For Verhandelingen publications earler than 2000, see sub-folder

Bulbeck, David and Ian Caldwell. (2000) Land of iron: The historical archaeology of Luwu and the Cenrana valley: results of the Origin of Complex Society in South Sulawesi Project (OXIS). Hull: Centre for South-East Asian Studies Occasional Publications Series, University of Hull.

Cummings, William. 2010. The Makassar Annals. Leiden: KITLV Press.

Cummings, William. 2007. (transl. and ed.) A chain of kings: The Makassarese chronicles of Gowa and Talloq. Leiden: KITLV Press.

Druce, Stephen 2009. The lands west of the lakes: a history of the Ajattappareng kingdoms of South Sulawesi, 1200 to 1600 CE. Leiden: KITLV Press.

Feddersen, Carl Fredrik. 2017. Principled pragmatism: VOC interaction with Makassar 1637-68, and the nature of company diplomacy. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Gaynor, Jennifer. 2016. Intertidal history in Southeast Asia: Submerged genealogy and the legacy of coastal capture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Chapter One. Used by permission of the publisher, Cornell University Press.  All Rights Reserved.

Gibson, Thomas. 2007. Islamic narrative and authority in Southeast Asia: From the 16th to the 21st century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Henley, David. 2005. Fertility, food and fever: Population, economy and environment in North and Central Sulawesi, 1600-1930. Leiden: KITLV Press.

Kallupa, Bahru, David Bulbeck, Ian Caldwell, Iwan Sumantri, Karaeng Demmanari. 1989. Survey pusat kerajaan Soppeng 1100-1986.  Canberra: The authors. Fiinal report to the Australian Myer Foundation.

Kuhnt-saptodewo, Sri; Dagmar Pospíšilová and Philipp Hesser (eds). 1990. Sulawesi and beyond: The František Czurda Collection. Vienna: Museum für Völkerkunde.

Macknight, Campbell, Mukhlis Paeni and Muhlis Hadrawi. 2020. (trans. and ed.) The Bugis Chronicle of Bone. Canberra: Austraina University Press.

Macknight, Campbell  2012. (transl. and ed.) Bugis and Makasar. Two short grammars. Canberra: Karuda Press.

Macknight, Campbell 1993. The early history of South Sulawesi: Some recent advances. Victoria: Monash University Press. Working Paper 81.

O’Connor, Sue, David Bulbeck and Juliet Meyer (eds). 2018. The archaeology of Sulawesi. Current research on the Pleistocene to the historic period. Terra Australis 18.

Pelras, Christian. 1996. The Bugis. Oxford: Blackwell.

Noorduyn, J. 1955. Een achttiende-eeuwse kroniek van Wadjo’. Buginese historiography. ‘s-Gravenhage: H. L. Smits.

Terra Australis
TOC Terra Australis 1
TOC Terra Australis 2
6. Lontaraq Balusu

The lands west of the lakes

A history of the Ajattappareng kingdoms of South Sulawesi, 1200 to 1600 CE

Stephen Druce

The period 1200-1600 CE saw a radical transformation from simple chiefdoms to kingdoms (in archaeological terminology, complex chiefdoms) across lowland South Sulawesi, a region that lay outside the ‘classical’ Indicized parts of Southeast Asia. The rise of these kingdoms was stimulated and economically supported by trade in prestige goods with other parts of the Indonesian archipelago, yet the development of these kingdoms was determined by indigenous, rather than imported, political and cultural precepts. Starting in the thirteenth century, the region experienced a transition from swidden cultivation to wet-rice agriculture; rice was the major product that the lowland kingdoms of South Sulawesi exchanged with archipelagic traders.

The Lands West of the Lake demonstrates this progression to political complexity by combining a range of sources and methods, including oral, textual, archaeological, linguistic and geographical information and analysis as he explores the rise and development of five South Sulawesi kingdoms, known collectively as Ajattappareng – the Lands West of the Lakes.

The author Stephen Druce also presents an inquiry into oral traditions of a historical nature in South Sulawesi. He examines their functions, their processes of transmission and transformation, their uses in writing history and their relationship to written texts. He shows that any distinction between oral and written traditions of a historical nature is largely irrelevant, and that the South Sulawesi chronicles, which can be found only for a small number of kingdoms, are not characteristic (as some have argued) but exceptional in the corpus of indigenous South Sulawesi historical sources.

