Beranda Opini English "Manu" in History and Culture of South Sulawesi

“Manu” in History and Culture of South Sulawesi

Massaung Manu'. (foto: kissayam)
Massaung Manu’. (foto: ist/palontaraq)

By: M. Farid W Makkulau

Related Post:  Perjanjian dalam Sejarah Sulawesi Selatan

PALONTARAQ.ID – THIS  word, Manu ‘(in Bugis Languange) or Jangang (in Makassar Languange) meaning chicken, is a very close word in the life of Bugis Makassar people. Cultural Reasearcher, Gilbert Hamonic mentions that botanical culture thick with chicken mythology. If you get a balanced discussion then this word can be very coloring of history traveling and Culture of South Sulawesi.

When I told the five history students from Hasanuddin University who came to visit to my house, they laughed as if they did not believe what he had just heard. They seem to forget that King of Gowa XVI, I Mallombasi Daeng Mattawang Sultan Hasanuddin, dubbed “Haaantjes van het Oosten” meaning “Rooster from the East” and the symbol of the university where they lecture is a picture of a chicken.

Bugis Makassar community in addition to making chicken as a pet cattle also make it as an animal complaint. Due to the familiarity with this chicken by always paying attention to the physical signs, the feathers and the sound of the crow, the Bugis Makassar has the belief, the hunch, the address or the sign of this chicken:

1) When the hen hits under the house, then it is a sign that the owner of the house will be a guest.

2) When the hen is clucking at night, then it’s a sign that a relative is going to die. This chicken is called “Manu ‘patula-tula” and therefore must be slaughtered, should not be allowed to lay eggs because it can bring bad luck or woe.

3) When the chicken uses a crest (simpolong), then it is a sign that the chicken is not well maintained because it can bring bad luck.

4) When the chicken is gray (kawu) then the chicken is also not good to be maintained because it is considered sorokau (chicken unlucky).

5) When the rooster crows like voicing ‘keep me’ (makkau) then the chicken is good to be maintained because it is considered the carrier of sustenance.

In the Book of La Galigo is told that the main character in the epic mitik, Sawerigading, his favorite chicken. In the past, people were not called tobarani (brave) if they did not have the habit of drinking wine (angnginung ballo), gambling (abbotoro ‘), and masses of manu’ (cockfighting), and to express the courage of the person, usually compared or associated with most roosters brave in his village, such as “Bulengna Mangasa, Korona Mannongkoki, Barumbunna Pa’la’lakkang, Buluarana Teko, Campagana Ilagaruda (Galesong), Bakka Lolona Sawitto, and so forth.

The most important thing that has not been revealed in history books is the fact that the beginning of the conflict and the war between the two superpowers, the western peninsula ruler and the eastern peninsula of South Sulawesi, the Kingdom of Gowa and Bone begins with “Massaung Manu”. (Manu Bakkana Bone Vs Jangang Ejana Gowa).

* * *

In 1562, King of Gowa X, I Mariogau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung Tunipalangga Ulaweng (1548-1565) made an official visit to the Kingdom of Bone and was greeted as a guest of the country. 

The arrival of the guest of the country was enlivened by ‘masung manu’ event. By King of Gowa, Daeng Bonto invites King of Bone La Tenrirawe Bongkange ‘bet in the cockfight. The King of Gowa stakes are 100 gold katie, while King Bone himself stakes the entire Panyula (a village).

The cockfighting between the two rulers of the eastern and western peninsions is not an ordinary cockfight, but a match of supernatural powers and charisma. As a result, a red Gowa cockerel (in Makassar Languange= Jangang Ejana Gowa) was killed by a Bone chicken (In Bugis Languange= Manu Bakkana Bone).

The death of cocks of King of  Gowa is a phenomenon of defeat of the supernatural powers of King Gowa by King Bone, so King of  Gowa Daeng Bonto felt stricken and embarrassed. This tragedy is seen as a series of events by the Kingdom of Gowa.

