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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Pre-1200 CE Bugis society was organized into petty chiefdoms, which would have warred and, in times of peace, exchanged women with each other. Personal security would have been negligible, and head-hunting an established cultural practice. The political economy would have been a mixture of hunting and gathering and swidden or shifting agriculture. Speculative planting of wet rice may have taken place along the margins of the lakes and rivers.
Starting in the 13th century, access to prestige trade goods and to sources of iron started to alter long-standing cultural patterns, and to permit ambitious individuals to build larger political units. It is not known why these two ingredients appeared together; one was perhaps the product of the other. By 1400, a number of nascent agricultural principalities had arisen in the western Cenrana valley, as well as on the south coast and on the east coast near modern Parepare.
The first Europeans to visit the island (which they believed an archipelago due to its contorted shape) were Portuguese sailors in 1525, sent from the Moluccas in search of gold, which the islands had the reputation of producing. The Dutch arrived in 1605 and were quickly followed by the English, who established a factory in Makassar. From 1660, the Dutch were at war with Gowa, the major Makasar west coast power. In 1669, Admiral Speelman forced the ruler, Sultan Hasanuddin, to sign the Treaty of Bongaya, which handed control of trade to the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch were aided in their conquest by the Bugis warlord Arung Palakka, ruler of the Bugis kingdom of Bone. The Dutch built a fort at Ujung Pandang, while Arung Palakka became the regional overlord and Bone the dominant kingdom. Political and cultural development seems to have slowed as a result of the status quo. In 1905 the entire island became part of the Dutch state colony of the Netherlands East Indies until Japanese occupation in World War II. In 1949, after the Indonesian National Revolution, during which the notorious Dutch Captain 'Turk' Westerling is believed to have murdered 3-4,000 people, Sulawesi became part of the independent United States of Indonesia, which in 1950 became the Republic of Indonesia.
Sulawesi has been plagued by Muslim-Christian violence in recent years. The most serious violence occurred between 1998 and 2001 on the once peaceful island. Over 1,000 people were killed in violence, riots, and ethnic cleansing that ripped through Central Sulawesi. The violence pitted the island's Muslims against Christians (and vice versa). A peace accord was not agreed to until 2001.
The Malino peace accord did not eradicate the violence. In the following years, tension and systematic attacks persisted. In 2003, 13 Christian villagers were killed in the Poso District by unknown masked gunmen. And in 2005 three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded in Poso by Islamic militants. A message next to one of the heads allegedly read: "A life for a life. A head for a head".
Riots erupted again in September 2006 in Christian dominated areas of Central Sulawesi, as well as other part of Indonesia, after the execution by firing squad of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu, three Catholics convicted of leading Christian militias during the violence of the early 2000s. Their supporters claimed that Muslims who participated in the violence received very light sentences and that none were sentenced to death, and that the government used a double standard. The violence appeared to be aimed at government authorities, not Muslims.
The island is subdivided into six provinces: Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and North Sulawesi. West Sulawesi is a new province, created in 2004 from part of South Sulawesi. The largest cities on the island are Makassar, on the southwestern coast of the island, and Manado, on the northern tip.
Sulawesi straddles Wallace's Line meaning that it has a mix of both Asian and Australasian species. However, the majority of Sulawesi's wildlife belongs to the Australasia region. 2,290 km² of the island is devoted to Lore Lindu National Park.
There are 127 known mammalian species in Sulawesi. A large percentage of these mammals, 62% (79 species) are endemic, meaning that they are found nowhere else in Indonesia or the world. The largest native mammal in Sulawesi is the dwarf buffalo, locally known as the anoa. Other mammalian species inhabiting Sulawesi are the babirusa, a pig-like animal, the Sulawesi palm civet, several species of cuscus, and primates such as the spectral tarsier and several species macaque; including the crested black macaque, the moor macaque and the booted macaque.
