Pamona people

Pamona (often referred to as Poso, Bare'e, or To Pamona) people inhabits almost the entire Poso Regency, parts of Tojo Una-Una Regency and parts of North Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi; in fact there are some even in East Luwu Regency of South Sulawesi, whereas a small remainder lives in other parts of Indonesia. The ancestors of the Pamona people originally came from the land of Salu Moge (East Luwu Regency, South Sulawesi) because they were once from the mountains which is far from the central governance thus they were brought down by Macoa Bawalipu of Wotu, East Luwu Regency to be nearer to the central governance, which is the surrounding region of Mangkutana (East Luwu Regency).[2] But it was until a revolt by the Darul Islam (Indonesia) rebellion broke out that they spread to Central Sulawesi and to other regions.[3] If there are Pamona people in certain regions, then it is common that a Rukun Poso (Poso community association) is formed there, which serves as a means of a group of people from a common ethnic background to engage in various activities within the region. Almost all of the Pamona people practices Christianity. Christianity came into the region about 100 years ago and until today it is widely accepted as the religion of the people. Today, all churches of common denomination are grouped under the Central Sulawesi Christian Church headquartered in Tentena, Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.[4] A large part of the common folk uses Pamona language and Bahasa Indonesia language that is mixed with the local slang. The Pamona people are usually farmers, government officials, pastors, entrepreneurs and so on.

Pamona people
To Pamona people / Poso people / Bare'e people
The exchange of cotton cloth (bride-wealth) at a To Pamona wedding in 1991.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (Central Sulawesi & South Sulawesi)
Pamona language, Indonesian language
Christianity (predominantly), Islam, Folk religion
Related ethnic groups
Tau Taa Wana, Toraja people


As a matter of fact, the Pamona people are not identical with the Poso people. This is because in anthropological terms there is no Poso people but only a geographical region called Poso, which is inhabited by the Pamona people. There is also a belief that the word poso came from the word maposo in the local To Pobare'e language which means "break".[5] Whereas according to several notable Poso people, the word poso actually came from the word poso'o that means "fasterner" or "bonds", that gave the name to Poso city with the intention to bind or to unite among the Pamona people that came from the mountains (lake side) and also those that came from the coastal region. While the origin of the name Poso which means "break" is said to have started from the formation of Lake Poso. Apparently Lake Poso was formed from a slab of earth from a hill, where below the slab of earth was a spring of water. Surrounding the mountains are the low lands, until the water flow from the mountains filled around the mountain. The pool of water eroded the earth around the hill until the water penetrate the earth exposing the groundwater. As a result, this caused an abrasion to a volatile soil structure that is somewhat sandy. Slowly the hillside was unable to withstand the weight of the hill above it, causing a landslide that brought the hill down into the wallow of spring below the mountain until a small lake was formed. For the Pamona community, the event of the collapse of the mountain is often mentioned until they coined the word "Lake Poso" which is given as a name to the then newly formed lake. Over time, the lake expanded because of the water source from around the mountain flowed to the new lake. Consequently, the water level of the lake began to rise until the breadth of the lake's surface expended and became wider. (2008As the water begin to continually fill the lake until the lake could no longer contained it, a river was formed and flowed towards the coastal region. As the river came from Lake Poso, therefore it was named with the same name, Poso River. The river mouth of the newly formed river is then occupied by a sizable population, as there is an abundance of fish found in the river. Thus, it is said that the group of the new residents then named the village with the name, "Poso".[6]

There are several ethnics that lived in Poso and they are known as:-

  • Pamona people
  • Mori people
  • Bada or Badar people
  • Napu people
  • Tojo people
  • Kaili people
  • Padoe people
  • Lore people
  • Taa people

Pamona Customary Foundation

The name Pamona also refers to an association of a few ethnics, which is the abbreviation for Pakaroso Mosintuwu Naka Molanto (Pamona).[7] Later Pamona became an ethnic group that were unified under the governance of Dutch colonial. The name Pamona was declared in Tentena, and even a commemoration of the declaration was made by erecting a monument called Watu Mpoga'a as a remembrance of their origin[4] and also naming of a street, Pamona. Historically, the institutionalized of the Pamona customs was previously divided by a few authorities. For Poso, it was led by Datue Poso and a few of his kabosenya (meaning, elders) that represent each of their own ethnic groups.[8] If in Luwuland, it is led by Makole Tawi and the existence of the institution of Pamona customary currently is divided into two assemblies in Poso, namely Majelis Adat Lemba Pamona Poso, while in Luwuland (East Luwu Regency and North Luwu Regency) is the Lembaga Adat Lemba Pamona Luwu. At the moment, the existence of these assemblies are still preserved by the Pamona community be it those that are in Mangkutana, East Luwu Regency and North Luwu Regency, nor those that are in Poso Regency.


