The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a tribe that once lived in the southwestern mountains of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. By the early 20th century, the tribe was reduced to approximately 100 individuals. Their language has not been studied.

The Toala are the descendants of the ancient pre-Mongoloid inhabitants of the Malay Archipelago; anthropologically, they are similar to the Vedda, being of small stature with very dark skin and wavy hair. As hunters and gatherers, the Toala used typically paleolithic implements of stone and bone; they obtained metal articles from the neighboring Bugi through barter. They also raised Indian corn, using a digging stick as a primitive farming tool. They had no permanent dwellings, living in caves or in huts made of boughs and twigs. Bast loincloths were worn.

In the 1930’s the Toala were dispersed by relocation to the island’s valleys, and the remaining members of the tribe have been completely assimilated by the Bugi.


Sarasin, P., and F. Sarasin. Reisen in Celebes, vol. 2. Wiesbaden, 1905.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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