475,000 (2000 census).
Sulawesi Barat Province, Majene, Polewali Mandar, and Mamuju regencies. Main area near Cape Mandar and Majene city; 3 coastal enclaves north of Majene city; northernmost point of province, coastal area between Parangkayu and Simajo towns. Also, south Sulawesi Province, Pangkep regency, Pabbring islands near Makassar city, other areas.
Majene, Balanipa (Napo-Tinambung), Malunda, Pamboang, Sendana (Cenrana, Tjendana). A complex dialect grouping. May be more dialects than those listed. Balanipa and Sendana may each be more than 1 dialect. Balanipa is prestige dialect. Mandar, Mamuju [mqx], and Bambam [ptu] are separate languages in a language chain.