DO YOU KNOW SOUTH SULAWESI?
- BY MR. D X DK
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 the intruders.