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Bissu priests of the Bugis

Matthes, Benjamin Frederik Over de Bissoe's of heidensche priesters en priesteressen der Boeginezen. Amsterdam C.G. Van der Post for the Royal Academy of Arts & Sciences 1872
First edition. 4to (28.5 x 23.5 cm), pp.[ii], 50, [1], [1, blank], 4 large folding plates, all with contemporary hand colour. Text in Dutch. In original printed wrappers, with a few small stains. Spine crudely repaired. Occasional spotting to text, plates in very good condition.
Not in Bastin, Nineteenth century prints and illustrated books of Indonesia. COPAC records two copies only, both at the British Library.

An essay on the bissu priests of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, who recognise five distinct genders, including that of the bissu, by the prominent Dutch ethnologist and linguist Benjamin Frederick Matthes (1818-1908). His essay outlines the roles played by the bissu in Bugis society, the terminology associated with them, and their historical origins, as well as the way their societal roles interacted with Islam. The plates depict the ritual and costume items of the bissu, whose personal dress mixes articles associated both with men and women.