Securing the Succession

  • Leonard Y. Andaya
Part of the Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde book series (VKIV, volume 91)


The Arung Bakkĕ affair highlighted the danger of leaving Arung Palakka’s succession unannounced and therefore subject to speculation and rumour. To forestall any challenges to his position and quash any intrigue inspired by the knowledge that he had no natural heirs, Arung Palakka now decided that it was time to declare to the world his chosen successor. The infirmity caused by a blockage in his nose persisted, reminding him daily that his time was running short. There was still much that had to be done before he could rest assured that his legacy would not be squandered after his death. To this task Arung Palakka now devoted his attention.


Water Buffalo Forceful Retum Company Official Mandar Ruler Malay Version 
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  1. 1.
    Karaeng Massepe La Suni had been accused of various things, the most serious of which were attempting to seize the throne of Bone and abducting one of Arung Palakka’s concubines, I Sarampa. He was ordered seized and beheaded by Arung Palakka. This incident occurred in 1673 and became a much discussed and romanticized episode. A colourful version of this story is found in La Side 1968b:(11)18–22; (12)22–23.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bakkers is the only source which dates the installation of Arung Palakka as Arumpone. Although the Diary of the Kings of Goa and Tallo mentions La Patau’s birth, it omits any mention of Arung Palakka’s installation. Contemporary Dutch sources indicate that Arung Palakka became ruler of Bone sometime toward the end of 1672, but without giving a specific date. Perhaps Arung Palakka himself was aware that his action would not be received well by his allies and therefore dispensed with any ostentatious celebrations which would have drawn attention to it.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The fame of the Bira and Ara people as boatbuilders is evident to this day. They explain that their skill as boatbuilders was acquired by their forefathers in the distant past when they reconstructed the wrecked boat which had once carried the legendary god-ruler of the I La Galigo, Sawerigading. See Pelly 1975: 9–10.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mandar traditions speak of this period as one in which the unity of the Confederation had been destroyed (Interviews Darwis 1974).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    This group is also known as the Tae’ Toraja, although the latter name is generally shunned by the people themselves as being derogatory. The Southern Toraja groups live within South Sulawesi proper, whereas the Northern Toraja and Western Toraja occupy the areas of Central Sulawesi. (Nooy-Palm 1975:55 and 1979:6–7).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The above account of the allied expedition into Toraja was taken principally from KA 1289a:32–8, which is a diary of Hendrik Geerkens, one of the Dutch soldiers who served as Arung Palakka’s bodyguard on this campaign.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    It was called “Topada Tindo Tomisa Panngimpi”, meaning literally, “Sleeping together and having one dream”, to indicate the unity of purpose of the Toraja communities. The motto “Misa kada dipotuo, pantan kada dipomate” was adopted, which translated freely is the Toraja equivalent of “United we stand, divided we fall”. The movement itself was given a name “Untula’ Buntunna Bone”, which means “Repel the Strength of Bone” (Tangdilintin 1974:37). Another way in which this period is referred to among the Toraja is “Ullangda’ Tosendana Bonga”, from “ullangda’” meaning “to repel”; Tosendana, meaning “people of Sendana”; and “bonga”, a spotted pink and black water buffalo (highly valued among the Toraja, hence referring here to a “great man”). Although this informant indicated that the “Tosendana” were the people from Sendana in Mandar (Interview Linting 1975), “Sendana” has a variant spelling and pronunciation which is “Cenrana”. It appears much more plausible to interpret the whole phrase “Tosendana Bonga” to mean “the great man of Cenrana”, which would only have referred to Arung Palakka. In view of the events this appellation for the period is intended to relate, this interpretation appears more convincing.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    This would have been the “mantraps” referred to in Dutch reports which caused numerous casualties among the allied troops in this campaign.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Y. Andaya
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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