Definitions

Makassar

Makassar

[muh-kas-er]
formerly Ujungpandang

City (pop., 2000: 1,100,019), Celebes (Sulawesi), Indonesia. Already a thriving port when the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century, it came under control of the Dutch, who built a trading station there in 1607 and finally deposed the sultan in 1667. It was made a free port in the mid-19th century and the capital of the Dutch-sponsored state of Indonesia Timur (East Indonesia) in 1946. By 1950 it was part of the Republic of Indonesia. It is the home of Hasanuddin University (founded 1956).

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Makassar, (Macassar, Mangkasar) is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the largest city on Sulawesi Island. From 1971 to 1999, the city was formally named Ujung Pandang, after a precolonial fort in the city, and the two names are often used interchangeably. The port city is located at , on the southwest coast of the island of Sulawesi, facing the Makassar Strait.

Its area is 175.77 km² and has population of 1.25 million.

History

The first European settlers were the Portuguese sailors. Beginning in the sixteenth century, Makassar was the dominant trading center of eastern Indonesia, and soon became one of the largest cities in island Southeast Asia. The Makassarese kings maintained a policy of free trade, insisting on the right of any visitor to do business in the city, and rejecting the attempts of the Dutch to establish a monopoly over the city. Further, tolerant religious attitudes meant that even as Islam became the dominant faith in the region, Christians and others were still able to trade in the city. With these attractions, Makassar was a key center for Malays working in the Spice Islands trade, as well as a valuable base for European and Arab traders from much further afield.

The importance of Makassar declined as the Dutch became more powerful in the region, and were better able to enforce the monopoly over the spice trade that they desired. In 1667 the Dutch, allied with the Bugis prince of Bone state Arung Palakka, invaded and captured Makassar, eliminating its role as an independent trading center. It became a free port in 1848.

Economy

The city is southern Sulawesi's primary port, with regular domestic and international shipping connections. It is nationally famous as an important port of call for the pinisi boats, sailing ships which are among the last in use for regular long-distance trade.

During the colonial era, the city was famous for being the namesake of Makassar oil, which it exported in great quantity. Makassar ebony is a warm black, streaked with deep red, and highly prized for fine cabinetry and veneers.

Makassar is also a major fishing center in Sulawesi. One of its major industries is the trepang (sea cucumber) industry. Trepang fishing brought the Makassan people into contact with the Yolŋu people of Northern Australia.

Transportation

Airport: Hasanuddin International Airport

See also

References

  • Reid, Anthony. 1999. Charting the shape of early modern Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books. ISBN 974-7551-06-3. pp. 100-154.

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