South Sulawesi
Sulawesi Selatan
Province of South Sulawesi
Flag of South Sulawesi
Coat of arms of South Sulawesi
Official logo of South Sulawesi

Toddopuli (Bugis-Makassar)
Keep the faith
Location of South Sulawesi in Indonesia
Location of South Sulawesi in Indonesia
Coordinates: 4°20′S 120°15′E / 4.333°S 120.250°E / -4.333; 120.250Coordinates: 4°20′S 120°15′E / 4.333°S 120.250°E / -4.333; 120.250
Founded13 December 1960
and largest city
 • BodySouth Sulawesi Provincial Government
 • GovernorAndi Sudirman Sulaiman
 • Vice GovernorVacant
 • Total46,717.48 km2 (18,037.72 sq mi)
 • Rank16th
Highest elevation3,478 m (11,411 ft)
 (2021 Estimate)[1]
 • Total9,139,531
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groups[2]45.12% Buginese
29.68% Makassarese
7.34% Torajan
4.93% Luwu
2.86% Javanese
2.8% Duri
6.3% other
 • Religion[3]89.78% Islam
7.64% Protestantism
1.55% Catholicism
0.73% Hinduism
0.25% Buddhism
0.06% Confucianism and other
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Makassar Malay (lingua franca, casual)
Buginese, Makassarese, Luwu, Toraja (regional)
Time zoneUTC+08 (Indonesia Central Time)
ISO 3166 codeID-SN
HDIIncrease 0.716 (High)
HDI rank14th in Indonesia (2019)
GRP NominalIncrease$35.70 billion[4]
GDP PPP (2019)Increase$116.68 billion[4]
GDP rank9th in Indonesia (2019)
Nominal per capitaUS$ 4,033 (2019)[4]
PPP per capitaUS$ 13,256 (2019)[4]
Per capita rank10th in Indonesia (2019)

South Sulawesi (Indonesian: Sulawesi Selatan) is a province in the southern peninsula of Sulawesi. The Selayar Islands archipelago to the south of Sulawesi is also part of the province. The capital is Makassar. The province is bordered by Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi to the north, the Gulf of Bone and Southeast Sulawesi to the east, Makassar Strait to the west, and Flores Sea to the south.

The 2010 census estimated the population as 8,032,551 which makes South Sulawesi the most populous province on the island (46% of the population of Sulawesi is in South Sulawesi), and the sixth most populous province in Indonesia. At the 2020 Census this had risen to 9,073,509,[5] and the official estimate as at mid 2021 was 9,139,531.[6] The main ethnic groups in South Sulawesi are the Buginese, Makassarese, Toraja, and Mandar. The economy of the province is based on agriculture, fishing, and mining of gold, magnesium, iron and other metals. The pinisi, a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship, is still used widely by the Buginese and Makassarese, mostly for inter-insular transportation, cargo, and fishing purposes within the Indonesian archipelago.

During the golden era of the spice trade, from the 15th to 19th centuries, South Sulawesi served as the gateway to the Maluku Islands. There were a number of small kingdoms, including two prominent ones, the Kingdom of Gowa near Makassar and the Bugis kingdom located in Bone. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) began operating in the region in the 17th century. VOC later allied with the Bugis prince, Arung Palakka, and they defeated the kingdom of Gowa. The king of Gowa, Sultan Hasanuddin was forced to sign a treaty which greatly reduced the power of Bungaya Gowa.


A village in South Sulawesi 1929
A village in South Sulawesi 1929
Celebes Map 1905
Celebes Map 1905

Sulawesi was first inhabited by humans about 30,000 years ago. The archaeological remains of the earliest inhabitants were discovered in caves near limestone hills around Maros, about 30 km northeast of Makassar, the capital of the South Sulawesi province. Pebble and flake stone tools have been collected from the river terraces in the valley of Walanae, among Soppeng and Sengkang, including the bones from giant pig and elephant species that are now extinct. Hand print paintings, estimated to be around 35,000 to 40,000 years old, have been found in the Pettakere cave,[7] located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the town of Maros and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Makassar.[8]

Increase in commerce due to the rise of external demand for South Sulawesi rice encouraged major agricultural expansion and political centralization in the early 14th century.[9][10] Swidden agriculture was increasingly replaced with intensive wet rice cultivation, leading to a rise in population density. New settlements were founded in the interior part of the peninsula as pristine forests were cleared.[11] These changes accompanied the rise of new interior agricultural polities, such as the Bugis chiefdoms of Boné and Wajoq,[11] as well as the Makassar polity of Gowa.[12]

