Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 19 >> Military Surgery to Minnesota >> Minahassas

Minahassas

manado and tribes

MINAHASSAS, a medley of Malayan tribes of more or less savage type living in the province of Minahassa in northern Celebes. By some authorities this group of natives is called Alfuros, meaning wild, or half-savage. In language the Minahassas seem to belong to the Malay stock but physically they resemble the Tagals and other Philippine tribes. Some of them have a suggestion of Japanese char acteristics. They are supposed to have immi grated from the north into the island. The word Minahassa means "a country that has been formed by binding a number of territories into one." The original form was Nimahasa. The chief town is Manado, or Menado, pleasantly situated on the shores of a wide open bay of the same name. The population of Manado consists of a very small percentage of white Europeans, a number of half-castes com prising Chinese, Eurasians, Arabs, Christians, a few Mohammedan natives and the Bantiks, a race of Alfuros that still retains its old re ligion. The population of Manado is between

5,000 and 6,000. The exports are copra, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, rattan, spices (chiefly nutmeg) and ebony and other wood. After the arrival of the Dutch colonists, wars, assassinations and revolting savage customs disappeared and the people are now peaceful, industrious and law abiding. The change from a strict matriarchy to a strict patriarchy has, in many instances, taken place by the introduction of capture marriages. The change may be seen in opera tion in some of the Malay tribes at the present day. For a complete account of the history, manners and customs, mythology and industries of the Minahassas, consult Hickson, Sydney J., 'A Naturalist in North Celebes' (1889).