Mongondow people

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Mongondow people
Bolaang Mongondow
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Vergadering van de P.I.K.A.T. (Pertjintaan Iboe Kepada Anak Toeroen-toemoeroen) een vrouwen-vereniging uit Manado. Hier de afdeling Mongondow Bolaangmongondow Noord-Celebes TMnr 10000761.jpg
A group of Mongondow women in North Sulawesi, pre-1943.
Total population
230.000 (2000) [1]
Regions with significant populations
North Sulawesi
Mongondow language, Manado Malay, Kaidipang language, Lolak language, Ponosakan language, Bolango language, Bintauna language, Indonesian language
Islam 69% ; Protestantism 20% ; Roman Catholicism 10% ; Hinduism [2]
Related ethnic groups
Gorontaloan people, Minahasan people, Sangirese people, Talaud, Visayans

The Mongondow or Bolaang Mongondow people are an ethnic group native to the north-eastern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The Mongondows are predominantly Muslim. They have traditionally been concentrated in the provinces of North Sulawesi and Gorontalo. This ethnic group used to be united by a single entity, the Kingdom of Bolaang Mongondow, which became the western regencies of North Sulawesi after the Indonesian independence.


The name Bolaang originated from the word Bolango or Balangon which means Sea. Bolaang or Golaang could also means "Bright" or "Exposed and Undark", while Mongondow originated from Momondow which means "Cries of Victory".[3]


The beginnings to the 8th and 9th century

The people of Mongondow believed that their ancestors originate from the offspring of Gumalangit and Tendeduata, as well as from Tumotoiboko and Tumotoibokat that were living on Mount Komasan, in today's Bintauna, North Bolaang Mongondow Regency. The descendants of both of their offspring later became the Mongondow people. The population of the Mongondows grew and spread beyond their native region such as Tudu in Lombagin, Buntalo, Pondoli’, Ginolantungan, Tudu in Passi, Tudu in Lolayan, Tudu in Sia’, Tudu in Bumbungon, Mahag, Siniow and so forth. The source of income for the Mongondows in those days include hunting, fishing, processing of sago, and harvesting of tuber in the jungle. In short, they have yet to learn farming in those days.[4]


The Mongondow people are made up of several sub-ethnicity that resides in North Sulawesi and Gorontalo such as:-

  • Bolaang Mongondow people
  • Bolaang Uki people
  • Kaidipang Besar people
  • Bintauna people
  • Buhang people
  • Korompot people
  • Mokodompis people


The everyday Mongondow folk uses Mongondow language, Bolango language and Bintauna language on a daily basis. Linguistically, these languages belong to the Greater Central Philippine languages branch; alongside the Gorontalo language, Minahasan language and Sangir language of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Mongondow people also uses Manado Malay as a form of communication with the rest of the other North Sulawesi people.[5]

Geographical redelineation

The region of the Bolaang Mongondow covers 50.3% of the area of North Sulawesi[6] so much so that the Bolaang Mongondow government together with the community leaders, customary leaders and religious leaders had agreed to divide the region with the full support of the Bolaang Mongondow regent, the then Marlina Moha Siahaan.[7]

With the full support of every community as well as the local Bolaang Mongondow government, the committee of the regional division managed to convince the central government and the Parliament that the Bolaang Mongondow region has officially divided into five regencies, namely:


  1. ^ Ethnologue
  2. ^ Pekabaran Injil di Sulawesi Utara
  3. ^ Sejarah Bolaang Mongondow
  4. ^
  5. ^ William Frawley (2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: AAVE-Esperanto. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 01-951-3977-1. 
  6. ^ Dini Ayu (2015). Hayatun Nufus, ed. Cerita Rakyat Nusantara 34 Provinsi. WahyuMedia. ISBN 9786023780228. 
  7. ^ Rine Araro, ed. (5 May 2011). "Marlina Moha : Saya Akan Fokus Mengatur Keluarga". Tribun Manado. Retrieved 2017-05-20. 
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