The raja of Achin, in northern Sumatra, is said to have been converted as early as 1206, while the Bugis people in Celebes are supposed not to have become Mahommedans until 1495.
The three most important peoples are the Bugis the Macassars and the Mandars.
The sparseness of the population throughout the Dutch territory is due to a variety of causes - to the physical character of the country, which for the most part restricts the area of population to the near neighbourhood of the rivers; to the low standard of civilization to which the majority of the natives have attained and the consequent disregard of sanitation and hygiene; to wars, piracy and head-hunting, the last of which has not even yet been effectually checked among some of the tribes of the interior; and to the aggression and oppressions in earlier times of Malayan, Arab and Bugis settlers.
The best cotton cloths are those manufactured by the Bugis people in Celebes, and the batek cloths which come from Java and are stamped with patterns.
The kris most prized by the Malays are those of Bugis (Celebes) manufacture, and of these the kind called tuasek are of the greatest value.
Accounts of the Malays, Dyaks and Bugis are given under their several headings, and some information concerning the Dusuns and Muruts will be found in the section below, which deals with British North Borneo.