South East Sulawesi, The Natural Jungle Province
The South-eastern Peninsula and Buton group of island are inhabited by descendants of the Torajans and due of the strong influence of the Islamic Bone Kingdom most of the people in this part of Sulawesi are Muslim. Most of the land area of Southeast Sulawesi is covered by natural jungle, with extensive plantations of teak and ironwood, which are used for local handicraft and contribute to the local economy. For those who like challenging adventures and ecoutourism, come to Lambusango and Kakenauwe Protected Forest, Wakatobi Marine National Park, Basilika Islands.
A kingdom by the name of Konawe existed in this area in the 10th century. Soon, other kingdoms like Buton, Muna, Kemongga, Tiworo, Kalususu and Moronenen followed suit.
In the 16th century, Buton began spreading Islam. Buton learned from Ternate about spices, and began planting spices as well. Buton became a strategic place to seize, and Dutch wanted to colonize this place. Dutch managed to create a puppet kingdom in the name of Laiwoi, in spite of the heavy resistance from the locals. After Japan occupation, Dutch still wanted to seize this area but the people managed to defend their land.
Southeast Sulawesi then became a part of Indonesian in 1950, and became a separate province in 1964.
Sea food is the specialty here, and you can never go wrong with ikan bakar or roasted fish (unless you are allergic!). Pisang epe and pisang hijau, desserts made of banana, should be sampled as well.
Cuisine here generally tastes rather spicy. You should try sinonggi, a sago porridge served with clam and fish soup. Pokea or skewered clams with peanut sauce is also tasty, served with baked sticky rice and some kind of lontong, steamed rice in banana leaves.
For souvenirs and snacks you should try bagea, cookie that predominantly taste of ginger and cashew, perfect to be had with tea or coffee.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
There are five diverse cultural groups: The Tolaki, Morunene, Buton, Muna [locally called the Wuna], and the Bajo.
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