Two girls wearing festive dresses, Poso, Sulawesi, circa 1920–1930.

The language that is used by the Pamona people is called Pamona language. The structure of Pamona language is unique in terms of syllables of the root word, where a root word may have different meanings when a prefix, suffix, inserts or affixes are added. An example of a root word that have been changed after a prefix, suffix or affix is added and forms different meanings to it, such as:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Root word Ja'a Jahat Evil, Bad


Rusak, Jahat

Spoilt, Damage
Crime, Wickedness



Kerugiannya, sayangnya
Alangkah jahatnya

How wicked is that
Tempered, Damaged

Affix Kakaja'ati Sayang (untuk barang yang rusak) How wasted, What a waste
Inserts Ja'a-ja'a Buruk Bad, Not good

Another example:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Root word Monco Benar True
Affix Kamonconya Sesungguhnya, Sebenarnya Indeed, Actually




Inserts Monco-monco Sungguh-sungguh Earnest

There are also several root words that are classified as inventive words (just like the previous examples which are part of inventive words but are not classified as inventive words) with only a change of the alphabetical positions, thus creating another meaning. For example:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Soe Ayun Swing
Soa Kosong Empty
Sue Mencontoh Imitate
Sia Sobek Torn
Sou, Sau Turunkan Lower down
Sua Masuk Enter
Sai Kais As in a chicken digging the ground with its claws
Seo Sobek (karena lapuk) Worn out

The Pamona language is unique where there are numerous phase of syllables that can be twisted to form a different meaning, for instance:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Mekaju Mencari kayu bakar Finding firewood
Mokuja Sedang berbuat apa? What are you doing?
Makuja Bertanya mengenai jenis kelamin bayi yang baru lahir Inquiring the gender of a newborn baby
Makijo Bunyi teriakan riuh sebangsa monyet Sound of a primate shouting
Mokeju Bersanggama Copulate

Other examples:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Koyo Usung Stretcher
Kuya Jahe Ginger
Kayu Usungan yang terbuat dari pelepah rumbia A sort of stretcher made of sago palm leaves
Koyu Simpul tali berkali-kali pada suatu rentang tali Weaving of knots into a form of a rope
Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English
Lio Wajah Face
Lou Ayun badan kebawah Swinging downwards
Lau Berada di tempat yang lebih rendah Located at lower lands
Lua Muntah Vomit
Loe Jinjing Tote
Liu Lewat Late


Celebration of Eucharist in Poso, Sulawesi, 1937.


Traditionally, the Pamona people have a style of music in a form of spoken word poetry. An example of this style of music frequently sung among village folk in the 1940s:-

Pamona language Bahasa Indonesia English

Ee nona ee nona iwenu pai nu kabaga?
Pai ku kabaga, bonce be manana,

Ee bonce, ee bonce, iwenu pai be manana?
Pai be manana, kaju wota-wota,

Ee kaju, ee kaju, iwenu pai nu ka wota?
Pai ku ka wota, na tudusi uja,

Ee uja, ee uja, iwenu pai nu katudu?
Pai ku katudu, da napandiu ntumpa,

Ee tumpa, ee tumpa, iwenu pai nu pandiu?
Pai ku pandiu, da natungku ule,

Ee ule, ee ule, iwenu pai nu patungku?
Pai ku patungku, kina'a ntu'aku,

Eh nona, mengapa perutmu buncit?
Perutku buncit karena makan bubur yang tidak matang,

Eh bubur, mengapa engkau tidak matang?
Karena (dimasak dengan) kayu bakar basah,

Eh kayu, mengapa engkau (kayu bakar) basah?
Aku (kayu bakar) basah karena hujan turun,

Eh hujan, mengapa engkau turun?
Aku (hujan) turun karena akan dipakai kodok untuk mandi,

Eh kodok, mengapa engkau mandi (air hujan)?
Aku (kodok) mandi, karena aku akan di santap ular,

Eh ular, mengapa engkau (hendak) menyantap si kodok?
Aku (ular) akan menyantap kodok, (karena) makanan moyangku,

Eh lady, eh lady, why is your stomach distended?
My stomach is distended because I ate uncooked porridge,

Eh porridge, eh porridge, why are you uncooked?
I'm uncooked because I was cooked with wet firewood,

Eh wood, eh wood, why are you wet?
I'm wet because of the rain,

Eh rain, eh rain, why did you rained down?
I rained down because the frog wants to bathe,

Eh frog, eh frog, why do you want to bathe?
I wanted to bathe because the snake is going to eat me,

Eh snake, eh snake, why do you want to eat the frog?
I want to eat the frog because that is the food of my ancestors,


