Sulawesi Language Alliance

Championing Local Languages in the Heart of Indonesia

Translations from the Dutch

The series Sulang Language Data and Working Papers: Translations from the Dutch is published by Sulawesi Language Alliance. The aim of this series is to provide access to resources from the Dutch colonial area through translation of those resources into English and Indonesian. Our primary interest is in works that concern the people and languages of Sulawesi.

Translations in this series are working papers, and updated versions may be posted from time to time. To submit a paper for inclusion in this series, see our guidelines on how to submit a resource.


Papers in this series are posted as PDF files. PDF files can be viewed or printed using the free Adobe Reader.

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001 Cloth Money on Celebes
Description: Before people of central, eastern and southeastern Sulawesi knew a money economy, they used particular cloths as a means of payment. Owing to their diminished use and scarcity, however, these cloths become viewed as magic-working objects or as relics associated with the ancestors.
Year Published: 2010
Subject Language: Balantak, Bugis (Luwu), Mori Bawah, Pamona, Saluan, Wolio
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Albertus C. Kruyt, translated by David Mead
002 A Loinan Story
Description: This paper presents a short, 28-sentence Saluan folktale, ‘The Story of Tarsier and Monkey,’ with free translation and grammar notes.
Year Published: 2010
Subject Language: Saluan
Publication Language: English, Saluan
Contributors: by Emile Gobée, translated by David Mead
003 Riddles and the Dead
Description: Among the West Toraja of Central Celebes, posing riddles is associated not with the agricultural cycle (as among the East Toraja) but rather with wakes, the vigil held over a corpse before burial. The author relates the telling of riddles to other practices which are designed to keep the dead at a respectful distance away from the living and to help insure the success of crops.
Year Published: 2010
Subject Language: Bada, Kaili Da’a, Kaili Ledo, Moma, Pamona, Rampi, Uma
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Albertus C. Kruyt, translated by Gregory L. Acciaioli
004 Concerning the Ligature in Bare’e and Some Related Languages
Description: The element nu—sometimes reduced to a nasal m, n, ng, etc.—is often inserted between the two elements of a compound in Pamona (Bare’e). Adriani relates this nu to anu ‘thing,’ a form which in various languages also serves as a formative in independent possessive pronouns (‘mine,’ ‘yours,’ etc.), as an indefinite pronoun, as a relative pronoun, and as an interrogative pronoun. According to the author, nu also bears relationships to the so-called ligazones of Philippine languages, and even to the nasal coda of the Malayo-Polynesian transitive verb prefix. The element nu (or one of the nasal allomorphs) is usual in most Bare’e compounds; compounds without nu reflect an older stage of the language.
Year Published: 2010
Subject Language: Pamona, Tagalog, Visayan, Ibanag, Sangir
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Nicolaus Adriani, translated by David Mead
005 The ‘Gugutu no Momata’ or ‘The Human Intellect’ (a Suwawa Story)
Description: This paper presents a short (15-sentence) folktale in the Suwawa language of northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, with free translation and notes. Preceding the text, a brief paragraph introduces the Suwawa people.
Year Published: 2010
Subject Language: Suwawa
Publication Language: English, Suwawa
Contributors: by J. G. F. Riedel, translated by David Mead
006 Information about the Language of Mekongga
Description: The Genesis story of creation, recounted in the Mekongga dialect of Tolaki, isfollowed by an English translation and lexical and grammatical notes.
Year Published: 2015
Subject Language: Tolaki (Mekongga dialect)
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Hendrik van der Klift, edited by Nicolaus Adriani, translated by David Mead
007 Three Stories Originating from the To Lalaki
Description: Three folktales from the Tolaki area of southeastern Sulawesi, Indonesia, are retold in English.
Year Published: 2013
Subject Language: Tolaki
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by F. Treffers, translated by David Mead
008 The Languages of the Togian Islands