The Lands West of the Lake will be of primary interest to scholars of pre-European-contact Southeast Asia, including historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists and geographers, and scholars with a broader interest in oral tradition and the relationship between the oral and written registers. 


Bugis and Makassar. Two short grammars – the first in the series South Sulawesi Studies from Karuda Press – is devoted to English translations from the Dutch originals of two short linguistic works on Bugis and Makasar, the major languages of the peninsula. The notes on AA Cense’s lecture on Makasar (almost certainly taken by JL Swellengrebel in circumstances explained in a later section) are sufficiently remarkable in their origin to justify publication both in facsimile and translation. J Noorduyn’s account of the Bugis language was based, as he gratefully acknowledges, on Cense’s field research in the 1930s. The result is a linguistic tour de force in precision, clarity and scope, despite its brevity.

Fertility, food and fever. Population, economy and environment in North and Central Sulawesi, 1600-1930 combines historical geography, historical demography and environmental history to examine the long-term relationships between population, economy and environment in the northern half of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Using a rich variety of Dutch historical sources, it attempts to reconstruct and analyse patterns of demographic, economic and landscape change through this large and ecologically diverse region over a period of almost three and a half centuries. Particular attention is given to the articulation between demographic and economic growth, to levels and determinants of reproductive fertility, to changing disease environments, and to the issue of agricultural sustainability and its preconditions. The results call into question some common views regarding the reasons for low population growth, and the relationship between population density and landscape change, in the Southeast Asian past.

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The chronicles of Gowa and Talloq are the most important historical sources for the study of pre-colonial Makassar. They have provided the basic framework and much of the information that we possess about the origins, growth, and expansion of Gowa during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this period Gowa and its close ally Talloq became the most powerful force in the eastern Indonesian archipelago, and historians have relied heavily on the chronicles to chart the developments of this period. Available for the first time in English translation, the two texts will offer historians and other scholars an invaluable foundation on which to base interpretations of this crucial place and time in Indonesian history.


Beginning in the 1630s, a series of annalists at the main courts of Makassar began keeping records with dated entries that recorded a wide variety of specific historical information about a wide variety of topics, including the births and deaths of notable individuals, the actions of rulers, the spread of Islam, trade and diplomacy, the built environment, ritual activity warefare, internal political struggles, social and kinship relations, eclipses and comets, and more. These Lontarat bilang were a clear departure in form and function from the genealogically-structured chronicles being composed about the ruling families of Gowa and Talloq in the same era. By the end of 1751, nearly 2400 entries had been completed. This is the first English translation and annotation of the annals.

Principled Pragmatism explores the nature of VOC diplomacy using the seventeenth century interaction between the United Dutch East India Company and the sultanate of Makassar on the western coast of South Sulawesi.

2005. And the Sun pursued the Moon: Symbolic knowledge and traditional authority among the Makassar.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 288 pp.

Over the course of a thousand years, from 600 to 1600 CE, the Java Sea was dominated by a ring of maritime kingdoms whose rulers engaged in long-distance raiding, trading, and marriage alliances with one another. And the Sun pursued the Moon explores the economic, political, and symbolic processes by which early Makasar communities were incorporated into this regional system. As successive empires like Srivijaya, Kediri, Majapahit, and Melaka gained hegemony over the region, they introduced different models of kingship in peripheral areas like the Makasar coast of South Sulawesi. As each successive model of royal power gained currency, it became embedded in local myth and ritual. By the time the kings of South Sulawesi converted to Islam at the beginning of the seventeenth century, at least six such models were present in the area. Islam introduced a whole new set of competing religious and political models, adding to the symbolic complexity of the area. To better understand the relationship between symbolic knowledge and traditional royal authority in Makas ar society, Thomas Gibson draws on a wide range of sources and academic disciplines. He shows how myth and ritual link practical forms of knowledge (boat-building, navigation, agriculture, warfare) to basic social categories such as gender and hereditary rank, as well as to environmental, celestial, and cosmological phenomena. He also shows how concrete historical agents have used this symbolic infrastructure to advance their own political and ideological purposes. Gibson concludes by situating this material in relation to Islam and to life-cycle rituals.