By the early 16th century, Boné had assumed a paramount position in the eastern part of the peninsula,[13][14] while Makassar twin kingdoms of Gowa and Talloq started to expand their influence throughout the western part.[15] Their competition for hegemony over South Sulawesi made Gowa-Talloq and Boné clashed against each other in the 1560s.[16][17]

In 1582, three Bugis polities, Boné, Soppéng, and Wajoq signed a mutual defense pact known as the Treaty of Timurung.[18] The alliance, also referred to as the Tellumpocco ("Three Powers", lit. "Three Peaks"), sought to stop Gowa's expansionism and to reclaim the autonomy of the Bugis polities under Gowa's vassalage.[19][20] Gowa's campaigns against the alliance in 1582, 1585, and 1588 were all successfully repulsed, with another one in 1590 abandoned following the death of Gowa's ruler.[21] By the early 17th century, however, Gowa and Talloq had become the most dominant powers in South Sulawesi as they supported international commerce and embracing the new faith of Islam. Gowa waged successful campaigns against Bugis kingdoms, defeating Soppéng in 1609, Wajoq in 1610, and Boné in 1611.[22][23]

Regent of Maros, Makassar, Sulawesi
Regent of Maros, Makassar, Sulawesi

Dutch East India Company began operating in the region in the 17th century and saw the Kingdom of Gowa as an obstacle to its desire for control of the spice trade in this area. VOC later allied with the Bugis prince, Arung Palakka, who was living in exile after the fall of the Bugis. After a year-long battle, they defeated the kingdom of Gowa. And the king of Gowa, Sultan Hasanuddin was forced to sign a treaty which greatly reduced the power of Bungaya Gowa. Furthermore, Palakka became ruler in South Sulawesi.

A Bugis queen later emerged to lead the resistance against the Dutch, who were busy dealing with the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. Yet once past the Napoleonic Wars, the Dutch returned to South Sulawesi and eradicated the queen's rebellion. But resistance of the Bugis people against colonial rule continued until 1905. In 1905, the Dutch also managed to conquer Tana Toraja.

Mangi Mangi Karaeng Bontonompo, king of Gowa, with the public and some dignitaries during the installation of acting governor of Celebes and dependencies, Mr. Bosselaar, 1937
Mangi Mangi Karaeng Bontonompo, king of Gowa, with the public and some dignitaries during the installation of acting governor of Celebes and dependencies, Mr. Bosselaar, 1937

Before the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia, South Sulawesi consisted of a number of independent kingdoms' territory and was inhabited by four ethnic groups namely the Bugis, Makassar, Mandar, and Toraja.

On June 16, 2022, a tornado struck in the province, damaging 63 homes. One man died of a stress-induced medical issue during the tornado, but was not a direct tornado-related fatality.[24]


South Sulawesi is located at 4°20'S 120°15'E and covers an area of 46,717.48 square kilometres. The province is bordered by Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi to the north, the Gulf of Bone and Southeast Sulawesi to the east, Makassar Strait to the west, and Flores Sea to the south.

Administrative divisions

See also: List of regencies and districts of South Sulawesi

Five years after independence, the government issued Law No. 21 of 1950, which became the basis of the legal establishment of what was then the Sulawesi province. Ten years later, the government passed Law No. 47 of 1960 which endorsed the formation of the South/Southeast Sulawesi province. Four years after that, with Act No. 13 of 1964, the provinces of South Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi were separated. Forty years later, the South Sulawesi government was split into two, with the regencies of Majene, Mamasa, Mamuju, Pasangkayu, and Polewali Mandar being separated off into a new West Sulawesi province on 5 October 2004 under Act No. 26 of 2004.

The remaining South Sulawesi Province is divided into 21 regencies and three independent cities.


Ethnic groups

Ethnicities of South Sulawesi - 2010 Census[25]

  Buginese (41.9%)
  Makassarese (25.43%)
  Toraja (9.02%)
  Mandarese (6.1%)
  Javanese (3.0%)
  Chinese (1.4%)
  Others (13.15%)

South Sulawesi has a diverse range of ethnic groups. The main three are:


There are various languages and dialects spoken in South Sulawesi. The majority of them belong to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of Austronesian languages. Below is the list of major languages spoken in the province.

Historical population
1971 5,180,576—    
1980 6,062,212+17.0%
1990 6,981,646+15.2%
1995 7,558,368+8.3%
2000 7,159,170−5.3%
2010 8,034,776+12.2%
2020 9,073,509+12.9%
2021 9,139,531+0.7%
Source: Badan Pusat Statistik 2011, 2021 and 2022. The reduction between 1995 and 2000 is due to the separation of West Sulawesi from South Sulawesi.

