The Rampi homeland an upland valley drained by the Leboni and Rampi rivers, which join and flow northward into the Lariang. From this location—at an altitude of 1000 meters and just inside the northern reaches of the province of South Sulawesi—it is a day’s hike northward to Bada, two days southwest to Seko, or three days southeast to Masamba on the Gulf of Bone. For the location of villages in the Rampi homeland area, see the map in Laskowske (1987:2).
Population and Emigration
Despite the area’s isolation, or perhaps because of it, the Rampi area was invaded by forces of the Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia (DI/TII) during a period of civil strife known locally as the Gerombolan. In 1952 and 1953, many Rampi fled northward to Central Sulawesi. Even after peace was restored some fourteen years later, only a portion of the Rampi returned to their homeland area, and one area—Rato, lying eastward toward Pamona—was never resettled. Of the estimated 10,000 Rampi today (Youn‑shim Im 2006:pers.comm.), perhaps only a fifth live in the homeland area, while the rest live in scattered locations in both Central and South Sulawesi provinces (Christensen 1991:2–3).
Following Salzner (1960:14), three dialects have sometimes been recognized: Rampi, Leboni and Rato (see e.g. Lewis 2009:447). What is overlooked in this view, however, is that in Salzner’s sources Rampi, Leboni and Rato were three geographic areas lying roughly west to east—see for example Kruyt’s (1920) Schetskaart van Midden-Celebes—and dialectal variation across this area was more assumed rather than proved. Because of disruptions caused by the Gerombolan, we may never have adequate information on the pre–World War II dialect situation. A language survey conducted in 1983 indicated only minor west-to-east dialect chaining from Rampi through Leboni, and identified the village of Bangko as the clear cultural center of the Rampi people (Laskowske 1987:7). The variety spoken in Bangko (Rampi watershed) and in nearby Dodolo (Leboni watershed) is highest in prestige (Christensen 1991:7).
Christensen, Pirkko. 1991 Tinjauan sosiolinguistik masyarakat Rampi. Unpublished typescript, 7 pp.
Kruyt, Alb. C. [ca. 1920]. Schetskaart van Midden-Celebes. Map, in color on four leaves, scale 1:200,000. [s.l.]: [s.n.]. [Digital reprint available in the online Map Room (Dutch Colonial Maps) of the Royal Tropical Institute, http://www.kit.nl/.]
Laskowske, Thomas V. 1987. Rampi area (Kabupaten Luwu). UNHAS-SIL South Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1983–1987 (Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures, 5), edited by Timothy Friberg, 1–8. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the world, 16th edition. Dallas: SIL International.
Salzner, Richard. 1960. Sprachenatlas des indopazifischen raumes. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.