1902 Encyclopedia > Celebes


CELEBES, an island of the East Indian Archipelago, separated from Borneo on the W. by the Strait of Macassar and bounded on the E. by the Strait of Molucca. It stretches from 118° 30' to 125° 40' E. long., and from 5° 45' S. to 1° 45' N. lat., and its area is approximately estimated at about 70,000 square miles. Its general outline is extremely irregular, and has been compared to that of a starfish with the rays torn off from the west side. It consists of four great peninsulas, extending from a comparatively small nucleus towards the N.E., E., S.E. and S., and separated by the three large bays of Gorontalo or Tomini, Tolo or Tomaiki, and Boni. Of these bays the first is by far the largest, the other two having much wider entrances and not extending so far inwards. Most important among the smaller inlets are the bays of Amurang, Kwansang, and Tontoli on the north coast, Palus and Parre-Parre on the west, and Kendari or Vosmaer on the east. A large part of the island is but partially explored, but the general character of the whole seems to be more or less mountainous. Well-defined ranges prolong themselves through each of the peninsulas, rising in many places to a considerable elevation. Naturally there are no great river basins or extensive plains, but one of the features of the island is the frequent occurrence, not only along the coasts, but at various heights inland, of beautiful stretches of level ground often covered with the richest pastures. The substructural rocks are mainly of igneous origin, the most frequent being basalt in a state of decomposition; but in many districts the Carboniferous strata are well developed, and give a character to the landscape. The northern peninsula differs from the others in being still highly volcanic and subject to not unfrequent earthquakes. Within the province of Minahassa alone as many as eleven distinct volcanoes have been counted; and hot springs, mud fountains, and similar phenomena occur in several other districts. Few of the rivers are navigable for any distance, and the entrance to almost all of them is obstructed by bars. Lakes, on the other hand, are both numerous and extensive. Of these the most important is the Tamparang-Labaya or Tempo, situated in the south-eastern peninsula in 3° 37' S. lat. It has a depth of about 30 feet, and is richly stocked with wild-fowl and fish. The scenery throughout the island is of the most varied and picturesque description. "Nowhere in the archipelago," says Mr Wallace, "have I seen such gorges, chasms, and precipices as abound in the district of Maros; in many parts there are vertical or even overhanging precipices five or six hundred feet high, yet completely clothed with a tapestry of vegetation." Much of the country, especially round the Bay of Tolo, is still covered with primeval forest and thickets, traversed here and there by scarcely perceptible paths, or broken with a few clearings and villages.

In spite of its situation in the centre of the archipelago, Celebes possesses a fauna of a very distinctive kind. The number of species is small; but in many cases they are peculiar to the island. Of the birds, for example, about 200 species are known; and of these no fewer than 80 are peculiar. The mammalian species number only 14, and of these 11 belong almost entirely to the Celebesian area. Most remarkable are the Macacus niger, an ape found nowhere else but in Batchian; the Anoa depressicornis, a small ox-like quadruped, which inhabits the mountainous districts; and the babirusa or pig-deer of the Malays. There are no large beasts of prey, and neither the elephant, the rhinoceros, nor the tapir is represented. Wild-buffaloes, swine, and goats are pretty common; and most of the usual domestic animals are kept in greater or smaller numbers. Though they receive but little attention, the cattle are good. The horses are in high repute in the archipelago; formerly about 700 were yearly exported to Java, but the supply has considerably diminished.

The same peculiarity of species holds in regard to the insects of Celebes as to the mammals and birds. Out of 118 species of butterflies, belonging to four important classes, no fewer than 86 are peculiar; while among the rose-chafers or Cetoniadoe the same is the case in 19 out of 30. Equally remarkable with this presence of peculiar species is the absence of many kinds that are common in the rest of the archipelago; and the fact that similarities are often to be traced with species belonging to Africa and other remote regions is highly suggestive.

