People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Kulisusu in Indonesia


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Kulisusu in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
25,000 Kulisusu Islam 0.05 % 0.05 % No No   

Kulisusu in Indonesia

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Kulisusu people of Indonesia are located on the northeastern area of Buton Island, which is in the province of Southeast Sulawesi. The Kulisusu live on the narrow hilly peninsula which juts southward separating the Koro Bay on the west from the Banda Sea on the east, an area approximately 5 km in breadth and 20 km in length. Pressures created by an expanding population are currently being eased by the availability of new land (virgin forest), both along the north coast and in the mountains and foothills surrounding Koro Bay. Although little has been written about the Kulisusu, we know they have been settled in their present location for at least the past 400 years. While they have apparently always been a small people group, they enjoyed a period of independence in the early 17th century until their capital town was sacked by force from Ternate (in North Maluku province). Not long after that, Islam was introduced into the area. Thereafter, because of the continuing threat from Ternate, the Kulisusu found it best to ally themselves as a vassal state under the neighboring Wolio people, whose sultans ruled from the southern part of Buton island. The Kulisusu language is part of a larger linguistic grouping called the Eastern Bungku-Tolaki subfamily which also includes the Koroni, Bungku, Taloki, Bahonsai, Wawonii, Mori Moronene, Padoe, Tomadino, Kodeoha, Rahambuu, Tolaki and Waru languages.

What are their lives like?
Most Kulisusu families have their own farmlands and work together in cultivating the land. They primarily cultivate cassava, corn and rice along with assorted vegetables and fruits. In addition to personal consumption, produce is also sold in the markets and the Kulisusu are known for offering low prices. Some Kulisusu are traders who travel to other islands in and around Indonesia or work on merchant ships. Kulisusu who become government employees are respected by others, because of their prestige, high salary and opportunities to improve their lives. Northern Buton has recently become its own district, which has brought more government jobs to the area. Because of the strong extended families of the Kulisusu, each working adult will share at least a part of his/her salary with the larger family. Honesty and hard work are valued among the Kulisusu people and they have an extremely low crime rate.

What are their beliefs?
The Kulisusu are followers of Islam, which came into their area around the 17th century. The Islamic faith is expressed through activities such as circumcision, attending the mesjid (mosque) and fasting during the month of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan marks the beginning of unique Kulisusu celebrations. Despite their Islamic identity, their beliefs in Allah and the Qur'an (Islamic holy book) do not prevent them from having special celebrations to satisfy evil spirits, or going to a dukun (shaman) when they are sick or having difficulties.

What are their needs?
Because their land is rocky, they cannot grow easily marketable plants that are well known in other areas of Sulawesi. Inexpensive medical care and medicine are needed in rural areas. Because of financial obstacles and other factors, the Kulisusu only seek medical help in cases of emergency.

View Kulisusu in all countries.

Prayer Links
Pray for Sulawesi
  Submit Update:
Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Sulawesi Tenggara Province, North Buton regency, Kulisusu Utara, Kulisusu Induk, Kulisusu Barat, and Bonegunu subdistricts. Northernost Buton island.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Kulisusu
People Name General: Kulisusu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 105378
Joshua Project People ID: 12838
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 25,000
Population all Countries: 25,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Tukangbesi of Sulawesi
People Name General: Kulisusu
Ethnic Code: MSY44q
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Kulisusu (25,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): vkl    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.05 %(Evangelical: 0.05 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.95 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Kulisusu in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Tukangbesi of Sulawesi     Asia, Southeast    
      Kulisusu Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kulisusu in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kulisusu  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: