According to the manuscript Lontarak I Babad La Lagaligo, Phinisi Boat existed around the 14th century AD According to the story, Pinisi Boat was first made by Sawerigading, Crown Prince of the Luwu Kingdom. The material to make the boat was taken from the famous Welengreng (Dewata tree) tree which is very sturdy and not easily fragile. However, before the tree is cut down, a special ceremony is first held so that the people are willing to move to another tree. Sawerigading made the boat to sail to China to woo the Chinese princess named We Cudai.
Long story short, Sawerigading managed to marry Princess We Cudai. After some time living in China, Sawerigading missed his hometown. Using his old boat, he sailed to Luwu. However, when the boat will enter the coast of Luwu, suddenly a big wave hit the boat until it broke. The pieces of the boat were stranded to 3 (three) places in the area of Bulukumba Regency, namely in the Villages of Ara, Tana Beru, and Lemo-lemo. By the people from the three villages, the boat parts were then reassembled into a magnificent boat and called the Phinisi Boat.
Until now, Bulukumba Regency is still known as a Pinisi Boat producer, where the craftsmen still maintain the tradition in making these boats, especially in Kelurahan Tana Beru. While at the Pinisi Boat Craft Center in Tana Beru, visitors will be amazed at the craftsmanship of their craftsmen in making Phinisi Boat. They are able to make boats that are very sturdy and majestic based only on experience and knowledge gained from their ancestors, without using pictures or written literature.