It is a lush mountainous region of caves, waterfalls and large but shallow lakes.
The estimated 8.2 million inhabitants include Bugis (who makes two-thirds of the population), Makassarese and Toraja.
The southwest peninsula was divided into petty kingdoms. The most powerful are the Makassarese Kingdom of Gowa (around the point of Makassar) and the Bugis Kingdom of Bone.
Around 1530 Gowa started to expand and by the mid-16th century it had established itself as the head of a major trading bloc in Eastern Indonesia.
The King of Gowa adopted Islam in 1605 and between 1608 and 1611, the Kingdom of Gowa attacked and subdued Bone, spreading Islam to the whole Bugis-Makassarese area.
The Dutch sponsored Palakka’s return to Bone in 1666 prompting Bone and Soppeng to rise against the Makassarese. A year of fighting took place which lead to the signing of the Treaty of Bungaya in 1667. Bone, under Palakka then became the supreme state of South Sulawesi.