Makasar & BugisTribes – South Sulawesi
South Sulawesi 25 Tribes
|City of Makassar|
Losari 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|
Location of Makassar in Sulawesi
|Coordinates: 5°8′S 119°25′E|
|City||November 9, 1607|
|- Mayor||Ir.H.Ilham Arief Sirajuddin,MM.|
|- Deputy Mayor||Supomo Guntur|
|- Total||175.77 km2 (67.9 sq mi)|
|- 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|
|- Qingdao||People’s Republic of China|
|- Wellington||New Zealand|
Makassar, (Makassarese language: ᨀᨚᨈ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ sometimes spelled Macassar,Mangkasar) is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, 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′ECoordinates: 5°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 Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Siamese, Javanese, 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.
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).
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 missionaries converted 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. 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.
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.
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.
Mosque in Makassar
Makassar is home to several prominent landmarks including the 16th century Dutch fort Fort Rotterdam, Trans Studio Makassar—the third largest indoor theme park in the world and theKarebosi Link—the first underground shopping center in Indonesia.
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.. 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 Mall which just inside the Jusuf Kalla was open. Some famous brand were open on that mall such as Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans, Aigner, Mothercare, Mango, Tod’s, Miu Miu, Francesco 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Makassar|
Notes and references
- ^ Westerling (1952), p. 210
- ^ Word Biggest Indoor Theme Park – Trans Studio (September 09, 2009). http://worldmustbecrazy.blogspot.com/2009/09/world-biggest-indoor-theme-park-trans.html
- 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
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.
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.
Sample text in the Lontara script
source : www.omniglot.com
Hasanuddin Airport – Makasar
Bantimurung – The Kingdom of Buterfly
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.
|Abu Bakar of Johor • B.J. Habibie
Najib Tun Razak • Jusuf Kalla • Ziana Zain
|6.0 million (2000 census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Bugis, Indonesian, Malay|
|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.
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.
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 Malaysia andSumatra. 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.
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 Aboriginal tribes. 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 opium, silk, cotton, firearms and gunpowder.
Some Pictures from http://wijatobone.blogdetik.com/ 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.
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.”
Most present-day Bugis now earn their living as rice farmers, traders or 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.
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. 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 Bulukumba persist 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.
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.
Bissu 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.
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 Islam
|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.
|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.