State and Society in South Sulawesi in the 17th Century

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


Events in South Sulawesi (see Maps 1 and 2) in the 17th century can only be properly appreciated through an understanding of certain cultural features which determined the nature of political control. One of the most basic of these features is the existence of four major ethnic (suku) groups within South Sulawesi: the Bugis, Makassar, Toraja, and Mandar peoples (see Map 3). The largest group is the Bugis who occupy almost the entire eastern half and part of the western half of the southwest peninsula of Sulawesi. The Makassar people are the next largest in population and are found in the western and southern areas of the peninsula. Next in size numerically are the Sa’dan Toraja people who are found mainly in the mountain areas in the north bordering the Bugis state of Luwu in the east and Mandar in the west.1 Finally, there are the Mandar people who occupy the coastal and mountain areas of the northwestern part of the peninsula. They can be divided into two groups: those who live in the mountain settlements known collectively as the Pitu Ulunna Salo’,who are ethnically Toraja, and those who live on the coast under the title of their confederation, Pitu Babana Binanga.


17th Century West Coast Advisory Council Oral Tradition Port City 
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  1. 1.
    The Sa’dan Toraja belong to the South Toraja group, often referred to as Tae’ Toraja. Ethnographically, the term Toraja is used generally to refer to the non-Islamic groups living in Central and South Sulawesi and divided into the East Toraja, West Toraja, and South Toraja groups. Despite being classified as one ethnic group, there is a great diversity among these three groups in language, religion, social stratification, house-building, agriculture, weaving techniques, etc. (Nooy-Palm 1975: 53 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    From an examination of all fragments of the I La Galigo in Europe and Indonesia, R. A. Kern estimates that this work would contain between 6,000 and 8,000 pages, making it one of the largest epic poems in world literature (Kern 1954: v).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Since there is a strong likelihood that the I La Galigo was an open-ended epic tale, one perhaps should not use a word such as end to indicate what is possibly only the last extant tale known to us. So little research has been done on collecting the tales of this epic that one should perhaps wait for more conclusive evidence before suggesting any definite concluding section of the I La Galigo. The late Haji Andi Pangerang Opu Tosinilele of Belopa, Luwu, said that his family possessed a large number of volumes of the I La Galigo prior to Kahar Muzakkar’s rebellion (1950-1963). As a result of the destruction of those years only about forty volumes remained (personal communication, April, 1975).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Borahima obtained this story from Watampone, the capital of Bone. When I was there collecting information on tales of the origin of society in South Sulawesi, there was only one person who told me this story. He was a devout Moslem who even tried to deny the existence of bissu,pre-Islamic religious men who still fulfil a function in present-day South Sulawesi. There is a possibility that the story of the flood may have been borrowed from Islamic traditions, which would riot have been unknown to this person.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Among the Maloh in the upper reaches of the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, certain stones are regarded with great veneration and as receptacles of a spirit or power. In one of the villages, the powers of the stone are said to be capable, through ritual action, of providing a successful rice harvest, a period of rain-free, flood-free weather during the ripening and harvesting months, and more general benefits of health, good fortune, fertility, prosperity and formerly, success in war (King 1975: 112-3).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The Bugis reads: Sianre-anre bale taue, which means literally the people are like fish eating one another. This is a metaphor mentioned in ancient Indian literature as the concept of matsyanyaya, or the logic of the fish. According to ancient Indian ideas of the Cycle of Ages, man will degenerate at the end of a cycle and lose his sense of natural duty. Since there will be no rulers, and a society without a king cannot be viable, the logic of the fish, or the Western equivalent of the law of the jungle, will then prevail (Lingat 1973: 207 ).