Vegetation is, it need hardly be said, extremely rich; but there are fewer large trees than in the other islands of the archipelago. Of plants that furnish food for man the most important are rice, maize, and millet, coffee, the cocoa-nut tree, the sago-palm, the obi or native potato, the bread fruit, and the tamarind, with lemons, orange, mangosteens, wild-plums, Spanish pepper, beans, melons, and sugar-cane. The shaddock is to be found only in the lower plains, Indigo, cotton, and tobacco are grown ; the bamboo and the ratan-palm are common in the woods ; and among the larger trees are sandal-wood, ebony, sapan, and teak. The gemuti palm furnishes fibres for ropes; the juice of the Arenga, saccharifera is manufactured into sugar and a beverage called sagueir; and intoxicating drinks are prepared from .several other palms.

Except where Dutch influence has made itself felt, very little attention has been paid by the native races to any agricultural pursuit, and then manufacturing industries are few and limited. The weaving of cotton cloth is principally carried on by women, and the process, at least, for the finer description, is tedious in the tedious in the extreme. The cheap introduction of European goods is gradually lessening the amount of native stuffs. The houses are built of wood and bamboo; and as the use of diagonal struts has not been introduced, the walls soon lean over from the force of the winds. The most important of the mineral products of the island are gold and salt; excellent iron is also found, which is utilized by the natives; and coal of rather poor quality has been met with in various places, as in the district of Maros. The gold-mines are mainly in the northern peninsula; but even there the amount actually obtained is not so great as it was formerly. The various chiefs, bound by contract to bring yearly a fixed quantity of the metal to the Dutch authorities, frequently fail in their engagements, and many of them have been of necessity exempted. The gold is usually found at a depth of from 12 to 75 feet; but there are some mines in Bwool and Tontoli that reach 90 feet. In many, such as those of Ankahulu, Pagiama, and Popasatu, it is very cold, and the miners have to sit all day in nitrous water.

The whole island is practically in the hands of the Dutch Government, though a comparatively small portion is under their direct administration, and a large number of petty princes are still permitted to do very much as they please in the internal management of their territories. For administrative purposes it is distributed among the residencies of Celebes, Manado, and Ternate, of which the two former belong solely to the island, while the third includes a large part of the Moluccas.

The residency of Celebes, formerly known as the Government of Macassar, comprises all the various states that surround the Gulf of Boni, and is divided into the following departments:—(1) Macassar, (2) the Northern Districts, (3) the Southern Districts, (4) Bulecomba and Bonthain, and (5) Saleyer and the subordinate islands, Buton, Sumbawa, and Bima.

The department of Macassar, or Mangkasara as it is called in the native language, is one of the oldest parts of the Dutch possessions. It contains Macassar, the capital of the residency, which is situated on the west coast of the southern peninsula in 5° 7' 45" S. lat., forms one of the principal ports in the archipelago, and has a population of from 15,000 to 20,000. The inhabitants of the department consist mainly of Macassars and Malays proper, Endinese from the Island of Flores, and immigrants from the neighbouring kingdom of Wadjo. The foreign colonies are each under the management of a separate captain, and the Malays are also under the care of a head priest. The Macassars proper are one of the most important peoples in the island. They belong to the Malay race, are well built and muscular, and have in general a "dark-brown complexion, a broad and expressive face, black and sparkling eyes, a high forehead, a flatfish nose with large alae, a large mouth, and black soft hair, which they let fall over their shoulders." The women are sprightly, clever, and amiable, and in former times were bought for large prices. The men are brave and not treacherous, but ambitious, jealous, and extremely revengeful. Drunkenness is rare, but to gambling and cock-fighting they are passionately addicted; and so frequent among them is the running amuck that the Dutch authorities had to dismiss the Macassar soldiers from their service. In all sorts of bodily exercises, as swinging, wrestling, dancing, riding, and hunting, they take great pleasure. Though they call themselves Mahometans, their religion is largely mingled with pagan superstitions; they worship animals, and a certain divinity called Karaeng Lové, who has power over their fortune and health. Their language, which belongs to the Malayo-Javanese group, is spoken by about 300,000 persons, in Macassar proper, Goa, Tello, Sanraboni, Turateya, Bulecomba, Tanralili, and a great many parts of the southern peninsula ; but it has a much smaller area than the Buginese, which is the language of Boni. It is very deficient in generalizations; thus, for example, it has words for the idea of carrying in the hand, carrying on the head, carrying on the shoulder, and so on, but has no word for the notion of simply carrying. It has adopted a certain number of vocables from Sanskrit, Malay, Javanese, and Portuguese, but on the whole is remarkably pure, and has undergone comparatively few changes in the course of the last two or three centuries. It is written in a peculiar character, which has displaced, and probably been corrupted from, an old form employed as late as the 17th century. Neither bears any trace of derivation from the Sanskrit alphabet. The priests affect the use of the Arabic letters. The literature is very poor, and consists largely of romantic stories from the Malay, and religious treatises from the Arabic. Of the few original pieces the most important are the early histories of Goa, Tello, and some other states of Celebes, and the Rapang, or collection of the decrees and maxims of the old princes and sages. The more modern productions are letters, laws, and poems, many of the last having very considerable beauty. For his knowledge of the Macassar the European scholar is mainly indebted to the labours of B. F. Malthes of the Dutch Bible Society, who was sent out in 1846, and has published Makassaarsche Spraakkunst (1858), Makassaarsch-Hollandsch Woordenboek (1859), .Ethnographische Atlas (1859), Makassaarsche Chrestomathie (1860), and various communications to the Zeitsch. der morgenl. Gesellsch.

