The Lindu are a small people group of interior Central Sulawesi living in the vicinity of Lake Lindu. In 1982, this isolated highland lake and the plain surrounding it were placed entirely within the borders of Lore Lindu National Park. Access to this inhabited enclave was by foot or on horse until 2001, when the trail was improved to allow motorcycle traffic. The language spoken by these people is sometimes referred to as Tado, after the local word for ‘no.’
Lindu is closely related to the Moma (also called Kulawi) language to its west, although they are separated geographically by a mountain divide and are located in different watersheds. Esser considered Lindu and Moma to be dialects, but at the same time listed several historical sound changes which separate them (for example Lindu retains s, mb and nd, which shifted to h, m and n in Moma) (Adriani and Esser 1939:vii). Martens (1989) calculates Lindu and Moma to be 82% lexically similar in basic vocabulary, but nonetheless treat them as separate languages.
Population and Immigration
Indonesian census figures for the year 2000 report an ethnic population of 2,400 Lindu. As Acciaioli has documented in a series of articles (e.g. 1989, 1998), beginning in the 1950s Bugis immigrants began settling in the Lindu plain, eventually gaining economic dominance over the original Lindu inhabitants.
Acciaioli, Gregory L. 1989. Searching for good fortune: The making of a Bugis shore community at Lake Lindu, Central Sulawesi. PhD dissertation, Australian National University.
Acciaioli, Gregory L. 1998. Bugis entrepreneurialism and resource use: Structure and practice. Antropologi Indonesia: Majalah Antropologi Sosial dan Budaya Indonesia 22(57):81–91.
Adriani, N. and S. J. Esser. 1939. Koelawische Taalstudiën, Deel I: Overzicht der Spraakkunst, Gesprekken en Verhalen met Vertaling. Bandoeng: Nix.
Martens, Michael P. 1989. Proto Kaili-Pamona: Reconstruction of the protolanguage of a language subgroup in Sulawesi. Unpublished typescript.