In 2010 there were 3,921,543 males and 4,111,008 females with 1,848,132 housing units, with an average of 4.34 people per unit versus national average of 3.86. Some 13.3 percent of the population was under the national poverty line.[26]


Religion in South Sulawesi (June 2021)[27]

  Islam (89.87%)
  Protestantism (7.54%)
  Roman Catholic (1.66%)
  Hinduism (0.69%)
  Buddhism (0.23%)
  Confucianism (0.01%)

The main religion in South Sulawesi is Islam at 89.62% (7,200,938). Other major religions include Protestantism 7.62% (612,751), Roman Catholicism 1.54% (124,255), Buddhism 0.24% (19,867), Hinduism 0.72% (58,393), and Confucianism 0.004% (367).[28]


Main article: Economy of Sulawesi

The Sulawesi economy grew 7.78 percent in 2008 and grew by 6.20 percent in 2009. Economic Growth in the First Quarter of 2010 reached 7.77 percent. The GDP in 2009 (ADHK) amounted to Rp 47.31 trillion and 99.90 Trillion (ADHB).

Natural resources

Salt evaporation ponds in Jeneponto Regency, South Sulawesi
Salt evaporation ponds in Jeneponto Regency, South Sulawesi

As one of the national rice granaries, South Sulawesi annually produces 2,305,469 tons of rice. Of that amount, rice designated for local consumption is around 884,375 tons and 1,421,094 tons of reserves remain for distribution to other eastern areas. Rice is even exported to Malaysia, to the Philippines, and to Papua New Guinea. The locations of the largest rice production are in the Bone regency, in Soppeng, in Wajo, in Sidrap, in Pinrang, and in Luwu (Bodowasipilu Area).


Passion fruit

In addition to corn, the South Sulawesi region also produces cassavas, sweet potatoes, green beans, peanuts, and soybeans. Some luxuries such as hybrid coconuts, cocoa, coffee, pepper, vanilla, tea, cashews, and cotton are also produced.

Annona squamosa in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi
Annona squamosa in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi

The Tata Guna Horan Agreement (TGHK) of 2004 protects a lot of the forest in South Sulawesi creating a limited output of timber related products.

Catch of the day, Port of Bira, Bulukumba, South Sulawesi
Catch of the day, Port of Bira, Bulukumba, South Sulawesi

Tuna and snapper-grouper are caught in large proportions and seaweed is grown to eat. Farms also have all of the typical animals such as chickens, cows, pigs, goats, etc.


One of the factors that contributes to the high GRDP of South Sulawesi is the mining sector. Nickel,[29] gold, magnesium, iron, granite, lead, and stone products are mined.

Mountains in South Sulawesi (Gunung Nona)
Mountains in South Sulawesi (Gunung Nona)


Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport

Trans-Sulawesi Railway is being constructed. It will connect Makassar and Parepare. 44 km of the railway, connecting Barru to Palanro is targeted to operate in the end of 2018.[30] The entire Makassar-Parepare railway, with a length of 150 km, will be completed in 2019.[31]

Airports in South Sulawesi include Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Makassar), Palopo Lagaligo Airport (Palopo), Pongtiku Airport (Tana Toraja), and Haji Aroepala Airport (Selayar), Andi Jemma Airport (Masamba), Soroako Airport (Soroako).

Ports include Soekarno-Hatta (Makassar), Tanjung Ringgit (Palopo), Nusantara, (Pare-Pare) and Pattumbukang (Selayar).



Traditional costume

Baju Bodo (ᨅᨍᨘ ᨅᨚᨉᨚ)[Mks] or Waju Tokko (ᨓᨍᨘ ᨈᨚᨀᨚ)[Bug] is the traditional costume of the women. Baju Bodo is rectangular and is usually short sleeved. According to customs, every color of the clothes worn by women shows the age or the dignity of the wearer. Clothing is often used for ceremonies such as weddings. But now, Baju Bodo is worn in other events such as dance competitions or to welcome guests.

Traditional dance

Paraga dance performance.
Paraga dance performance.

The traditional dance in South Sulawesi is a combination of dance elements in the form of movement, music, lighting and fashion used by dancers. The combination tells the message about the story of the habits of the community in the past. Like there is a dance that tells about the war, an expression of community excitement and welcoming guests.

In this case, the Bugis-Makassar tribe, whose numbers dominate in representing dance styles in South Sulawesi. However, the Toraja also have many traditional dances that are ritualistic. Some Mandar tribes also inhabit this province and have their own uniqueness in the arts. The rest are tribes of Duri, Pattinjo, Maiwa, Endekan, Pattae, and Ammatoa Kajang, who also paint the distinctive art of South Sulawesi.