On the other hand, the victory of Manu Bakkana Bone placed the Bone Empire in a strong psychological position against the small empire that lies around it.

The positive impact, shortly after the cockfighting event, is that the small kingdoms around Bone Kingdom declare themselves to join with or without military pressure, such as Ajang Ale, Awo, Teko, and Tellu Limpoe country. The incident shows how great the psychological influence of ‘Massaung Manu’ is so that became the base of conflict and war Bone Vs Gowa.

The joining of Tellu Limpoe became a wanua palili of Bone Kingdom which was previously a wanua palili of the Kingdom of Gowa was made excuses by Gowa launched its first military attack on Bone in 1562. In the following year, a second military strike followed with a larger army, the third and fourth military offensives were resumed in 1565.

King of Gowa XI, I Tajibarani Daeng Marumpa Karaeng Data Tunibata who only ascended the throne for 20 days was killed in this battle. In every Gowa military incursion into Bone, Gowa never conquered Bone so it always ends with a Peace treaty, but Gowa always breaks the deal and still awaits a good chance to conquer Bone.

In 1575, the fifth military attack was launched until Bone was completely defeated and conquered during the reign of King of Gowa I Mangerangi Daeng Manrabia Sultan Alauddin Tumenanga ri Gaukanna in 1611.

The history of the conflict and the Gowa War Vone Bone is interesting to be observed because of the end of Bone conquest by Gowa Kingdom, the reason for the war that Sultan Alauddin used was the reason “Bundu Kasallangan” or “Musu Sellenge”, ie fighting a kingdom to convert to Islam.

While in the palace of Bone, assume that what is done by Gowa Kingdom is a violation of the sovereignty of the state over other countries so that every war must be rewarded with war.

Behind the day, for this is what triggered the revival of the spirit of Arung Palakka to deceive Bone (State of Bugis) over the colonization of Gowa, especially after the deployment of about 40,000 forced labor of Bone Soppeng peoples built the Makassar Fortresses. (Makkulau, 2008).


Chickens (Rooster) are a symbol of masculinity. It is a symbolic animal as well as betting the prestige of men. Perhaps if a parable is taken, it is not called a man today if he does not like the ball and if not, he is not a man if he does not love the cockfighting. It’s just that there is now a shift in perspective, nothing is dijudikan.

Chipped cockfight, Football is dumped. So naturally if the cockfighting and football is now a serious concern the police. Whereas before, cockfighting even became a very interesting spectacle, including the nobles and kings.

Is Ustadz Hattab, a former employee of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Pangkep who at all times took a stop at home after sending his wife to teach at a school that is also not far from home, revealing that the actual cockfighting—as well as Ma’barazanji—is a means of socializing to know many people and many villages.

Former chicken (penyabung) admitted that he knew many people and often invited out into the village because the famous sabungannya chicken could turn off other cocks with just one jump.

The tradition of cockfighting turned out to not only belong to the Bugis Makassar Culture. In Toraja Sa’dang, a cockfighting tradition known as paramisi, usually held as a series of grief in a family. 

For Toraja people, chicken is a symbol of the sky. In Kajang, there is a tradition called pabitte passapu ‘, which pitted a headband that had been knotted like a chicken. The headband will fight like a chicken. This of course occurs because of the mystical and supernatural forces to move the headband into a ‘living’. (***)


About the Author:
Etta Adil is the pen name of M. Farid W Makkulau, an observer of South Sulawesi culture, wrote a book:  History and Culture of Pangkep, History of the Kingdom in Pangkep, Man of Bissu, and others. Authors can be contacted via email: or

Penulis Palontaraq
M. Farid W Makkulau, pemerhati budaya dan penikmat sejarah. Kerap kali menggunakan nama pena Etta Adil saat menulis reportase, karya fiksi dan laporan perjalanan. Pernah menggeluti 10 tahun dunia jurnalistik, sebelum memutuskan mengisolasi diri di lingkungan sekolah islam sebagai seorang guru Selengkapnya


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