Luwu in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Luwu only in Indonesia







Largest Religion

Main Language


Profile Source: Indonesian Peoples Network, 2011

Introduction / History

The Luwu live in the Luwu and North Luwu regencies in the province of South Sulawesi. Their primary domicile is near the Kalaena River. In the Pangkep regency, there is a cave named Supang Bita, which is reputed to be the home of Luwu's ancestors who lived over 5,000 years ago. On the wall of Sumpang Bita there is an old drawing of the palm of a man's hand, the sole of a man's foot, a boat, a deer and a wild boar. It is thought that these elements show the former lifestyle of the Luwu people. Ancient artifacts from 300-100 B.C. have been discovered in the Tomatua Kaciacang cave. Other archeological sites in the area include Bole Batu cave (in the Barebo District) and Pattae cave (in Turikale Distict). The Luwu are historically considered one people group. The Kingdom of Luwu (also Luwuq or Wareq) is the oldest Kingdom in South Sulawesi. Residents living in the territory of the former Kingdon of Luwu consider themselves Luwu people.

What are Their Lives Like?

The Luwu generally live as farmers. Besides planting rice, they also grow corn, peanuts, chili peppers, cassava and potatoes. They also grow coffee and cloves for trading. Some Luwu gather snails, eels and small fish from the irrigated rice fields that are not yet planted. Most farmers use water buffalo to plow their rice fields. The Luwu are well known in the area for their houses and rice barns, which are decorated with complex carvings. Many houses also have large statues of wealthy Luwu nobles. Luwu villages are fairly small and either located on hills or spread along a plain. These villages consist of extended families, with four to six families living together in one house. They stress the importance of diligence, respecting their elders and putting the needs of the family before the needs of the individual. Luwu parents and older relatives sometimes arrange marriages, but today most young people are given permission to choose a spouse themselves. After marriage, the new couple may choose to live with either the husband's or the wife's family. An unusual form of adoption is frequent among the Luwu. They believe that family bonds can be broadened and made stronger by allowing relatives or friends to adopt their children. The children end up being raised by both their original parents and their adoptive parents.

What are Their Beliefs?

In 1605, Luwu's ruler, La Patiwareq, Daeng Pareqbung became the first South Sulawesi ruler to embrace Islam. Since that time, all the Luwu have followed Sunni Islam. Despite this history, all sorts of animistic practices influence their culture. Among the Luwu, burial is an extremely important event. They believe that this ceremony enables the deceased person to leave the world of the living and continue the journey to the hereafter. Their burial ceremony varies in length and complexity, depending on one's wealth and status.

What are Their Needs?

The Luwu need to be introduced to modern farming of a more practical and productive nature to replace their traditional methods. They also need training to improve crop production for increased revenue.

Profile Source: Indonesian Peoples Network, 2011 Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission

People Name General Luwu
People Name in Country Luwu
Population in Indonesia 311,000
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Bugi-Makassar of Sulawesi
People Name General Luwu
Ethnic Code MSY44
Country Indonesia
Continent Asia
Region Southeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country South Sulawesi, Kabupaten Luwu from Larompong District through Sabbang, and scattered pockets. Rongkong in Luwu District, southeast Limbong and Sabbang subdistricts. Also an enclave in Wasuponda, Nuha subdistrict near Soroako town. Toala' from foothills t
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tae': Northeast Luwu (311,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tae': Northeast Luwu 311,000
Category Resource
Largest Religion Islam
0.40%    ( Evangelical  0.05% )
Ethnic Religions
Other / Small
Christian Segments
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source: IPN - Indonesian People Network © Copyrighted Used with permission
Map Source: IPN - Indonesian People Network © Copyrighted
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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