The department of the Northern Districts, called also Maros (properly Marusa), from the chief town, lies to the north of Macassar, and is divided into twenty-six districts. It is watered by the River Maros, which has a channel of great picturesqueness broken by waterfalls and bordered by caves. The mineral products comprise gold, marble, porcelain-clay, and anthracite; but the extensive rice-fields are the principal source of wealth. The river is commanded by the fort of Valkenburg; and a great road, constructed in 1859, leads through the department. About five miles from the town are the warm mineral springs of Amarang and Magemba. The population is estimated at 120,000. The prevailing language is Buginese, but Macassar is also spoken by a considerable number.

The department of the Southern Districts, or Takalla, lies to the south-west of Macassar, and is divided into two parts by the interposition of the little independent state of Sanraboni. The population is estimated at 70,000, and the language is Macassar. The people of the district of Glissong or Galesong are remarkable for their attachment to a seafaring life. In 1863 the department was increased by the annexation of Turateya, which included the three small states of Bintamo, Bangkala, and Laikan, previously troublesome by their piracies and raids. The Turateyans speak a mixture of Macassar and Buginese.

Separated from Turateya by the River Tino is the department of Bonthain and Bulecomba, a thinly-peopled and mountainous country, chiefly remarkable for the lofty summit of Lompobattang or Dikbuik, more familiarly known as the Peak of Bonthain, which has a height of about 11,000 feet. The soil is specially adapted fur the culture of coffee. The inhabitants are peaceful and well-behaved, but in education and civilization they are less advanced than those of the departments already described. They were formerly subordinate to the Macassar kingdom.

To the north of these two states lies the important kingdom of Boni, of which an account will be found in a separate article (vol. iv. p 32). and to the north of Boni, and separated from it by the River Chinrana, is the rival kingdom of Wajo or Wadjo, with a coast line of about 50 miles along the Gulf of Boni. It is governed by about forty chiefs or nobles, who are almost independent in their respective districts and maintain their individual bands of followers, but at the same time recognize the overlordship of the prince. The different offices of the state are not unfrequently held by women, and the greatest importance id attached to purity of descent. The inhabitants rather neglect the culture of the soil; and large numbers of them resort to the neighbouring states as traders. The capital was formerly Tesora or Tossora, a large straggling city near the River Chinrana, embracing within its fortifications a space of several miles in circuit. For numerous details on this district the reader may consult Mundy’s Narrative of Events in Borneo and Celebes, vol. i.

To the south-west of Wadjo is the kingdom of Sopeng, which was long connected by intermarriages with Boni. The ground is very fruitful, and large quantities of rice are exported. The capital was formerly a place of the same name on the coast; but the rajah removed his residence to Sengkang on Lake Tempe. Sopeng recognized the Dutch supremacy in 1825. The population is estimated at 18,000.

To the north of Sopeng lies the territory of Adja Tamkarang, under the government of the prince of Lidenring, who takes his title from a small principality of that name. It is traversed by the Sadang River, one of the most important of those that flow into the Strait of Macassar.

Round the head of the Bay of Boni stretches the kingdom of Luvu (Loewoe), a well-peopled district, productive of gold and excellent iron, but greatly depressed by an unsatisfactory government. To the south-west of Luvu lie the districts of Ussu and Lellevau, and south of these the state of Baikonka or Minkoko, with its capital Pansulai on the Gulf of Boni; but the whole of this region is comparatively unexplored. The Minkokos have a considerable resemblance to the Dyaks of Borneo, and maintain a similar custom of head-hunting. Their language is akin to Buginese. At the very end of the eastern peninsula is situated the district of Polean Rumbia, conterminous on its north-east boundary with the more important territory of Lavui, which stretches along the coast of the Bay of Tolo, and is tributary to the king of Boni. The latter district possesses in Kendari or Vosmaer’s Bay one of the finest harbours in the archipelago, and it carries on a certain amount of traffic. The coast is frequented by numbers of the Bajows.

The rest of the lands that lie round the Bay of Tolo belong to the residency of Ternate. Conterminous with Lavui is the principality of Tombuku, a densely-wooded, and partially-explored territory, governed by an hereditary chief under the sultan of Ternate. The population is mainly settled in the interior, and their numbers were estimated in 1852 at 15,000. They have no regular coin, and strips of cotton cloth are used in exchange. Their language seems to have almost no connection with any other in the archipelago. Among the people along the coast excellent workers in metal are found, and earthenware is also manufactured. The capital was formerly Lanona ; but since 1856 this honour belongs to Sabita. At the very head of the bay is the district of Tomore or Tomaiki, with a river of the same name; while along the northern side are situated the territories of Bangay and Balante. From the latter iron and timber are exported.

The country that lies round the Gulf of Gorontalo belongs to the residency of Manado, and is divided into the Minahassa or Confederation of Manado, the department of Gorontalo, and various states, such as Parigi, Bwool, and others that will be mentioned in the course of the article.

