The Buginese people are an ethnic group - the most numerous of the three major linguistic and ethnic groups of South Sulawesi, in the southwestern province of Sulawesi, third largest island of Indonesia. The Austronesian ancestors of the Buginese people settled on Sulawesi around 2500 B.C.E. There is "historical linguistic evidence of some late Holocene immigration of Austronesian speakers to South Sulawesi from Taiwan" - which means that the Buginese have "possible ultimate ancestry in South China", and that as a result of this immigration, "there was an infusion of an exogenous population from China or Taiwan." Migration from South China by some of the paternal ancestors of the Buginese is also supported by studies of Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups. The Bugis in 1605 converted to Islam from Animism. Some Buginese have retain their pre-Islamic belief called Tolotang, and some Bugis converted to Christianity by means of marriage; but they have remained a minority.
Although many Buginese people live in the large port cities of Makassar and Parepare, the majority are farmers who grow wet rice on the lowland plains to the north and west of the town of Maros. The name Bugis is an exonym which represents an older form of the name; (To) Ugi is the endonym.