BISSU, Guardians of the Ancient Bugis Tradition

Jakarta (Indonesia Mandiri) – In the Nusantara (Indonesia), several cultures have already recognized the third gender, even up to the fourth or fifth gender, and this actually makes it a local wisdom of this nation.

One of them is Bugis Culture, which recognizes the Bissu group, which is a non-gender priest.  Within Bugis society itself, Bissu take on the gender roles of male and female and act as a link between the human world and the world of the gods.

 The Bugis are known to have 5 genders, namely:
 • Oroane (male)
 • Makunrai (female)
 • Calalai (women who look like men)
 • Calabai (men who look like women)
 • And the Bissu (priest)

Gender is regulated in different ways among different cultures.  Some cultures have more than two genders and people can traverse freely between the male and female genders.  This is seen as a connection between the spirit or soul with the physical world. (FMawero)

 Photo: Special
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