Selayar Islands - People

People

The population, mainly a mixed race of Makasars (see Makasar), Bugis, the natives of Luvu and Buton, is estimated at 57,000 on the main island and 24,000 on the nearby islands. They use the Macassar language, are for the most part nominally Moslems (though many non-Muslim customs survive), and support themselves by agriculture, fishing, seafaring, trade, the preparation of salt (on the south coast) and weaving. Raw and prepared cotton, tobacco, trepang, tortoise-shell, coconuts and coconut oil, and salt are exported. There is frequent movement between the area and other parts of Sulawesi as well as to other parts Indonesia. For that reason, and also because of its excellent horses and numerous water buffaloes, Saleyer is often compared with Madura, being of the same importance to Celebes as is Madura to Java.

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