Five Genders in Bugis Society in South Sulawesi

five genders – Did you know? For thousands of years, people in South Sulawesi. Especially Bugis and Makassar, have recognized five genders.

The term Gender here is different from gender. If we talk about gender, there are only two, namely men and women.

In contrast to the meaning of gender in South Sulawesi. Gender in South Sulawesi refers more to the meaning of division of labor. Curious? Let’s look at the following explanation.

Uroane / orowane / bura’ne

Is a term for men. Biologically they are born male and have masculine attitudes, like men in general.

For those who have a family, they are also considered to be fully responsible for working and providing for their families.


This is a term for women. In the Bugis tribe, the position of women is highly valued and is considered the dignity of the family.


The term for people who are born with the anatomy of the male body. However, in their daily lives they behave as women. Even so, they didn’t think of themselves as women. People still think of them as men.

This gender has its own duties, for example in preparing for a wedding. Not infrequently, they will act as the mother of the bride who will determine whether the bride and groom will last. This is only done in a traditional wedding ritual procession.


Is a term for those who are born with the biological condition of women. However, in his daily life, he takes on the role, job, and function of a man. It can be said, that calalai is the opposite of calabai.

Although they dress and behave like men, uniquely, they never expect to be men. People also think they are.


Gender is considered from a mix of all existing genders. A bissu, will not highlight masculine or feminine traits. Then, not attracted to men or women.

This refers to one of the ancient philosophies of the Bugis tribe.

“A perfect human being is a human who has an element of womanhood and manhood, in a balanced and fair manner”

Not infrequently, they are also considered as holy people, chosen people, leaders, or spiritual figures.

In the life of indigenous peoples, they have an important role and an honorable position.

Those are the five genders that are known and recognized by the Bugis and Makassar tribes.

Source: hancau

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