Of these the most important is the Minahassa, or properly Ni-mahassa, of Manado, which derives its name from the union of thirty-six states under the Dutch supremacy to resist the claims of the king of Bolang, who had made himself at one time master of the district. It occupies the most eastern part of the northern peninsula, and is divided into the five departments of Manado, Kema, Tondano, Amurang, and Bolang. Of the whole island it is the most distinctly volcanic portion, and contains several mountains that have been in active eruption within modern times. The most important summits are those of Klabat (6560 feet high), Saputan (5960), Engerong (4050), Lokon (5240), Prumangan or Mahabu (4300), Kimavang, and Papelampungan. In 1806 the Mountain Tonkoko threw forth a quantity of ashes and pumice-stone that darkened the air for two days and covered the ground for many miles with a layer an inch thick. There are numerous boiling springs and geysers, the most interesting being Lahendang, where the Count Charles de Vidua de Conzano met with his death in 1830. An interesting account of a visit to several of these volcanic phenomena is given by Mr Bickmore in his East Indian Archipelago. Perhaps in no part of their possessions have greater and happier transformations been effected by the Dutch than in this district. In the beginning of this century the inhabitants were still savages, broken up into numerous tribes that were almost never at peace with each other, and speaking such a variety of dialects that hardly any village was quite intelligible to its neighbours. About 1822 it was discovered that the soil of the mountain sides was fitted for the growth of coffee; the cultivation was introduced and a system established which stimulated the native, chiefs to undertake the management of the plantations. The result has been not only to make the Minahassa one of the best coffee districts in the archipelago, but to advance the civilization of the inhabitants in a wonderful manner. Missions have been established by the Dutch Missionary Society, and have met with the most encouraging success. In 1859 the mission schools numbered 102, and were attended by 8996 pupils; while at the same time 12 Government schools bad 1049 pupils and 28 village schools had 1610. The various local dialects are rapidly being replaced by Malay, which is the language adopted for educational purposes. The villages, which have grown up in considerable number; are neat and tidy, and most of the houses are well built ; the country is traversed by good roads, finely-shaded with trees and in many cases fit for carriages ; and bridges have been erected over the rivers. The trade of the district is in a flourishing condition and promises to become more important. The principal articles are the coffee, cocoa rice, and trepang. In 1858 the number of households employed in the coffee-culture was 12,909; the number of trees in regular gardens was 3.449,518 ; and their produce for the year amounted to 22,866 piculs. Since that date the plantations both of the Government and private speculators have very largely increased. The plant succeeds admirably at a height of from 1500 up to 4000 feet above the sea, and produces a fine kernel of a translucent greenish blue colour, which is known in the market as Manado coffee, and brings a much higher price than the Java growth. Cocoa was probably introduced by the early Spanish navigators, but it received little attention till about 1822, when some Dutch and Chinese settlers undertook its cultivation. Since that time is become a pretty important article, and has been introduced into Gorontalo and the Sangir Islands; but the crop is unfortunately a somewhat precarious one. The koffo or Manilla-hemp (Musa textilies) is largely grown, more especially in the neighbourhood of Amurang, where the Government has established a rope factory. The nutmeg, though only introduced in 1853, is now cultivated pretty extensively. Tobacco is also grown, but mainly for home consumption. The best is obtained from the district of Bantek. The population of the Minahassa was, in 1868, 105,514.

The department of Gorontalo comprises the various districts of Gorontalo. Limbotto. Bone, Bintauna. Suvava, Bolango, Attingola, Bualemo, Muton, Parigi, Saussi;. Posso, Tongko, Todjo, and the Togian Island. Gorontalo proper lies on the north of the Tomini Bay. The inhabitants are mainly Mahometan Malays, and they possess about 200 Mahometan priests, most of whom can neither read nor write. The capital is a large and flourishing town with considerable trade; it has a Dutch garrison and fort, and a Christian school. The rivers and lake furnish abundance of fish, and almost every house has a pond attached for keeping those captured alive. Limbotto, a small state of about 6000 inhabitants, since 1865 under Dutch direction, is chiefly noticeable for the Bay of Kwandang and the gold-mines of Limbotto, Bulatu, and Sulametta. Muton possesses several gold-mines. The village of that name lies in 0° 23' N. lat. and 121° 30' 18" E. long. Along the northern coast to the north of Muton lie the states of Palele, Bwool, and Tontoli, of which the second is the most important, being traversed by one of the largest rivers in the island, and possessing valuable gold-mines and great numbers of sago-palms. The composition of its population in 1870 was (according to J. G. F. Riedel in the Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land-, en Volkenkunde, 1874) 4229 natives, 726 from Gorontalo and Limbotto, 466 from Kayeli, 230 Buginese, 84 Tontoli, 38 Mandharese, and 22 Arabs. Tontoli was formerly the resort of pirates, but in 1822 it was cleared by Captain De Man.

Along the south side of the Bay of Gorontalo stretches the country of Parigi from Amphibabu to the River Dulagu. It has a very fertile territory, and a considerable trade is carried on with Palos and Dongala, the districts on Tomini Bay, and Singapore. The exports are gold, horses, cocoa-nuts, bananas, and a kind of resin called damar. Parigi recognized the Dutch supremacy in 1850, but has preserved its autonomy, and is governed by a prince and several chiefs. The principal village is Parigi di Atas.

