Bugis People


Bugis people are one of Indonesian ethnic which are the inhabitant of South Sulawesi. This tribe is the biggest three after Javanese and Sundanese. Beside the indigenous who live in South Sulawesi, the immigrant of Minangkabau who wander from Sumatra to Sulawesi and the Malay people are being called as Bugis people.

At present time, The Bugis is spread to all over Indonesia like Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Tengah, Papua, Kalimantan Timur, Kalimantan Selatan even to going abroad. Bugis people are the most group who insist to spread the Islamic religion. The word Bugis is referred to the word To Ugi, means Bugis People. Formerly, it referred to the first King of Chinese Kingdom in Pammana who is La Sattumpugi, which now is the regency of Wajo. The people named themselves To Ugi or the people of La Sattumpugi.

On the following era, this people are divided and growth in some kingdoms. Then, the east group is developing their own culture, language, literacy and their own governmental. It is mention that the classic Bugis people are coming from Luwu, Bone, Wajo, Soppeng, Suppa, Sawitto, Sidenreng and Rappang. Those classic groups are divided from the ancient kingdom that forms during the development of Bugis people. The history mention that the kingdoms which growth during the early time and affected the Bugis was the era of Bone Kingdom, Makassar Kingdom, Soppeng Kingdom and Wajo Kingdom. Moreover, the era of the conflict among the royal emperor was the entrance of Islamic religion, Dutch colonialism and independence revolution.

In the past, Bugis people were famous by settled foreigner. The expertise of Bugis-Makassar sailing the ocean was trustworthy, they went up to the overseas territory of Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Australia, Madagascar and South Africa. In fact, they also went to Cape Town. Moreover, in South Africa there is a suburb named Maccassar, as a sign of local residents to remember their ancestor’s homeland.

The reason of Bugis people went to wander because there was conflict among the royal kingdom between Bugis kingdom and Makassar kingdom on 16, 17, 18 and 19 centuries. The people from the coastal area was mostly wander, instead of they hope for life independence.

Nowadays, Bugis people are mostly doing farming, fishing and trading instead of sailing the ocean. The women are mostly helping the men doing farming and some of the elder are still weaving the silk sarong, which is the traditional cloth of Bugis-Makassar.

Many of the marriages are still arranged by parents and ideally take place between cousins. A newlywed couple often lives with the wife’s family for the first few years of their marriage.

In early 1600s after the Islam missionary spread the Islam religion to Makassar, the Bugis held the animist religion, then, they were converted to Islam 1611. A few west coast rulers converted to Christianity in the mid-sixteenth century, but it was failure by the Portuguese at Malacca to provide priests to preach the gospel, it meant that this did not last.

On daily speaking, The Bugis are using their own dialect called “Bahasa Ugi” or Ugi language and they have their own literacy called “Aksara Bugis”. This literacy was founded in 12 century during the entrance of Hindu in Indonesia archipelago.

Bugis people are group who have strong philosophy from their own, there are four principals that they are concern to build their life philosophy, they are:

  • The principal of persistent life
  • Solidarity and loyalty
  • Siri or Pride
  • Etiquette and Manners

Those principals are the essential things that build The Bugis to be a social human being.


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