Ethnic identity

Ethnic identity

The Torajan people had little notion of themselves as a distinct ethnic group before the 20th century. Before Dutch colonisation and Christianisation, Torajans, who lived in highland areas, identified with their villages and did not share a broad sense of identity. Although complexes of rituals created linkages between highland villages, there were variations in dialects, differences in social hierarchies, and an array of ritual practices in the Sulawesi highland region. "Toraja" (from the coastal languages' to, meaning people; and riaja, uplands) was first used as a lowlander expression for highlanders. As a result, "Toraja" initially had more currency with outsiders such as the Bugis and Makassarese, who constitute a majority of the lowland of Sulawesi than with insiders. The Dutch missionaries' presence in the highlands gave rise to the Toraja ethnic consciousness in the Sa'dan Toraja region, and this shared identity grew with the rise of tourism in the Toraja Regency. Since then, South Sulawesi has four main ethnic groups the Bugis (the majority, including shipbuilders and seafarers), the Makassarese (lowland traders and seafarers), the Mandarese (traders and fishermen), and the Toraja (highland rice cultivators).

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.