Buton, also Butung, Indonesian Pulau Buton, former Dutch spelling Boeton; is located in the Banda Sea, belonging to the province of South East Sulawesi, 4400 km ² large Indonesian island located in the southeast of Sulawesi. Its length is 150 km and its width is 60 km away.
Buton and the eastern neighboring island of Muna belong to a group of islands with an area of about 9600 km ², which is also called Buton and the also the westernmost island of Muna Kabaena and the north of Buton island located Wowoni be counted. The Buton Island is divided between the two administrative districts ( kabupaten ) Buton Utara and Buton.
Buton is composed of coral limestone, often mountainous, rising in the north to 1190 m island and dominated largely by tropical rainforest. In the east, the 50 km long and 30 km wide cuts Buton Bay in the island. Several narrow plains stretch along the coast. In the northeast, the coast is swampy. From December to May rainy season, with an average of more than 100 mm of rain falls per month. On the island there are two in front on Sulawesi and the islands endemic wild cattle species, the lowland anoa and the Mountain Anoa.
The capital of Bau-Bau is situated on the southwest coast of the island, has a population of 120,000 and has the major port Murhum. In addition, there are only villages. An important source of income is next to the wood and teak mining the asphalt production. For your own consumption of rice, corn and sago are grown, besides about coconut trees to sell copra can. In addition, sugar cane, tobacco and coffee are exported. The coast Inhabitants also fishing.
Buton the first time is mentioned in the 14th century in a Javanese poem called Nagarakretagama, which was written in the kingdom of Majapahit in 1365 and is also an important historic document. For the 14th to 16th century, the names are handed down by six kings of Buton, starting with the Queen Wa Kaa Kaa. The sixth king Lakilaponto took in 1542 the Islamic faith, the Kingdom was transformed into a sultanate and called himself since Sultan Murhum Kaimuddin Khalifatul Khamis. By 1550, the Sultanate came into the dependence of the kingdom of Ternate, it served as an important regional trade center. 1612 joined the local rulers signed a contract with Apollonius Scot, a captain of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). 1634 came Buton under the rule of Makassar, but were ousted in 1667 by the Dutch. These were now on the protecting power of the Sultan, who was regarded as her ally. The Sultanate also included neighboring islands such as Muna, Kabaena, the east Buton located Tukangbesi Islands and parts of South East Sulawesi. At that time there were four hierarchically graded classes of the population. The last Sultan Muhammad Falihi Kaimuddin died 1960.
The approximately 500,000 inhabitants are referred to as Butonese. They speak various Austronesian languages in addition to the official language, Indonesian and are mostly Sunni. In the traditional religion of ancestor worship had a great significance. The dead were buried in small grave hills on which elaborately carved grave pillars were erected, which served as a residence for the dead souls. In the southern part of the island, the language Cia - Cia is spoken by 79,000 residents.