Celebes (Indonesian: Sulawesi), one of the Greater Sunda Islands of Indonesia. It lies east of Borneo and south of the Philippines, and is bounded by the Celebes, Molucca, Banda, and Flores seas and by Makassar Strait. The island is oddly shaped—four peninsulas extending from a central node. Its area is some 73,000 square miles (189,000 km2).

Virtually all of Celebes is mountainous, with several peaks attaining heights of 10,000 to 11,000 feet (3,000 to 3,300 m) above sea level. There are many swiftly flowing rivers and a few large mountain lakes. Lying on the Equator, Celebes has a humid tropical climate, marked by year-round high temperatures, except in the mountains. Rainfall is heavy, generally ranging from about 5O to 150 inches (1,270 to 3,810 mm) each year. Dense, tropical forests cover much of the island.

The people of Celebes are primarily farmers, many of whom live at a meager level. Major crops include rice, corn, coconuts, and coffee. Also important is fishing. Trading, handicraft industries, and light manufacturing are among the economic activities in the cities. Land transportation is poorly developed.

Nearly all of the island's inhabitants are of Malayan stock. The main ethnic groups include the Makassarese and Buginese of southwestern Celebes, both predominantly Islamic, and the Christian Minahasans of the north. Celebes has a population of about 14,946,488. The largest cities are Ujung Pandang, 1,121,300, and Manado, 413,000.

The first Europeans to visit Celebes were the Portuguese, early in the 1500's. More than a century later, the Dutch gained control of the island through the Dutch East India Company and began an almost uninterrupted 300-year-long rule. The Netherlands abolished the company in 1799, assuming its assets and debts. Celebes was occupied briefly by the British early in the 1800's and by the Japanese during World War II. In 1950 it became part of the Republic of Indonesia.

Beginning in 1971 Indonesia began a program of moving people from its heavily populated islands, such as Java and Bali, to its less populated islands, such as Celebes. By the mid-1990's this program, called transmigration, had met with opposition from the original population of Celebes.