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    There are variations in the story of how much authority was conceded to the Tomanurung in the beginning, all of which reflects the relative strength of the councils vis à vis their Tomanurung rulers. One of the most interesting of the Tomanurung stories is from Bone where the Tomanurung is said to have appeared in an open field standing on a flat stone. It is tempting to see in this story an attempt to show that the gods of both the Upper-and Underworld (stone; Deity of the Soil) are responsible for presenting the Tomanurung to the people. There are also traditions of the Totompo,He/She who arose [from the Underworld], which are not as common as those of the Tomanurung but nevertheless exist, suggesting a stronger role of the Underworld in the people’s beliefs than usually admitted (Noorduyn 1955: 47-8; Pelras 1971, I: 177).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The states which all agree on are Aralle, Mambi, Rantebulahan, Matanga, and Tabang. There is no agreement as to which of the last three states formed part of the seven: Tubi, Bambang, and Tabulahan.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    With the rapid growth of population in the Toraja areas in the 20th century, many Toraja were forced to seek a livelihood in the city of Makassar and elsewhere in Indonesia.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    This statement is based on interviews with Toraja historians in 1974-5, on an unpublished manuscript on Toraja history and culture by Sarungallo Parenge Kesu, and on L. T. Tangdilintin’s Toraja dan Kebudayaanya, Ujung Padang, 1974.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Royalty was said to have blood the colour of the milky sap of the takku (Bugis)/ tangkulu (Makassar) tree, hence indicating its heavenly origin.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    One is reminded of the same contradictions which Western scholars used to discover with delight in Javanese dualisms of right-left, light-dark, good-evil. Yet these dualisms are seen as unities without any religious connotations. These concepts of right-left, lightness-darkness, good-evil, are two sides of the same coin and are regarded as essential to each other and part of the very fabric of life. See Rassers 1959.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Personal communication, Dr Shelley Errington.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See KA 1217a, fol. 228v, concerning some complaints about the Goa government.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Personal communication, Professor Zainal Abidin bin Farid, 1975.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    While the chronicles of the Makassar kingdoms of Goa and Tall6 do not indicate any direct relationship between their kingdoms and Luwu, Makassar oral traditions trace Goa’s past to a ruler named Batara Guru who, according to the I La Galigo, is the first godruler of Luwu. The people of Selayar also claim Luwu as their original homeland and still use the noble title Opu, which is a Luwu title. See Noorduyn 1955: 47, quoting H. E. D. Engelhard, Mededeelingen over het eiland Saleijer, BK132 (1864), p. 399.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    In Bugis these measures are called mapolo leteng,breaking of the bridge (Sultan Kasim 1970:17). The origin of this term can perhaps be traced to the decision taken by the gods, as recounted in the La Galigo,to remove the rainbow which served as a bridge between heaven and earth after the second set of godrulers left the earth (Matthes 1885 in van den Brink 1943:379).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    In later years the nine members changed from time to time and only Tombolo, Data, and Saumata remained part of the original Bate Salapang (Mukhlis 1975:60-1).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    This latter statement appears more acceptable since Goa under Tumaparisi Kallonna allied with Bone against the greater threat posed by Luwu. See Abdurrazak 1969b: 18-23.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Matthes defines the Bugis word bocco as column (of soldiers). But in the Makassar dictionary he compares bocco with another Makassar word, tumpu,meaning fighting force or army. He prefers, therefore, to translate the word loosely as power (Matthes 1874:193-4; Matthes 1859:180, 286). The last Ranrëng Tua of Wajo, Haji Andi Ninnong, explained that bocco meant the highest one; the one with no equal (Lineton 1975:92). Téllumpocco could therefore perhaps also be translated as The Incomparable Three.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    It was common practice among Bugis-Makassar chroniclers to give a posthumous name to a ruler to describe how or where he died. For example, Tunijallo, means he who was killed by an amok.