By contrast, because many birds can fly between islands, Sulawesian bird species tend to be found on other nearby islands as well, such as Borneo; only 34% of Sulawesi's birds are found nowhere else. One endemic bird is the largely ground-dwelling, chicken-sized maleo, which reproduces like no other bird: taking advantage of the hot sand produced by the island's volcanic vents, they dig holes in the sand, lay their eggs, and promptly leave the scene. There are known 1450 bird species in Sulawesi. The Togian White-eye is another endemic that was described in 2008. An international partnership of conservationists, donors, and local people have formed the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation, in an effort to raise awareness and protect the nesting grounds of these birds on the central-eastern arm of the island.
Sulawesi also has several endemic species of freshwater fish, such as those in the genus Nomorhamphus, a species flock of livebearing freshwater halfbeaks containing at least 19 distinct species, most of which are only found on Sulawesi. There are also many species of freshwater shrimp that are endemic to Sulawesi. Several of these species have become very popular in the aquarium hobby. They are considered some of the most beautiful freshwater shrimp species to be found and are not found anywhere else in the world. Several of these shrimp species are found only in specific lakes in Sulawesi, making them even more rare . Freshwater snails endemic to Sulawesi are also extremely beautiful and like the shrimp are endemic to Sulawesi . The snails and shrimp from Sulawesi have made a wonderful addition to the freshwater aquarium invertebrate hobby. However, there must be careful attention placed to conserve and protect these species as well as many others. Due to the small habitat and unique environment it is critical that all freshwater species from Sulawesi be conserved properly. An expedition was conducted by Mimbon Aquarium to the island of Sulawesi to document and collect some of the species of fish, shrimp and snails mentioned. There are several photos of the landscape, underwater habitat and some of the collected specimens from the expedition journal .
The island was recently the subject of an Ecoregional Conservation Assessment, coordinated by the Nature Conservancy. Detailed reports about the vegetation of the island are available . The assessment produced a detailed and annotated list of 'conservation portfolio' sites . This information was widely distributed to local government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Detailed conservation priorities have also been outlined in a recent publication .
The lowland forests on the island are, unfortunately, almost gone . Because of the relative geological youth of the island and its dramatic and sharp topography, the lowland areas are naturally limited in their extent. The past decade has seen dramatic conversion of this rare and endangered habitat. The island also possesses one of the largest outcrops of Serpentine soil in the world, which support an unusual and large community of specialized plant species. Overall, the flora and fauna of this unique center of global biodiversity is very poorly documented and understood and remains critically threatened.
The people of Sulawesi are famous for their dedication to their diverse art abilities, which include pottery, weaving, and dancing. Their pottery was originally made specifically for the purpose of storing rice and water, but when the Dutch arrived, it became useful for commercial exporting and sale, and was noted for its extensive detail. The Sulawesian people also excel at intricate weaving, and repeat the same pattern at least once in every project they do. Although the women are predominantely weavers, both genders dance. The male dance is rigid, mechanical and robotic, while the female's dances are fluid and smooth. They combine these aspects to tell a story.
Though Islam is the religion of the majority of Sulawesi's people, large regions of the island observe other religions as well.
Christians form a substantial minority. According to the demographer Toby Alice Volkman, 17% of Sulawesi's population is Protestant and 2% is Roman Catholic. Christians are concentrated on the tip of the northern peninsula around the city of Manado, which is inhabited by the Minahasa, a predominantly Protestant people, and the northernmost Sangihe and Talaud islands. The famous Toraja people of Tana Toraja in Central Sulawesi have largely converted to Christianity since Indonesia's independence. There are also substantial numbers of Christians around Lake Poso in Central Sulawesi and among the Pamona speaking peoples of Central Sulawesi. There has also been growth in the Christian population of the Banggai Islands and the Eastern Peninsula in Central Sulawesi, traditionally thought of as Muslim areas (which in the past were controlled by Muslim sultanates in Tidore and Ternate). Christians can be found in every major Sulawesi city.
A large community of Christians can also be found in the town of Mamasa in the Western Sulawesi, a ten-hour drive north from Makassar.
Though most people identify themselves as Muslims or Christians, they often subscribe to local beliefs and deities as well. It is not unusual (and fully accepted) for Christians to make offerings to local gods, goddesses, and spirits.