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The People of Sulawesi

The following is a list of Unreached People Groups on the island of Sulawesi (Celebes)



Who are the Campalagian?

Most of the Campalagian live in the Campalagian district, one hour east of the city of Majene, in the province of South Sulawesi. A large majority of the people live in fertile lowland areas that are conducive to growing various kinds of crops. This people group is also known as the Tulumpanueae or the Tasing. The language and culture of the Campalagian are heavily influenced by their more populous and powerful neighbors, the Toraja and the Bugis. The Campalagian identify more closely with the … [Read more...]

Who are the Cia-Cia?

The Cia-Cia people are found throughout the southern part of Buton island, generally in the more rural areas. These people also inhabit the remote island of Batu Atas (south of Buton) as well as the eastern half of the island of Binongko in the Wakatobi island chain. The traditional laws and customs of the Cia-Cia are very strong. The Cia-Cia can be found inland and in coastal communities. Back in the 1970’s, the government forced most of the villages to move to the coast so they could provide … [Read more...]

Who are the Konjo Pegunungan?

The Konjo people cluster consists of two groups: the Konjo Pegunungan (mountain) and the Konjo Pesisir (coastal) in the South Sulawesi province. As their name states, the Konjo Pegunungan (“of the mountains”) primarily live in the mountainous region of Konjo in South Sulawesi. They use the Konjo language, which is part of the Makassar language family. It is similar to other South Sulawesi languages. What are their lives like? Most Konjo Pegunungan people live as farmers. Most of them practice … [Read more...]

Who are the Konjo Pesisir?

The Konjo people cluster consists of two groups: the Konjo Pegunungan (mountain group) and the Konjo Pesisir (coastal group). The Konjo Pesisir people are also called Tiro. The Konjo Hitam (Black Konjo) people are considered part of the Konjo Pesisir. They live in South Sulawesi. The Konjo Hitam consider themselves the original inhabitants and regard their area as the center of traditional customs for all of the Konjo Pesisir. They have never had a king and do not follow a system of social … [Read more...]

Who are the Kaili Unde?

The Kaili Unde live in the mountainous western side of Palu Bay in Central Sulawesi. Some of the Kaili Unde also inhabit the southern part of Donggala and across the mountains to the coast. The word unde means “no.” The Kaili Unde language is part of a larger language group called the Kaili subfamily which also includes the Baras, Kaili Ledo and Lindu languages. What are their lives like? The Kaili Unde villages are small. The houses are typically on stilts. The coastal Kaili Unde practice … [Read more...]

Who are the Selayar?

The Selayar people group live primarily on the island of Selayar and several other smaller islands in South Sulawesi. The Selayar are frequently referred to as To Hale or “the people across.” It is not difficult to reach the island of Selayar because a boat that makes the trip twice a day. There are flights that make the Makassar-Selayar trip as well.  The Selayar language is part of a larger linguistic group called the Makassar which also includes the Konjo Pesisir (Konjo-coastal), Bentong … [Read more...]

Who are the Kaili Ledo?

The Kaili Ledo people live in the northern part of Central Sulawesi. The area is very mountainous. Even so, Palu is known to be one of the driest place in Indonesia. The word ledo means “no.” Besides the prestigious Ledo (Palu) variety in everyday life, the people also speak ten other Kaili dialects. The dialects are named after their word for “no.” The Kaili Ledo language is closely related to the Baras, Kaili Da’a, and Kaili Unde languages. What are their lives like? Family is very … [Read more...]

Who are the Wakatobi?

The island people formerly known as Tukang Besi in Southeast Sulawesi are now more commonly referred to as Wakatobi. This is an acronym from the four islands the Wakatobi live on: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. They consist of nine indigenous communities: Wanci, Mandati, Liya, Kapota, Kaledupa, Waha, Tongano, Timu and Mbeda-beda. Each island has its own dialect, but people from different islands can understand each other when communicating. What are their lives like? Most Wakatobi … [Read more...]

Who are the Ulumanda?

The Ulumanda people live in the province of West Sulawesi. This area is mountainous and rich in raw materials such as minerals, rattan, and ebony wood. The Ulumanda are closely related to the Bungku people who live in the Poso regency of the South Sulawesi province. Many believe that the Ulumanda are descendants of the Bungku people groups who migrated to West Sulawesi. The Ulumanda are also called Ulumandak, Ulunda, and Kayo. Their everyday language is the Ulumanda language. It has three … [Read more...]

Who are the Wolio?

The Wolio, also known as the Bau-bau, Buton or Butung, primarily live on the island of Buton, around the city of Bau-bau. Their ancestors were immigrants from Johor, Malaysia at the beginning of the 15th century. They also founded the Buton dynasty. In 1540, the sixth king became Muslim. He reshaped the kingdom to become a sultanate, and set himself up as the first sultan. The sultanate of Buton lasted until the death of the last sultan in 1960. With his death, the Buton sultanate ended its … [Read more...]