Land and people Sulawesi
culture, nature, cruising, adventures and more
Bali Tour Packages Sulawesi Yogyakarta Bali Island



The people of Bugis-Makassar is the residents of South Sulawesi ( Celebes ) covers an area around 100.457 square kilo meters, with total population around 5.600.000. This people is famous for their expert in sailing on the deep ocean. As a sailor they have spreaded over many areas of Indonesia such as North Sumatera, Malaysia, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, Maluku, Sumbawa, and West Flores.

The People of South Sulawesi

Makassar is the name refers to the kingdom on South Sulawesi which during 17th century was the biggest after united with the kingdom of Bone, on east coast of south Sulawesi. The size of South Sulawesi is 100.457 square kms including the island of Selayar, Tanah Jampea, Kalao, Bonerate, and Tanakeke. Anthropological studies said that the people of south Sulawesi is the Bugis, although based on dialect can be further grouped into the Bugis itself, Makassar, Toraja, Mandar, and Duri. The fact that people speaking Bugis dialect group is the biggest number. People speaking dialect of Makassar is now the residents of Makassar city, which was known also as Ujung Pandang city, south east tip of south Sulawesi and Selayar island. The Mandar dialect is found on north west coast of South Sulawesi on the area of Majene northward up to Mamuju. While dialect of Duri very small number neighboring with Toraja people. Due to wide area of South Sulawesi it is believed that during the course of history the culture of Bugis experienced some changes on some places or known as some transformations, so we now know some types of cultures and dialect son the region. Although he title is Bugis people we here discuss in general about the ethnics still within the group of south of Sulawesi. Makassar is flourishing kingdom of Bugis kingdom in 17th century and probably before when Hindu influence reached the region. While Toraja people and its culture will be treated separately as this people as if they are having their own culture known worldwide. The record by governor of South Sulawesi Province in 1969 mentions that the number of people estimated 5.643.067.


Linguistic study by B.F. Matthes found that ancient south Sulawwesi had written tradition using Indian writing, in both Bugis who used a language called Ugi, and the Makassar used a language called Mangsara. It is preserved on lontar leaves or paper. The writing is known as aksara-lontara. Aksara is Sanskrit word for alphabet, and Lontara is palm leaves. In the turn of 17th century century Islam started to enter south Sulawesi from Seram island in Ambon. Also the writing is changed into Arabian which is called huruf Serang ( probably from word " Seram " ). Many heritages on Bugis literature can be mentioned such as big collection of Bugis myth called Sure Galigo, ethnic called Paseng, leaders' decisions called Rapang, and others. Starting the coming of Islam in 17th century and arrival of Dutch V.O.C military the situation of SouthSulawesi is said never in peace. Between existing kingdoms were bloody conflict, and V.O.C military oppressed them very fiercely, causing many of them leaving their land and live on other parts of Indonesia. Today we can find Bugis people at any part of Indonesia who still preserve their tradition, although already following Islam.

Settlement Pattern

In the past the pattern of their settlement was centered on sacred place with big banyan tree called "possi tana" enclosed by between 10 to 200 houses. A settlement is headed by a Matoa or Jannang, or Lompo, or Toddo, assisted by 2 persons, the Sariang or Parennung. A unit of some settlements is called Wanua is Bugis and Pa'rasangan or bori in Makassar. From here we write a name as follows Bugis/Makassar just to make it short. The head of Wanua is Arung Palili or Sullewatang/Karaeng. After independence Wanua is the position of Kecamatan administration.

The shape of house the Bugis and makassar have the same style, except the Toraja is very unique which is discussed on special for Toraja people. The house is built on poles, the upper room under roof is to put rice, called rakkeang/pammakkang, room for living called ale bola/balle bolla, while space under the floor called awasao/passiringgang, to put farming tools, chicken house and other. Based on social status can be divided into 3 houses, sao raja/balla or lompo is a big house of noble family, normally has steps with storyed base, and roof top with 3 levels. Sao piti/tanarata is smaller house without top roof, bola/balla is common people house. To build a house an expert of tradition called panrita bola make a ritual to choose the spot where the house is to be built. Some times buffalo head is buried as the ritual to avoid the bad luck that might face the house.

Traditional Social System

Traditional social tradition of Bugis people introduce social strata such as the group of royal people or noble called Anakarung/Anakaraeng, common people of independent people called to maradeka/tu maradeka. The third group was ata meaning slave which was believed only appear much later in Bugis - Makassar society. Today the title of nobility such as Karaenta, Puatta, Andi and Daeng are still being used but meaning not much in the society. Today this social layers are not noticeable anymore in pace with changes orientation of the people life, as does the ideal marriage couple of the people which was between third level of family relation and big amount of doory and marriage expenses, now changed already. Marriage between grand children of brothers/sisters was not always smooth, some times also facing objection. If the objection come from the family of woman sometimes the man abducted the woman and hiding months at certain place and seek protection to prominent people, who could often use his power to dispose the anger of the woman family.

The people of Bugis is an obedient people to their original tradition although those who already live outside South Sulawesi. Their sacred tradition called pangaderreng/pangadakkang. The tradition is based on elements namely (1) Ade/ada an ethic of marriage, kinship, generation, relation among relatives, and the ethic on politic. (2) Bicara is the procedure of law proceedings and judgment, (3) Rapang can be said as samples, analogy, or metaphors of past events to be used as reflection of life. (4) Wari, ethic of classification on objects and social matters, (5) Sara, social organization and Islamic rules.

Tradition and Islam

Original belief of Bugis as it is mentioned on Sure' Galigo is the god of Patoto-e hold human fate, god Seuwa-e the single god, Tuie a' rana the highest wish. With the coming of Islam this original belief has changed into syari'ah, especially with the intensive effort of Muhammadiyah to purify Islam in south Sulawesi. The purifications probably to make Islam like in Middle East, and to leave traditional spirits such as homage to certain place, homage to ancestors, respect to nature in general. But the spirit of well known "siri" is still stitched in every heart of Bugis/Makassar which freely can be translated into non negotiable self dignity. Some experts say this is not only self, but group and it can arrive at a fatal action such as murder.

Bugis people is well known for their craft of making phinisi wooden ship can be used to sail on the deep ocean. As the producer of wooden ship they also professional on sailing to any ocean, even it is recorded that at the begriming of Australia being colonized by British, a connection between northern Australia and Indonesia was frequent until the British banned Indonesian seafarers to call at the land of northern territory.

Aceh Land and People
Ambon Archipelago
Baduy Unique People
Bali Land and People
Batak Ethnic Land and People
Bugis Land and People
Indonesia Chinese People
Dayak Interland Society
Flores Island People
Javanese Cultural Center
Mentawai Island People
Minahasa Land and People
Minangkabau country
Nias People Society
Sasak Land and People
Sundanese Land and People
Timor People Society
Toraja Land and People
The West Papuan Tribes
Garis Bali


Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.

  1. Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting bul see description
  2. Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century bul see description
  3. Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. bul see description