331,000 (2000 census). 298,000 Tolaki (Konawe), 33,000 Mekongga and 200 Wiwirano. Asera and Laiwui not separately listed, but less than 1000.
South East Sulawesi Province, North Konawe, Konawe, South Konawe, Kolaka, and North Kolaka regencies; Mekongga district, west coast. Broad area from Point Kolono, southeast peninsula, extending northwest across plains up to highlands; along west coast, past Klaka town towards Bone bay narrows.
Asera (Asera Wanua, Noie), Konawe (Kendari, Kioki, Tambuoki), Laiwui, Mekongga (Bingkokak, Kolaka, Konio, Norio, Tamboki), Wiwirano (Nohina). Lexical similarity: 88% with Asera, 84% with Konawe, 85% with Mekongga, 81% with Laiwui, 78% with Waru, 70% with Rahambuu and Kodeoha, 54% with the Mori and Bungku groups. Mekongga has 86% with Konawe, 80% with Laiwui.
Vigorous in many villages. Some parents speak Indonesian [ind] to their children, and some children are not proficient in Tolaki.
Language names based on negative forms are no longer in use. Muslim, Christian.