ETHNONYMS: Gorontalo, Holontalo, Hulontalo

Numbering around 500,000, the six subgroups who comprise the Gorontalese occupy much of northwestern Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. The six subgroups are the Gorontalo, Suwawa, Limbotto, Bolango, Atinggola, and Boelemo. The languages spoken by the latter four groups have now disappeared, with only Gorontalo and Suwawa still spoken, although they are now being replaced by Bahasa Indonesia. The Gorontalese are swidden-rice farmers, growing both wet and dry rice supplemented by maize, yams, and millet. Coconut is grown commercially. Groups along the coast supplement farming by fishing.

Nearly all Gorontalese are Sunni Muslims, although many of their life-cycle ceremonies and religious beliefs have survived in syncretic form.


LeBar, Frank M. (1972). "Gorontalo." In Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Vol. 1, Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar, edited by Frank M. Lebar, 128-129. New Haven: HRAF Press.

Nur, S. R. (1984). "Gorontalese." In Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic Survey, edited by Richard V. Weekes, 290-294. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

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