Butonese people

The Butonese (sometimes Butuni, Butung) people is a collective term that embraces a number of ethnic groups of Buton and neighbouring islands in Southeast Sulawesi. Like many other ethnic groups in Sulawesi, the Butonese are seafarers and traders.[1] Butonese have long since migrated to many parts of the Malay archipelago using smaller vessels ranging from those that can only accommodate five people to large boats that can hold up to about 150 tons of goods. In general, the Butonese are a community that inhabits the region of the historical Buton Sultanate. When the swapraja (self-governance, created by the Dutch colonial government) domain was abolished, so did the Buton Sultanate which ended in 1951.[2] The area of the former Sultanate is now distributed over several regencies and cities of Southeast Sulawesi. Among them are Baubau, Buton Regency, South Buton Regency, Central Buton Regency, North Buton Regency, Wakatobi Regency and Bombana Regency.

Butonese people
Orang Buton / Butuni /
Butung / Wolio
Portrait of an embassy of Buton, Residency of Celebes and Dependencies, Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), circa 1900.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Tukangbesi Islands, Southeast Sulawesi (215,000)
Maluku (province)
West Papua (province)
Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau (18,000)
Muna–Buton languages (Cia-Cia language, Lasalimu language, Kumbewaha language), Wolio language, Indonesian language
Islam (predominantly)
Related ethnic groups
Bonerate people, Muna people

Occasionally, the Bajau people are mislabeled as Butonese people.[3]


Apart from being a community of seafarers, the Butonese people are also familiar with agriculture in earlier times. Commodities that are planted include paddy, corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, cotton, coconut, betel, pineapple, banana, and all other common needs of their everyday lives. Butonese people are well known for their culture and until today it can still be seen in regions of the Buton Sultanate. Such as the fortress of the Butonese palace which is the largest fortress in the world, the Malige Palace which is a traditional Butonese house that stands firmly as high as four stories without using a single nail,[4] the currency of the Buton Sultanate called kampua or bida,[5] and many more.

Most Butonese adhere to Islam. The Butonese adopted the religion around the mid-sixteenth century via Ternate influence.[6]


  1. Aris Ananta (2002). The Indonesian Crisis: A Human Development Perspective. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-230-171-2.
  2. Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin (2013). Adat and Indigeneity in Indonesia: Culture and Entitlements between Heteronomy and Self-Ascription Göttingen Studies in Cultural. Universitätsverlag Göttingen. ISBN 978-3-86395-132-0.
  3. Natasha Stacey (2007). Boats to Burn: Bajo Fishing Activity in the Australian Fishing Zone (PDF). ANU E Press. doi:10.22459/BB.06.2007. ISBN 978-1-920942-95-3.
  4. "Malige palace". Wisata Melayu. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  5. Museum Nasional (Indonesia) (1995). Perjalanan Sejarah Dan Budaya Bangsa Indonesia: Koleksi Pilihan Museum Nasional. Proyek Pembinaan Museum Nasional. OCLC 34973488.
  6. Pelras, Christian (1997). The Bugis. John Wiley & Sons. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-631-17231-4.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.