Dero or Madero dance is a popular dance among the Pamona people. This dance are usually seen during festivals and normally the dancers are young people. This dance is done in circular motion with hands holding each other while exchanging poems accompanied by joyful music. In a few districts in Palu forbids Dero or Madero dancing activities because it often becomes the cause of scuffles among young boys who seek the attention of young girls. The Dero dance is differentiated by three types of swaying and footwork movements by the rhythm of the music. The first is called ende ntonggola, where two steps are taken to the right, a step backwards and then repeat. This dance is performed during the fullmoon celebration, which indicates the season for preparing the land for farming. The time for farming begins when the fullmoon ends. The following dance movement is called ende ngkoyoe or ende ntoroli, that is two steps to the right and a step to the left. This dance movement is meant during the time of collecting the harvest, during special occasion, or festivals. The final dance movement is called ende ada (customary), which is performed during the celebration of customary holidays or festivals. The dance movements are the same as ende ntoroli, except that the dancers do not hold each other's hands.[7] The Dero dance also forms as a means of courting in public, except for Raego dance which is rather cultural and not associated with courting.[4]


Pamona surnames include:-

  • Awundapu
  • Banumbu
  • Bali'e
  • Baloga
  • Belala
  • Betalino
  • Beto
  • Botilangi
  • Bulinde
  • Bungkundapu
  • Bungu
  • Buntinge
  • Bakumawa
  • Dike
  • Dongalemba
  • Gilirante
  • Gimbaro
  • Gugu
  • Gundo
  • Kaluti
  • Kampindo
  • Kambodji
  • Kalembiro
  • Kalengke
  • Karape
  • Karebungu
  • Kayori
  • Kayupa
  • Koedio
  • Kogege
  • Kolombuto
  • Kolobinti
  • Kuko
  • Lakiu
  • Langgari
  • Ladjamba
  • Lambangasi
  • Labiro
  • Liante
  • Lidongi
  • Lu'o
  • Lumaya
  • Lolongudju
  • Manganti
  • Meringgi
  • Mogadi
  • Mossepe
  • Mowose
  • Monepa
  • Monipo
  • Nyolo-nyolo
  • Nggau
  • Nggo'u
  • Nua
  • Nyaua
  • Pakuli
  • Palaburu
  • Parimo
  • Pariu
  • Paroda
  • Pasunu
  • Patara
  • Pebadja
  • Penina
  • Pekita
  • Penyami
  • Pesudo
  • Poa
  • Pombaela
  • Pobonde
  • Podala
  • Polempe
  • Purasongka
  • Rangga
  • Ratengku
  • Pusuloka
  • Rampalino
  • Rampalodji
  • Rantelangi
  • Rare'a
  • Ruagadi
  • Rubo
  • Rumbani
  • Ruutana
  • Satigi
  • Sancu'u
  • Sawiri
  • Sigilipu
  • Sipatu
  • So'e
  • Sowolino
  • Tabanci
  • Tadanugi
  • Tadalangi
  • Tadale
  • Tadadja
  • Tadjaji
  • Talasa
  • Tambo'eo
  • Tarante
  • Tasiabe
  • Tawuku
  • Tawurisi
  • Tekora
  • Tepara
  • Tiladuru
  • Tolala
  • Tobondo
  • Tobogu
  • Tolimba
  • Torau
  • Toumbo
  • Tumonggi
  • Turuka
  • Ule
  • Ululai
  • Warara
  • Wenali
  • Werokila nce'i to mori
  • Wuri
  • Wutabisu

See also


  1. "Pamona, Poso in Indonesia". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  2. Idwar Anwar (2005). Ensiklopedi Sejarah Luwu. Collaboration of Komunitas Kampung Sawerigading, Pemerintah Kota Palopo, Pemerintah Kabupaten Luwu, Pemerintah Kabupaten Luwu Utara, and Pemerintah Kabupaten Luwu Timur. ISBN 979-98372-1-9.
  3. Eva-Lotta E. Hedman (2008). Conflict, Violence, and Displacement in Indonesia. SEAP Publications. ISBN 978-0-87727-745-3.
  4. Albert Schrauwers (2000). Colonial "Reformation" In The Highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1892–1995. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-8303-6.
  5. Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja di Indonesia (2005). Agama-Agama Dan Perjuangan Hak-Hak Sipil. Bidang Marturia, PGI. OCLC 84835966.
  6. Joel S. Kahn (1998). Southeast Asian Identities: Culture and the Politics of Representation in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1-86064-243-8.
  7. "Pamona Tribe". Modero Dance Company. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  8. Hasan (2004). Sejarah Poso. Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah Kabupaten Poso & Penerbit Tiara Wacana Yogya. ISBN 979-9340-50-0.

Further reading

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