Central Sulawesi : Heart of Celebes

Central Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah) is a province of Indonesia located in the heart of Sulawesi. It was established on April 13, 1964.
Central Sulawesi has an area of 68,033 km² (26,268 sq mi) and is surrounded by Gorontalo in the north, South Sulawesi and South East Sulawesi in the south, Maluku in the east, and the Makassar Strait in the west.

The Central Sulawesi province is divided into several regencies and one municipality:
* Banggai
* Banggai Island
* Buol Regency
* Donggala Regency
* Morowali
* Parigi Moutong
* Poso Regency
* Tojo Una-Una
* Toli-Toli
* Palu (municipality)

Geography and Climate
The Province of Central Sulawesi is located between latitudes 2 degrees north and 3 degrees 4′ south, and longitudes 110 degrees 22′ and 124 degrees 20′ east. It is bounded in the north by the Sulawesi Sea (Celebes Sea) and the province of Gorontalo; in the South by the province of South Sulawesi and southeast Sulawesi; in the west by the Makasar Strait and in the east by Taliabu Island and the Maluku sea. It covers an area of 68,033 square kilometers with the population of about 1,538,000 people.

The climate is in general influenced by two seasons, a dry and a rainy. The first lasts from October to April, the second from April to October, marked by heavy rainfall. The air temperatures ranges from 20 degrees to 31 degrees Celsius and the average humidity is of 72 to 76 percent.

Brief History
Central Sulawesi’s historical background remains partly undisclosed, despite the research that has been done since the early decades of this century. Among others by the European scholars Albert C. Kruyt, in 1909, and Kaudern in 1917-1920. Studies were made, for instance, in the Poso regency, around the districts of North and South Lore, and North and South Pamona. In the Donggala regency, similar work was under taken in the Kuwali district, particularly around Biromaru and Dolo.

Up to this moment, 86 kalamba ( dialects of Bada-Poso ) have been recorded. Found also were some big and round stone vessels, believed to be containers for bones. Further to the north, many ornament in the shape of animals were found.

The regency of Poso seems to be rich in relics of the megalith era. For example, in Tentena village, east of Lake Poso, several caves were found containing bones and imprints of the palm of human hands. A number of menhirs were also found. Similar finds were made in Kolonedale.

Covered stone jars were found in Lore and Koro. Fifty-eight pounding stones were found in the Palu Valley of Donggala, in Napu, Bada and Besoa, around Poso. Not less than 26 vatutau, or stone statues, were found in Kili Pamona, Poso regency. Found were also grinding stones, stone blocks with small holes, and small pounding blocks.

Found in the surroundings of Pamona were nine pieces of bronze axes, in the Palu district.

According to estimates, such prehistoric sites could have existed since 55 years before the Christian era. Almost all the megalithic items of Central Sulawesi were scattered across the highlands of Bada, Napu and Besoa. These areas are inhabited by the Lore people, who live along the Lariang river, the longest river in Sulawesi.

Other finds dated from around the time of the arrival of Islam, such as a temple like structure called a Lobo. Also dwellings called tambi and duhanga.

Islam entered Central Sulawesi through Donggala and Palu, approximately around the beginning of the 15th century, first, from Makasar, in 1403, then from Ternate, in about 1470.

Islam was brought from the Minangkabau to the Kaili Valley by Dato Karam, who came by boat. The first to be converted to Islam was King Kaboneka I Pue Nyidi. In obeisance to the teachings of Islam, he exchanged his loincloth for a sarong when praying.

The Arabs are presumed to be the ones who introduced Islam to this area. However, written evidence is lacking.

The first Europeans to come to Central Sulawesi were the Portuguese, who came to trade with the kings. In 1905, the Dutch arrived, causing a string of revolts, such as those that occurred in SIG-Dolo, Claw and Bangui


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