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by Gunardi
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Social Studies
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The Bugis are the dominant ethnic group in southwestern Sulawesi, Indonesia with roughly 4,000,000 Bugis live on Sulawesi Island while an estimated 1,000,000 more have migrated to other parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, including Borneo, eastern Sumatra, the Riau islands, Buru, Ambon, Flores, Malaysia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea.

LanguageThe Buginese speak many languages such as Luwu, Wajo, Bira Selayar, Palaka, Sindenneng and Sawito.

Economy The economy of the Buginese is mainly agricultural, with the monetery system being of bartering with goods, mainly common goods such as crops, fish, livestock and other such commodities. The main jobs in this group of people are hunting, fishing, farming, raising livestock or making handicrafts.

Gender In Australia we tend to assume that there are only two genders, woman and man, and two matching biological sexes, female and male. The Bugis acknowledge three sexes (female, male, hermaphrodite), four genders (women, men, calabai, and calalai), and a fifth meta-gender group, the bissu.The Calalai are physically female but take on the roles of the male population in society and act as what is not considered proper for females in the society but what is considered acceptable by males. Calalai literally translates to "false man" and the equivalent of Calalai in our society is lesbians. Calabai are physically male but take on the role of females in their society. Calabai literally translates to "false woman" and they are the equivalent in our society of gay people.The Bissu is considered as a meta-gender, and Bissu is literally translated into "transvestite priest". However this is not an apt description as they do not change clothing or their own physical gender qualities, but instead have their own set of clothing. Also, someone can`t simply decide to become a Bisu, they have to be born as both a male and female (hermaphrodite) and it is the belief of the Bugis that a Bissu who is externally male, they are female on the inside, as well as if they were female on the outside they would be male on the inside. It is this combination of genders that makes the Bissu so unique. For more detailed information, a good website that can be used for more information is www.insideindonesia.org/sulawesis-fifth-gender-2


LanguageThe Buginese people have a caligrigraphical script that is read from left to right. It is believed to be derived from the ancient Kawi of Java as well as the ancient Brahmi script of India. Their alphabet can be seen above.

History In the past, the Bugis people were like Vikings, and they travelled far and wide, conquering many lands, and there influence can still be seen today. The reason that the Bugis travelled and conquered other lands was because the Bugis kingdom and Makassar kingdom were having a fight from the 16th to 19th century. Some of the places where they conquered and the Bugis influence can still be seen is Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Australia, Madagascar, South Africa and even Cape Town.

MarriageThe Bugis have certain marriage customs and philosophies that have changed over time. Previously, one of the contributing reasons a couple would be married to have children, as it was believed that the more children that one has, the more followers they will have on "Judgement Day". However nowadays, the more children that a Buginese couple has, the more money they will make, and the easier their retirement will be. There are two kinds of marriages, one where there is a marriage between two independant individuals, who choose who they marry freely, and there are those marriages are still arranged by parents and normally take place between cousins.The Indonesian term for a married couple is sikalaibaine, with lai meaning man, and baine meaning woman, with the actual word combination men and women which reflects their relationship.There is considerable pressure on women to be married as they are considered unfavourable if they are not married by the time they are 35, otherwise they are called an old maid. Also another reason that women would want to marry is because the males are considered the breadwinners in Bugis society, so there are economic reasons as well as social. There is also pressure for males to be married, as if they are unmarried, they are thought to have something with them, in particular, with their sexuality, and it is thought that if a male is unwed then there must be something wrong or faulty with the processes of his sexual organ. He may also be considered as a Calabai. Another strong pull to get married is that it is forbidden to commit sexual activities outside of marriagae, so in order to have sex, they must be married.Below is a video showing the marital customs of the Bugis.

Bibliographyancientscripts.com. (2012). Buginese. Retrieved August 27, 2015, from ancientscripts.com: http://www.ancientscripts.com/bugis.htmlGraham, S. (2015, August 30). Sulawesi's fifth gender. Retrieved August 21, 2015, from insideindonesia.org: http://www.insideindonesia.org/sulawesis-fifth-gender-2Idrus, N. I. (2004, August). Behind the Notion of Siala. Retrieved September 4, 2015, from anu.edu.au: http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue10/idrus.htmlindonesia-tourism.com. (2011, August). The Excellency of Bugis Tribe - South Sulawesi. Retrieved September 3, 2015, from indonesia-tourism.com: http://www.indonesia-tourism.com/forum/showthread.php?1980-The-Excellency-of-Bugis-Tribe-South-Sulawesijoshuaproject.net. (2015). Bugis, Buginese in Malaysia. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from joshuaproject.net: https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/10985/MYKhaeriyah, U. (2015, December 25). Akad Nikah buginese culture part 1 . Retrieved September 4, 2015, from youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo5uVOBG9qk


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