Stereotypes of the Bugis, Makassarese and other peoples of South Sulawesi are widespread and often at variance with each other. The inhabitants are depicted as intrepid seafarers, wily migrants, feudal lords and vassals, democratic lovers of freedom, fanatical Muslims, worshippers of regalia, and performers of arcane ceremonies.
Generalizations and stereotypes invite debate. The South Sulawesi debate revolves around several topics: the reliability of colonial reports vis-a-vis indigenous texts; the homogeneity of the area; status and power; leadership and patron-client relationships; foreign influence on local culture: seafaring and international commerce; regional culture as impacted by socio-economic development: the diaspora. These topics are to a large extent interrelated. They all involve transactions, traditions and texts—or authority and enterprise—and are discussed extensively in this book.
Contributors to this volume are Greg Acciaioli, Chris de jong, R.L Leirissa, Anton Lucas, J. Noorduyn, Christian Pelras, Anthony Reid, Martin Rössler, Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Heather Sutherland, and Roger Tol.