Traditional ship

Main article: pinisi

The pinisiʼ or phinisi (ᨄᨗᨊᨗᨔᨗ) is a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship. It was mainly built by the Konjo tribe, a sub-ethnic group but was, and still is used widely by the Buginese and Makassarese, mostly for inter-insular transportation, cargo, and fishing purposes within the Indonesian archipelago.

The hull of the ships looks similar to that of a dhow while the fore-and-aft rigging is similar to that of western schooners, although it might be more correctly termed to resemble a ketch, as the front mast is the larger. The large mainsails differ from western style gaff rigs though, as they often do not have a boom and the sail is not lowered with the gaff. Instead it is reefed towards the mast, much like a curtain, thus allowing the gaff to be used as deck crane in the harbor. The lower part of the mast itself may resemble a tripod or is made of two poles. Pinisi may be 20 to 35 meters long and can weigh up to 350 tons. The masts may be as high as 30 meters above the deck.

Traditional houses

South Sulawesi has three types of traditional houses. The most known are the Rumah Panggung (Ballaʼ/Bola) from Bugis Makassar and the Tongkonan from Toraja.

Tamalate Palace of Gowa Sultanate
Tamalate Palace of Gowa Sultanate
Ke'te' Kesu', Toraja Regency
Ke'te' Kesu', Toraja Regency

Usually a good day or a month to build the house is determined by those who have the skill in that regard. Building the house is preceded by a ritual ceremony.

Traditional food


Rice and other crops such as bananas are abundant so almost all dishes are, like the Bugis Makassar cake, made from rice and bananas. Coastal areas of South Sulawesi eat Bolu (milkfish), Shrimp, Sunu (grouper), and Crab.

In South Sulawesi, the traditional food is diverse, ranging from soup to traditional cakes.

Traditional weapons

A badik or badek is a knife or dagger developed by the Bugis and Makassar people of southern Sulawesi, Indonesia.
A badik or badek is a knife or dagger developed by the Bugis and Makassar people of southern Sulawesi, Indonesia.

As with other blades in the Malay Archipelago, traditionally-made badik are believed to be imbued with a supernatural force during the time of their forging. The pamor in particular is said to affect its owner, bringing either well-being and prosperity or misfortune and poverty. Aside from being used as a weapon and hunting tool, the badik is a symbol of cultural identity in Sulawesi. The Bugis and Makassar people still carry badik as part of their daily attire. The badik is worn on the right side, with the butt end of the handle pointing to the rear.

See also


  1. ^ "Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan Dalam Angka 2022". p. 69. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  2. ^ Ananta et al. 2015, pp. 119–122.
  3. ^ Ananta et al. 2015, p. 263.
  4. ^ a b c d "Indonesia". Badan Pusat Statistik. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  5. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.
  6. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2022.
  7. ^ Domínguez, Gabriel (9 October 2014). "Indonesian cave paintings 'revolutionized our idea of human art'". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  8. ^ Volkman, Toby Alice (1990). Sulawesi: Island crossroads of Indonesia. Passport Books. ISBN 9780844299068. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  9. ^ Druce 2009, pp. 34–36.
  10. ^ Pelras 1996, pp. 100–103.
  11. ^ a b Pelras 1996, pp. 98–100.
  12. ^ Bulbeck 1993, p. 13.
  13. ^ Andaya 1981, p. 22.
  14. ^ Pelras 1996, p. 114.
  15. ^ Andaya 1981, p. 24.
  16. ^ Pelras 1996, pp. 116, 131–132.
  17. ^ Andaya 1981, p. 30.
  18. ^ Pelras 1996, pp. 132–133.
  19. ^ Andaya 1981, pp. 30–31.
  20. ^ Druce 2009, p. 249.
  21. ^ Andaya 1981, p. 31.
  22. ^ Andaya 1981, p. 33.
  23. ^ Pelras 1996, pp. 136–137.
  24. ^ "Maros whirlwind: BPBD readies evacuation site for affected residents". Antara (news agency). Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  25. ^ Indonesia's Population
  27. ^ "Penduduk Muslim Dominasi Sulawesi Selatan pada Juni 2021 | Databoks".
  28. ^ Indonesian Religion
  29. ^ Martin, Joe (2009). Relentless Change: A Casebook for the Study of Canadian Business History. University of Toronto Press. p. 161. ISBN 9781442697157.
  30. ^ "Menhub: Akhir 2018, Kereta Api Trans Sulawesi Capai 44 KM" (in Indonesian). Ministry of Transportation. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Gubernur Sulsel: 150 Km Rel KA Trans Sulawesi Akan Beroperasi 2019". (in Indonesian). 9 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.