South Sulawesi province comprises the narrow southwestern
peninsula of this orchid-shaped island, which is mainly mountainous.
The seafaring Bugis dominant the southern tip, whereas the northern
part of South Sulawesi is inhabited by the Torajas whose unique
culture rivals that of the Balinese. Famed for their seafaring heritage
and Pinisi schooners for centuries, the Bugis possess to the present
day one of the last sailing fleets in the world.
The Bugis vessels have sailed as far as the Australian
beach, leaving behind drawings of their ships on stone with words
that have been integrated into the Aboriginal language of north
Australia. Situated on the crossroads of well-traveled sea-lanes,
its capital and chief trading port of Ujung Pandang, till today
the gateway to eastern Indonesia. Spanish and Portuguese galleons,
followed by British and Dutch traders sailed these seas in search
of the spice trade, escorted by their men of war to protect them
against the daring raids of the Bugis and Makassar who attacked
Ujung Pandang, was formerly Makassar, well known
for its Makasar oil from which the English word "antimacassar"
evolved for small covers to protect upholstery. The fortifications,
which overlook the harbor, were originally built in 1545. Gowa's
most famous king is considered a national hero, named Sultan Hasanuddin,
the 16th king of Gowa who waged a long and fierce war against the
The Tomanurung stone with the inscriptions can still be seen in
a plot neighboring the royal graves, near Sungguminasa, formerly
the seat of the Gowa kings. The Bugis kingdom of Bone, Wajo and
Soppeng and the Makassarase kingdom of Gowa emerged in 13th century.
Though interrelated through marriage, Bone and Gowa have for centuries
battled against each other. The southern beach is protected by small
archipelagoes and has excellent facilities for water sports. These
islands have been developed for holiday resorts. Further north,
through rugged country is Tana Toraja, often referred to as the
"Land of the Heavenly Kings".
An ethnic group who believes that their forefathers
descended from heaven onto a mountain some twenty generations ago,
the Torajas have a unique culture based on animistic beliefs. Known
for their grand burial ceremonies on cliffs or hanging graves, they
practice an ancestral cult even today where death and afterlife
ceremonies are great feasts when buffaloes are sacrificed in the
final death ceremony, after which the deceased's remains are placed
in a coffin and interred in caves hollowed out in high cliffs. Lifelike
statues, looking out from a “balcony”, guard the mouth
of the cave. As death has such an "important meaning"
when the souls are released, burials are elaborate and follow feasting
days. Rock graves are also a form of burial. A strict hierarchy
is followed in the villages.
“Tongkonan” (family houses) are built
on stilts with roofs on each end rising like the prows of a ship,
representing the cosmos. The mountains offer a fantastic panorama
of natural beauty, including the long drive from Ujung Pandang to
Tana Toraja. South Sulawesi is also known for its silk industry
and silverwork whereas its economy is based on agriculture. Ujung
Pandang is easily accessible by air. There are several daily flights
from Jakarta and also daily services from Bali, Surabaya and Manado.
Geographical condition and Territory of South Sulawesi Province
is at 0°12' - 8° South Latitude and 116°48' - 122°36'
East Longitude. This Province was bounded by:
North side: Central Sulawesi
East side: Bone Bay and South-East Sulawesi
West side: Makassar Strait
South side: Flores Sea
The wide of South Sulawesi province area is 62, 482,54 Km2 (42 %
of Sulawesi Island and 4,1 % of Indonesia area).
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AREA
Administratively, this Province divided into 23 Regencies and 3
Cities and consists of 290 Districts.
The strategic area in east area of Indonesia has make South Sulawesi
functioned as the centre of services, both for east Indonesia area
and for international trade. Those services such as; commerce, land
transportation, sea transportation, air transportation, education,
employment, health service, field research, agricultural, tourism
and even financial development.