Lontara Script: A Cultural Heritage of Bugis and Makassar Communities


Motif Name


Founded by Tribe

Bugis and makasar tribe

Associated Event

No specific association with an event


The Lontara script is a development of the Kawi script which already existed in the archipelago around the 8th century.

Common Origin State(s)

South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia


The Lontara script is an ancient script that holds immense cultural and historical significance for the Bugis and Makassar communities in Indonesia. Its roots can be traced back to the Kawi script, showcasing a rich development of written language and culture in the archipelago.


Key Points about Lontara Script

Ancient Script

The Lontara script is an ancient script primarily associated with the Bugis and Makassar communities of Indonesia. It is believed to have originated from the Kawi script around the 8th century.


Cultural Importance

The Lontara script is deeply ingrained in the culture, identity, and heritage of the Bugis and Makassar people. It has been a crucial part of their written tradition and has preserved their historical, religious, and societal knowledge.


Development from Kawi Script

The Lontara script is a development of the Kawi script, which was prevalent in the archipelago during the 8th century. It showcases the evolution and adaptation of writing systems in the region.


Unique Characteristics

Lontara is unique due to its distinctive arrangement of characters. It is typically written from left to right in horizontal lines. Each character represents a syllable, and there are characters for consonants, vowels, and final consonants.


Usage and Preservation

The Lontara script has been traditionally used to record various aspects of Bugis and Makassar life, including their history, laws, folklore, and religious teachings. Efforts are being made to preserve and promote this script to maintain the cultural heritage it represents.


Ceremonial and Official Use

The Lontara script is often used in official and ceremonial contexts. It is utilized in various rituals, traditional ceremonies, religious texts, and formal documentation.


Cultural Significance and Artistic Expression

The Lontara script is a remarkable testament to the cultural and artistic expression of the Bugis and Makassar communities. It not only serves as a tool for written communication but also embodies the rich history, wisdom, and creativity of these communities.


Preservation and Promotion

Efforts are being made to preserve and promote the Lontara script, including educational initiatives, cultural programs, and the integration of Lontara in academic and literary works. By doing so, the Bugis and Makassar communities aim to ensure that this invaluable script and its cultural heritage endure for generations to come.



The Lontara script stands as a significant cultural and historical legacy of the Bugis and Makassar communities, showcasing the ancient roots and evolution of written language in the Indonesian archipelago. Its unique characteristics and cultural importance make it an invaluable treasure, warranting continued preservation and celebration.

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