Description: In this paper Adriani clarifies the language situation of the Togian Islands in the Gulf of Tomini, Celebes (Sulawesi), and presents sketches of three languages found there: Bobongko, Bajo (Bajau), and the Togian subdialect of the Ampana dialect of Bare’e (Pamona). Topics include phonology (the sound system and phenomena such as stress, contraction, nasalization and paragogic vowels), morphology (affixes), certain word classes with closed membership (pronouns, deictics, numerals), and finally his thoughts concerning the etymologies of selected words. For Ampana Adriani discusses the practice of taboo word replacement and presents two folktales and four riddles representing the Togian subdialect.
Year Published: 2014
Subject Language: Bobongko, Indonesian Bajau, Pamona (Ampana dialect)
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Nicolaus Adriani, translated by David Mead
009 Introduction to "Guide to the Study of the Ledo Language"
Description: In 1934 the linguist Samuel J. Esser published a guide to learning Ledo Kaili, at that time one of the principal linga francas of Central Celebes (Sulawesi), Indonesia. His guide, Handleiding voor de Beoefening der Ledo-taal, comprised three sections: an introduction (pages 1–25) followed by Ledo texts with translation and grammar notes (pages 26–50), and finally an extensive Dutch-Ledo lexicon arranged alphabetically according to the Dutch (pages 51–90). In this work we present the 25-page introduction in its English translation.
Year Published: 2015
Subject Language: Ledo Kaili
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by Samuel J. Esser, translated by Anneke de Vries with David Mead
010 Napu Stories, with Translation and Notes
Description: In the article the author presents three short folktales in Napu, a Badaic language of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Two of the stories concern the death of the mythic figure Buriro, while the third is the tale of a man who accidentally killed his wife. Each story is accompanied by an English translation and notes.
Year Published: 2015
Subject Language: Napu
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by P. ten Kate, edited by Nicolaus Adriani, translated by Anneke de Vries
011 The Numerals in Napu
Description: In this paper the author describes the numerals of Napu, a Badaic language of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Beginning with cardinal numbers and their use with classifiers and measure words, he continues with a discussion of the derivation and use of ordinal numerals, iterative numerals, and distributive numerals. He concludes with indefinite numerals. On each topic the author supplies his reader with numerous examples.
Year Published: 2015
Subject Language: Napu
Publication Language: English
Contributors: by J. W. Wesseldijk, edited by Nicolaus Adriani, translated by Anneke de Vries and David Mead
012 The To Rongkong in Central Celebes
Description: In the second decade of the twentieth century, the inhabitants of the upper Rongkong valley (in present-day South Sulawesi Province) had not yet converted to Islam. In this paper the author and anthropologist, Albertus Kruyt, reports information that he gleaned during a brief stay among them. His findings touch on various topics including geography, past migrations, village social structure, house construction, agricultural ceremonies, headhunting, taboos, crime and punishment, marriage, childbirth, sickness, and death and burial.
Year Published: 2017
Subject Language: Tae' (Luwu'-Rongkong)
Publication Language: English
Contributors: Albertus C. Kruyt, translated by Leonardus Geerlings
013 The Bajo
Description: After becoming intrigued with the Bajo (Bajau) during an expedition to North Borneo in 1879, the author describes what he learned about these people during his travels through the Indonesian Archipelago over the subsequent two years. His paper is also partly review of the meager literature that existed on the Bajo up to that time.
Year Published: 2017
Subject Language: Indonesian Bajau
Publication Language: English
Contributors: F. H. van Verschuer, translated by David Wilkinson
014 Facts about Bambam (1936)
Description: In this brief article the author describes the respective duties of the topakada and the tomakaka, two traditional functionaries in the Bambam area of western Sulawesi, Indonesia. The author also gives an historical account of the people who filled these positions, both prior to and following the establishment of Dutch colonial administration over Bambam in the early twentieth century.
Year Published: 2017
Subject Language: Bambam, Aralle-Tabulahan
Publication Language: English
Contributors: Pieter Cornelis Smit, translated by René van den Berg

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