Minahasan: people inhabiting the northernmost extension of the island of Celebes, Indonesia, in and around the port town of Manado. Of Proto-Malay stock, the Minahasan, formerly headed by chiefs, are now organized patrilineally under headmen, and land is owned communally by each village. Extended families are bound to undivided estates that are apportioned according to the needs of each household. Class distinctions are no longer significant in community definition; members of a geographical area compose the basic political unit. Internally, the Minahasan are divided into societies, malpus, that provide reciprocal agricultural assistance. The Minahasan cultivate wet and dry rice, corn (maize), sago palms, coffee, tobacco, and cocoa. As a result of the influx of Portuguese Roman Catholic missionaries around 1850, the Minahasan are almost entirely Christian and most are well-educated. Some of the Minahasan hold low-level administrative posts on Java; a few are prosperous owners of coconut plantations. Their population was estimated at more than 1,000,000 in the late 20th century.
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