In the old times, pre-Islamic period, the position of bissu is the adviser or the king. Their main rule is to lead any spiritual and sacred ceremonies, to take care the kingdom heritages artifacts, and to heal the sick ones. In this current time, these functions are taken away from them. With the influences of religion, governance, and modern way of life, the bissu can not perform their roles in the community. Interestingly, some small clusters in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, still preserve these community groups.
As the most numerous of the three major ethnic groups in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Bugis society recognizes five genders groups, i.e. makkunrai (women), oroane (men), calabai (men who look like women), calalai (women who look like men), and bissu. The term of bissu is usually generated with divergent theories regarding the definitive origins of gender transcendent and as a all aspects of genders combined to form a whole.
Additionally as creature who acts as liaison between the king, man, and gods in the days of empire, bissu also associated sacred. The old language of Bugis, bissu is referred as holy man who is not menstruating (because even as they are women and men), or bleeding (because their bodies can not be penetrated by any metal or tin). And they are called as sacred because they play function as priest.
Despite the decreasing numbers of bissu in South Sulawesi, there is one community who still exist. Since the death of previous puang matoa (the highest leader of bissu community), Puang Saidi, there was no succession. And after several years, in 2017, the new leader had been elected by the board members of traditional adat. Puang Nani was the new puang matoa.
In this inaugural ceremony, the bissu community in Pangkep District perform their sacred dance in arajang (the palace). This ceremony is one of others that bissu community usually perform, rice planting rituals, chants recording, drumming, and ceremonies central to the life of the bissu priests. One of the ceremony that always held is mappalili in the early growing season or around the month of November.