Buton Island and the Sultanate of Buton
To the southeast of the Sulawesi mainland, Buton Island remains part of Southeast Sulawesi Province. Long before the independence of Indonesia and the unification of Buton with the rest of the country, Buton was a kingdom. This existed from the 14th to the 16th centuries. After this, and until Indonesia's independence, it remained a Sultanate.
During the Sultanate period, the residents conducted trade and communicated with both China and Majapahit Kingdom, on Java Island. Interestingly, the first ruler who governed this region was a queen and the last ruler was a king. It was the last ruler, King Laki Laponto, who became the first Buton Sultan.
Buton Island is well known for its asphalt, called Buton or Butas Asphalt, and for its teak and ironwood. There is daily boat service from Kendari, with a stopover in Raha, the capital city of Muna Island.
The most fascinating culture appeal of Buton Island can be enjoyed when local people conduct ceremonies, celebrations and folk events, which welcome honored guest. One such unique event is "Pakande-kandea", when foods and cakes are offered to visitors and traditional dances are performed.
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