Lisela people

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Lisela people
Rana people
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Drie mannen van de Wal Pangat stam staan voor een offerhuisje Noord-Boeroe TMnr 10005704.jpg
Buru people in national costume, early 1900s.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (Buru): more than 11,000
Lisela language, Indonesian language
Islam (predominantly), Animism, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Buru people, Kayeli people

Lisela (Indonesian: Suku Lisela) or Rana people is an ethnic group mostly living on Indonesian island Buru, as well as on some other Maluku Islands. They belong to the eastern Indonesian anthropological group and are sometimes referred to as northern Buru people. From an ethnographic point of view, Lisela are similar to other indigenous peoples of Buru island. They speak Lisela language.[1]

The total number of Lisela people is about 13,000, of which more than 11,000 live on Buru and a few hundreds on Ambon Island. On Buru, Lisela peoples live quite compactly in a narrow strip of lowland along the northern coast and constitute the ethnic majority in this region, despite their fraction in the total population is only about 8%.[2][3] During the Dutch colonization in the first half of the 17th century, much of Lisela people had been relocated to the eastern part of Buru for working at the Dutch plantations; they later became part of Kayeli people.[4]

The nation speaks Lisela language, which belongs to the Central Maluku branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, a dialect tagalisa is distinguished within Lisela language. Most Lisela people also speak the official language of Indonesia, Indonesian or the Ambon dialect of Malay language (Melayu Ambon), which is a simplified Indonesian language with additions of the local lexicon.[1] The vast majority of Lisela people are Sunni Muslims with some remnant of the traditional local beliefs that sometimes result in unique syncretic cults and rituals. For example, wedding begins with selling the bride by her parents' house, in accordance with the traditional ritual minta bini and culminates with the collective Muslim prayer.[2]

Most Lisela people are engaged in farming rice, maize, sago, sweet potato and various spice, such as allspice, nutmeg and Eucalyptus tree used for aromatic oil. In the inland areas, they also hunt the wild pig Buru babirusa, deer and possum, and take part in tuna fishing on the coast. In the urban areas, the growing number of Lisela people take jobs in the industrial enterprises. Traditional Buru houses are made from bamboo, often on stilts. The roofs are covered with palm leaves or reeds, with tiles becoming progressively popular. National Buru costume is similar that of most other Indonesia peoples. Men wear sarong (a kind of kilt) and a long-skirted tunic, and women are dressed in sarong and a shorter jacket.[2]


  1. ^ a b Ethnologue: Languages of the World. "Lisela: A language of Indonesia (Maluku)". 
  2. ^ a b c "Buru Island 6 Tribes". Archived from the original on 2010-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Bengkalai Pasca Krisis" (in Indonesian). TEMPOinteraktif. 14 January 2005. 
  4. ^ Barbara Dix Grimes. Chapter 6. Mapping Buru: The Politics of Territory and Settlement on an Eastern Indonesian Island, in Sharing the Earth, Dividing the Land Territorial Categories and Institutions in the Austronesian World (PDF). Australian National University. 
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