Bughis, Or Bugis, a people of the Malay archipelago, whose chief seat is in the S. W. peninsula of Celebes, in the territories of Boni and Waju. The Bughis traders are the chief carriers and factors of the Indian seas, and are engaged in the tripang, pearl, and other fisheries. Barbosa, in 1815, describes the Bughis and their neighbors, the Macassars, as ferocious pirates and eannibals. The Macassars afterward overpowered the Bughis, and forced them to embrace Mohammedanism. Wallace, in 1857, describes them as peaceable, orderly, and well-behaved. They have domesticated the horse, ox, buffalo, and sheep; cultivate cotton, and manufacture it into cloths; are skilful workers in iron and copper, and build substantial houses and durable sailing vessels; use charts and the compass, have framed a calendar, dividing the solar year as we do, and have reduced their language to a written form, with an alphabet different from that of their neighbors. Their government is an oligarchy or elective monarchy. The state of Boni is composed of 7 principalities, and that of Waju of 40. In both states the sovereign is elected by the nobles, and from the patrician class, females being eligible, and usually preferred; the vote in choosing a ruler must be unanimous; the sovereign only holds power during good behavior, and may be deposed by an adverse majority vote in council.
The people pay no taxes, except a small tribute of three days' labor, or an equivalent, to the sovereign; and there are no imposts on trade. The princes derive their revenue from their own estates.
The Tuwaju or Waju tribes are esteemed as decidedly superior in many respects to their brethren of Boni. Large communities of these people have within the present century been formed in Borneo, in Sumatra, in portions of Celebes distant from the parent country, and in many small islands of the archipelago. The native entrepot of Bonirati is one of their settlements. In Singapore they form a separate and nourishing community. They have not been encouraged by the Dutch to establish settlements in their possessions.