The Napu homeland is the upland Napu valley (1000 m elevation) near the headwaters of the Lariang River.
Napu is the northernmost of the three so-called Badaic languages; the other two, Behoa and Bada, are spoken in consecutive downstream valleys. From a purely lexicostatistical viewpoint, Napu, Behoa and Bada could be considered dialects of a single language. However, they are geographically and sociolinguistically distinct, and on this basis are best treated as separate languages (see discussion in Martens 1989:24–30).
According to demographic data provided by Hanna (2004:2), in the year 2000 the Napu valley was home to approximately ten thousand inhabitants, of whom six thousand were native Napu, three thousand Bugis immigrants, and one thousand other immigrants. In addition to the Napu living in the homeland district (6,100), there may be another six hundred or so living outside the area, primarily in population centers such as Palu and Poso (Hanna 2004:1).
For an overview of recent immigration to the Napu valley, see Abdulkadir-Sunito (2004:92–94).
Abdulkadir-Sunito, Melani. 2004. Orang kampong and pendatang: Analysis of demographic structure and migration in two forest-margin villages, Central Sulawesi. Land use, nature conservation and the stability of rainforest margins in Southeast Asia, edited by Gerhard Gerold, Michael Fremerey and Edi Guhardja, 89–104. Berlin: Springer.
Hanna, Roger. 2004. An introduction to the grammar of Napu. Unpublished typescript.
Martens, Michael P. 1989a. The Badaic languages of Central Sulawesi. Studies in Sulawesi linguistics, part 1 (NUSA Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other Languages in Indonesia, 31), edited by James N. Sneddon, 19–53. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v31-p19-54.pdf (accessed January 29, 2014).]