The nomadic tribe of Morowali, Sulawesi

The Morowali National Park is located on the eastern arm of Central Sulawesi. Established in 1980, this protected forest area contains a large intact primary forest. Towering mountains reach heights of 2600 metres, and within the park, there are natural lakes and swamp forests. 600 Wana families who follow their traditional lifestyle live in harmony with the land in Morowali National Park.

Deep in the heart of Central Sulawesi, the Morowali Nature Reserve is home to the indigenous Wana tribe, a people devoted to living life in harmony with the environment. These traditional land dwelling people of Morowali National Park, are true conservationists. Retaining their customs and tribal ways and roaming the forests of Sulawesi, they are a fine example of Indonesia’s rich living cultural diversity

The Wana tribe is an inland tribe in the Morowali forest, Central Sulawesi Province, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. This tribe is also called Tau Taa Wana which means “people who live in the forest”. However, they also like to call themselves Tau Taa, or “Taa people”. The Wana tribe speaks Taa.

The Wana or To Wana tribe is among the oldest tribes in Sulawesi, thought to be one of the first tribes to inhabit the mainland of Sulawesi, which has existed in Sulawesi thousands of years ago in the Mezolithicum era.

Before now inhabiting the Tokala Mountains region, the ancestors of the Wana people were thought to have originated from around the Gulf of Bone. Suku Wana, a native in the Wana Bulang area in the Morowali Regency area.

The word lipu is the vocabulary for the smallest social unit in the Wana tribe, which usually consists of several families, and on average all have blood relations (direct descent). Lots of lipu are scattered in the Tokala Mountains and even very difficult to get a certain amount.

Their settlements are generally found in Mamosolato, Petasia, and Soyojaya Subdistricts, and are also found in rural areas in Luwuk Banggai District. They live from forest products, shifting fields and hunting. Currently, the population of the Wana Tribe is estimated to be only hundreds of people in Morowali, Central Sulawesi.

How to get there:

  • By Air and Boat: Fly to Ternate.
  • By Air/land: Fly to Palu, Central Sulawesi.

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