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Lineton, Jacqueline Andrew (1975) An Indonesian Society and Its Universe: A Study of the Bugis of South Sulawesi (Celebes) and Their Role Within a Wider Social and Economic System. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The Bugis are a "centrifugal" society, with a tendency constantly to expand outwards from their homeland in South Sulawesi into other widely scattered regions of the Malay world. This expansion takes place through the ability of the Bugis to exploit resources which have previously been neglected or under-utilised by the indigenous society. The present study examines in general terms, and in historical perspective, the peculiar ecological niches occupied by the Bugis within the Indonesian archipelago; small-scale interisland trade and pioneer settlement. To illuminate the process of Bugie expansion, a detailed analysis is made of Bugis society in a village in South Sulawesi - its kinship system, status distinctions, political institutions and economy - and factors conducive to outward migration are examined. Political unrest in Sulawesi has led to waves of emigration to Sumatra and elsewhere, while at other times there has been a steady outward movement due to economic factors. The nobility's monopoly of political power is also seen as a factor encouraging the emigration of ambitious individuals; these have often been the pioneers who started chains of migration to new areas. The history of Bugis settlement on the Sumatra coast, and the links maintained with Sulawesi, are examined. Migration to Sumatra is shown to provide opportunities for economic and political advancement which are absent or limited in the Bugis homeland. It is concluded that this migration is significant not only for the development of the area of settlement, but may also be necessary for the continued functioning of many of the institutions of Bugis society, in particular the system of social stratification and political domination by an aristocratic elite. As a result of the long tradition of movement to other parts of Indonesia and formerly to Malaya, the boundaries of the Bugis social universe extend far beyond the limits of his village or region to encompass the entire Malay world.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:26

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