The Bahonsuai live in the southeastern corner of Central Sulawesi Province in a single village of the same name. For the location of Bahonsuai village, see the sketch map in Mead and Mead (1991:135).
The Bahonsuai are an offshoot of the Mori Bawah people (Mead 1999:53). Although it is unknown when the Bahonsuai left the Mori area, they were already located in their present location when the Dutch civil servant O. H. Goedhart made his report concerning the Bungku area (1908:516), and they have at any rate been there long enough for their language to diverge from Mori and converge with Bungku.
On a visit in 1989 it was estimated that there were around 200 speakers of Bahonsuai, or said another way, only about a third of the population of Bahonsuai village (the other inhabitants at that time being immigrants from Buton Island) (Mead and Mead 1991:139; Mead 1999:54).
Goedhart, O. H. 1908. Drie landschappen in Celebes. Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 50:442–549.
Mead, David E. 1999. The Bungku-Tolaki languages of south-eastern Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Pacific Linguistics, D-91.) Canberra: Australian National University.
Mead, David; and Melanie Mead. 1991. Survey of the Pamona dialects of Kecamatan Bungku Tengah. UNHAS-SIL: More Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1987–1991 (Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures, 11), edited by Timothy Friberg, 121–142. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.