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    His personal name was I Mallingkaang and his honorific I Daeng Mannyonri. He also had the territorial titles of Karaeng ri Kanjilo, Karaeng Segeri, Karaeng Barombong, Karaeng Data, Karaeng Allu, and various others. After the Islamic Wars ended in 1611, he was given the title Karaeng Matoaya, by which name he is best known among the Makassar people. See Abdurrahim 1974:15; Abdurrazak 1969b: 18.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Some features of Islamization which may have added to Goa’s strength. See L. Y. Andaya 1976 unpublished paper, Kingship and Adat Rivalry in Bugis-Makassar Society.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    According to a Bone Chronicle, Luwu adopted Islam a year before Goa (Matthes 1864, I:529). The Tallo Chronicle implies that Luwu may have already been Moslem by the time of the Islamic Wars by saying that Karaeng Matoaya Islamized all the Bugis lands except Luwu (Abdurrahim 1974: 15 ).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Literally, this term means a thousand catties (of gold), but it came to mean any specific sum of money or its value in goods demanded by one party from another as a condition for peace (Matthes 1864:546; Abdurrahim 1974:16).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    A kind of ship used to transport cattle and horses.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    A fermented drink made from either the aren palm, the lontar palm, or the nipa palm.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Anakkaraeng (Makassar)/Anakarung (Bugis) means literally princes. They are the offspring of a royal father and royal or commoner wife. Their penchant for oppressing various members of their own community, let alone those of vassal states, was notorious. The Bugis version of a Mirror of Kings, the Latoa,advises the ruler to be certain to bridle the activities of the anakarung (Mattulada 1975:154-5; 172-3; 275-7). They were generally dependent for their livelihood on the royal bounty. For a study of the general phenomenon of such groups in Malay-Indonesian society, see B. W. Andaya 1976:162-186.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    In later times there were two Tumailalang posts: Tumailalang Toa or the elder Tumailalang,and the Tumailalang Lolo,or the younger Tumailalang. There is no indication from contemporary Dutch sources that there was this division in the 17th century, though this may be explained by the fact that the Dutch would have had little to do with the Tumailalang Lolo. His principal function was to serve as an intermediary between the ruler and his chief minister, the Tumabicàra-butta,on the one hand and the Bate Salapang on the other in attempting to resolve difficulties in implementing policy. The Tumailalang Toa was the more important figure who was the head of the Bate Salapang and hence the chief intermediary between the people, via the Bate Salapang,and the ruler and Tumabicara-butta (Mukhlis 1971:83-4).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Although contemporary Dutch sources tend to equate the authority of Wajo’s Arung Matoa with that of rulers of other major kingdoms, the Arung Matoa was much less secure. He was nominated by a body of Wajo lords known as the Forty Lords(Arung Pattappulo) and ultimately chosen by the Arung Bettempola. This latter lord and the Ranrëng Tua and Ranrëng Talotënreng were hereditary positions with great prestige and power in Wajo, but it was the Arung Bettempola who was clearly the primus inter pares (See Abdurrazak 1964:16-20; Noorduyn 1955:39-40; Zainal Abidin bin Farid 1971: 163 ).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    In the Nrrgarakértagama,the ruler of Majapahit also designates as friends only those considered to be his equal (Pigeaud 1960, III:16-9).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    The Sufi doctrine was well-known among Goa court members. In 1667 Encik Amin, a scribe from the Makassar-Malay community employed in the Goa court, wrote a panegyric to the Makassar ruler and nobles which exhibited a knowledge of the kind of Sufi ideas which were associated with the Aceh Sufi mystic poets (Skinner 1963:23). Syaikh Yusuf, a 17th century Moslem saint, greatly revered by the Bugis and Makassar people, was a well-known Sufi mystic who was related to the Goa royal house (Cense 1950: 51 ).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    This gracious act is often cited by pro-Wajo local historians as proof of the democratic character of Wajo society which abhorred slavery of one’s fellowman. It is tempting to see this as a later interpolation by a Wajo chronicler to urge moderation on the part of Bone rulers in the late 17th and early 18th centuries who held the fate of Wajo in their hands.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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