On the west coast of the island, and forming as it were the nucleus from which the peninsulas spring, lie the districts of Dongala, Palos, and Kayeli. Dongala is situated on the Bay of Palos, and is governed by a rajah who recognized Dutch supremacy in 1824. Palos is governed by an independent chief, and is in a flourishing condition. The town is situated in 0° 57' S. lat. and 119° 34' E. long., and is connected by road with Parigi and Boni. Its inhabitants carry on an active trade both by sea and land. The kingdom of Kayeli was at one time under the sultan of Ternate, passed by conquest to the people of Macassar, was restored to the sultan by the treaty of Bonga, and was by him presented to the Dutch, whose authority was only recognized in 1854. The soil is well fitted for cultivation, and yields coffee and cocoa-nuts for export. The kingdom of Mandhar lies further south, and is governed by seven chiefs, who take their titles from the seven principal rivers, and till 1854 recognized the supremacy of Boni. The inhabitants speak a distinct language. Those on the coast are nominal Mahometans, those inland are still pagan. They are active traders, and take voyages to Java, Bencoolen, Malacca, Singapore, and Manilla. Toradja, which lies further inland, is possessed by a wild pagan race, who keep themselves apart from all intercourse, and are generally regarded as the original inhabitants of the island.

Celebes was first discovered by the Portuguese in the early part of the 16th century, the exact date assigned l»y some authorities being 1512. The name does not appear to be of native origin, and the plural form is probably due to the belief that the different peninsulas were so many separate islands. At the time of the Portuguese discovery, the Macassars were the most powerful people in the island, having successfully defended themselves against the king of the Moluccas and the sultan of Ternate. In 1609 the English attempted to gain a footing. At what time the Dutch first arrived is not certainly known, but it was very probably in the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century, since in 1607 they formed a connection with Macassar. In the year 1611 the Dutch East Indian Company obtained the monopoly of trade on the Island of Buton; and in 1618 an insurrection in Macassar gave them an opportunity of obtaining a definite establishment there. In 1660 the kingdom was finally subjugated by Van Dam and Truitman, with a fleet of 33 ships and a force of 2700 men. In 1666 the war broke out anew; but it was brought to an end by Speelman in the following year, and the treaty of Bonga or Banga was signed, by which the Dutch were recognized as the protectors and mediators of the different states who were parties to the treaty. In 1683 the north-eastern part of the island was conquered by Robert Paddenburg, and placed under the command of the governor of the Moluccas. In 1703 a fort was erected at Manado. The kingdom of Boni was successfully attacked by Van Geen in 1824, and in August of that year the Bonga treaty was renewed in a greatly modified form. Since then the principal military event is the Boni insurrection, which was quelled in 1859. With the exception of Manado, the Dutch settlements in Celebes have not been financially successful; but as the resources of the country are developed it will, doubtless, become a very valuable possession.

In Veth’s Woordenboek van Nederlandsch Indië there will be found an extensive bibliography of Celebes drawn up by H. C. Millies. Besides the well-known works of Valentyn, Stavorinus, Raffles, and Crawfurd, it will be sufficient to mention Van den Bosch, Nederlandsche Bezittingen in Azia, &c., 1818 ; Vincent, "Notice sur l’isle de Celebes," in Journ. des Voyages, 1826 ; Olivier’s Reizen, 1834 ; Reinwardt’s Reis naar het Oostelijk gedeelte van den Ned. Archipel. in 1821, 1858; Van der Hart, Reize rondom het Eiland Celebes, 1853 ; Samuel White, Account of the last rebellion at Macassar, 1687 ; Stubenvoll’s Translation of History of the Island of Celebes, by Mr R. Blok, Gov. of Macassar, 1817 ; Capt. R. Mundy, Narrative of Events in Borneo and Celebes, 1848 ; Ed. Dulaurier, Code Maritime des Royaumes Mangkassar et Bougni, 1845 ; Wallace, Malay Archipelago, 1869; Bickmore, East Indian Archipelago, 1868; Veth’s Een Nederlandsch reiziger op Zuid Celebes, 1875; Riedel’s Het landschap Boeool, Noord Selebes, 1872; the same writer’s "Die landschaften Holontalo, Limoeto," &c. in the Zeitschr. Für Ethnologie, 1871; Beccari’s "Viaggio" in Guido Cora’s Cosmos for 1874-6. (H. A. W.)

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