Sarudu language for “eat” is identical to the word for “cooked rice.”) But the main staple of most Sarudu now is sago. Most Sarudu are farmers, planting corn (maize), rice and various vegetable crops. They also cultivate sago palm trees, from which they obtain the edible starch that forms a main part of their diet. They also tend chickens, cows and other livestock, and catch fish in local rivers and streams. Although the Sarudu live not far from the sea, few Sarudu have become seafarers and few make their living fishing in the sea.According to a survey done by a translation team in 1987, there are approximately 4000 Sarudu people. In the Sarudu subdistrict, which is the center of the Sarudu area, there are 11 villages and the population is mostly Sarudu. In addition, many Bugis people live in the Sarudu area, and there are also people from several Kaili dialects that live among and near the Sarudu. Like the Sarudu, all of these people are Muslim.
Seko Padang 6.600 Christian
2,300 in the Seko area. South Sulawesi, Luwu Utara District, Limbong subdistrict, northeast section; half resettled Central Sulawesi, Palolo Valley. Alternate names: Seko, Sua Tu Padang, Wono. Dialects: Lodang, Hono’ (Wono).
Seko Tengah 2.500  Christian
west Limbong subdistrict along Betue River. Alternate names: Pewanean, Pewaneang, Pohoneang, Seko. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 71% with Seko Padang [skx], 67% with Panasuan [psn].
Tae’ 250.000 Islam
South Sulawesi, Kabupaten Luwu from Larompong District through Sabbang, and scattered pockets. Rongkong in Luwu District, southeast Limbong and Sabbang subdistricts. Also an enclave in Wasuponda, Nuha subdistrict near Soroako town. Alternate names: East Toraja, Luwu, Rongkong, Rongkong Kanandede, Sada, Sangangalla’, Tae’ Tae’, Taeq, To Rongkong, Toraja Timur, Toware. Dialects: Rongkong, Northeast Luwu, South Luwu, Bua, Toala’, Palili’. Lexical similarity: 92% among dialects, over 86% with the northern dialects, 80% with Toraja-Sa’dan.
Talondo’ 400  Christian
Talondo and Pedasi villages; Mamuju District, Kalumpang subdistrict. 1 village. Dialects: May be in the Seko subgroup (Padang [skx] or Tengah [sko]). Lexical similarity: 80% with Kalumpang [kli].
Topoiyo 2.600 Islam
Mamuju District, Budong-Budong subdistrict inland along Budong-Budong River. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 66% with Sarudu [sdu] and Da’a [kzf], 56% with Ledo [lew], 54% with the Parigi dialect of Kaili [lew].
Toraja-Sa’dan 631.000  Christian
South Sulawesi, Tana Toraja District, large groups in Luwu District, Makassar City; southeast Sulawesi, west coast, Kolaka and Wundulako districts. Alternate names: Sa’dan, Sa’dansche, Sadan, Sadang, South Toraja, Ta’e, Tae’, Toradja, Toraja. Dialects: Makale (Tallulembangna), Rantepao (Kesu’), Toraja Barat (West Toraja, Mappa-Pana). Rantepao is prestige dialect.
Ulumanda’ 34.000 Islam
18,000 in Polmas and Majene. West Sulawesi, Majene, Mamuju, and Polewali-Mamasa districts. Alternate names: Awo-Sumakuyu, Botteng-Tappalang, Kado, Oeloemanda, Tubbi, Ulumandak, Ulunda. Dialects: Sondoang, Tappalang, Botteng. About 6 dialects. Lexical similarity: 75%–80% with dialect of Bambam [ptu], Aralle-Tabulahan [atq], Pannei [pnc].
The Ulumanda people live in the districts of Polmas, Majene and Polewali-Mamasa in the province of South Sulawesi. The area where the Ulumanda people live is mountainous and rich in raw materials such as minerals, sand, rattan, and ebony wood. The Ulumanda are closely related to the Bungku people who live in Poso Regency of Central Sulawesi.It has been suggested that the Ulumanda are descendants of Bungku groups who migrated to South Sulawesi. Other designations for the Ulumanda are Ulumandak, Ulunda, Tubi, Awosumakuyu, Botteng-Tappalang, and Kayo. Their everyday language is the Ulumanda language, which is divided into three dialects: Sondang, Tappalang and Boteng.
The Ulumanda’s main occupation is farming, with rice as the main crop, and additional crops being corn, potato, and sago. Some Ulumanda gain their livelihood from gathering and marketing resin and rattan. Most Ulumanda living on the coast tend to work as fishermen. The soil in Ulumanda is relatively less fertile than in other areas of South Sulawesi.In the past, there were two classes in the Ulumanda society: the upper class (tribal chiefs and nobility); and the common people. Today, the Ulumanda choose their village leader from the higher cast. In actuality, there are 3 leaders in a village: the leader chosen by the government, the cultural leader, and the spiritual leader. In many cases, the Ulumanda villages are self-governing and self-policing. In the event of a crime or offense, payment is often demanded in the form of a water buffalo or some other valuable animal or possession. Sometimes they pay by transferring ownership of a plot of coconut growing land. The payment often depends on the economic situation of the offender. In the past, marriages were arranged, but now the young people can choose for themselves. However, the man’s payment of a bride price is often more than a year’s wages, and the cost of the wedding ceremony is very expensive (the woman’s family does not pay anything). For this reason, many Ulumanda young people elope to nearby villages to be married. If they marry in their home village, the ceremony takes place in the woman’s house.
At present, virtually all Ulumanda people are Muslims.
Uma  20.000
increasing. 15,000 in the region, 5,000 outside (1990 SIL), 500 in Benggaulu. Central Sulawesi, Donggala District, South Kulawi and Pipikoro subdistricts, Pipikoro, ‘banks of the Koro’ and Lariang ‘Koro’ rivers. 32 villages. Bana in South Sulawesi, Luwu Utara District, enclave within the Seko Padang [skx] dialect area; Benggaulu in South Sulawesi, south Pasangkayu District, Mamuju subdistrict; some migrated to Gimpu and Palolo valleys, Palu and Pani’i, north of Palu. Alternate names: Pipikoro, Koro, Oema. Dialects: Winatu (Northern Uma), Tobaku (Western Uma, Dompa, Ompa), Tolee’ (Eastern Uma), Kantewu (Central Uma), Southern Uma (Aria), Benggaulu (Bingkolu), Bana. Literature exists in Kantewu dialect, but many would prefer to read their own dialect.