Sangirese people

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Sangirese people
Sangir / Sangihe
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een man van Sangir in koffo kleding TMnr 10005696.jpg
A Sangir man in koffo attire, 1929.
Total population
approx. 600,000 people
Regions with significant populations
North Sulawesi: 449,805
Gorontalo: 7,489
Mindanao: 8,000 - 108,000[2]
Related ethnic groups

Sangirese or Sangihe people are one of the native people to the Sangir Islands in the northern chain of islands in Sulawesi and the southern part of Mindanao. The Sangirese people are fishermen and nutmeg growers in their home areas and also work as wage labourers in industrial crops enterprises in Bolaang Mongondow Regency and Minahasa Regency.[3]

The Sangirese have traditionally been concentrated in the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia and the Region of Dávao in the Philippines.[2]


They speak their native Sangirese language, Talaud language and Indonesian language, as well as their dialects, which belong to the Austronesian languages family. While Sasahara language is a secret language spoken among Sangirese sailors or pirates.[4]


In the 16th century, the Ternatean people subdued the Sangirese people. They were also captured by the Spaniards and the Dutch who came later to occupy in 1677,[5] because of which the vocabulary borrowed from the Spanish language is still preserved in the Sangirese language.[6] Only in 1949 the Sangirese people were reunited with Indonesia.


The Sangirese people profess Protestantism, being at the same time strongly influenced by the Minahasan people.[7]

Lifestyle and economy

Sangir people are engaged in fishing, farming (the main crops are tubers, root crops, bananas, sago). The sources often mention the cultivation of taro culture, which was cultivated on the slopes of mountains and near rivers.[8] To protect the cultivated fruits like coconuts from thefts, residents from Sangir hung small dolls (in Sangirese language, urǒ), which, according to legend, will "pursue a thief".[9]

Forestry production (harvesting of rattan and ebony wood), blacksmithing and weaving were also widely spread. The economy is mainly characterized by manual labor. It is known that the main diet of Sangirese people is fish with vegetables.

The main centers of settlements of the Sangirese people are located in the coastal zones. Previously, their houses were erected on stilts, but gradually they are replaced by modern houses built like the typical Indonesian type.[10]

Institute of marriage

In the Sangirese society; which reached a high density by the 20th century, marriage is entered relatively late. Historically, the tradition of buying a bride as an important institution of public organization. Sometimes the ransom looked like whole plots.[11]

Notable people


  1. ^ Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2003. 
  2. ^ a b Mick Basa (9 March 2014). "The Indonesian Sangirs in Mindanao". Rappler. Retrieved 2017-12-25. 
  3. ^ University of British Columbia (1979). Sulawesi Regional Development Study: Final Report, Volumes 1-5. Department of Public Works, Directorate General of Housing, Building, Planning and Urban Development, Directorate of City and Regional Planning. 
  4. ^ John Kleinen & Manon Osseweijer (2010). Pirates, Ports, and Coasts in Asia: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-4279-07-2. 
  5. ^ Gavin W. Jones (1977). The population of North Sulawesi. Gadjah Mada University Press. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Shinzō Hayase (2007). Mindanao Ethnohistory Beyond Nations: Maguindanao, Sangir, and Bagobo Societies in East Maritime Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. p. 90. ISBN 97-155-0511-2. 
  7. ^ Shinzō Hayase (2007). Mindanao Ethnohistory Beyond Nations: Maguindanao, Sangir, and Bagobo Societies in East Maritime Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. p. 96. ISBN 97-155-0511-2. 
  8. ^ Peter Boomgaard (2003). "In the Shadow of Rice: Roots and Tubers in Indonesian History, 1500-1950". Agricultural History, Vol. 77, No. 4. p. 588. Retrieved 2017-12-25. 
  9. ^ Peacock Mabel Dozzils (1896). Joseph Jacobs; Alfred Trübner Nutt; Arthur Robinson Wright; William Crooke, eds. Folklore, Volume 7. Folklore Society. p. 399. 
  10. ^ C. van Dijk & J. Gelman Taylor (2011). Cleanliness and Culture: Indonesian Histories. BRILL. p. 96. ISBN 90-042-5361-0. 
  11. ^ Henley D (November 2006). "From low to high fertility in Sulawesi (Indonesia) during the colonial period: explaining the 'first fertility transition'". Population Studies (Camb), Vol. 60, No. 3. 60: 313. doi:10.1080/00324720600896130. PMID 17060056. 

External links

  • (in Indonesian) Suku Sangir, Sulawesi Utara

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