Archive for the INDONESIAN TRIBES Category

Punan Tribe of Kalimantan

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 3, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka


An elderly Punan man performing Bungan rites. Photo taken at Punan Sama
Total population 5,000 (Sarawak only)
Office website Punan.Net
Region Sarawak
Language Punan
Religion ChristianityAnimist
Related Ethnic Groups Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan’

Bah’ or Punan is an ethnic group found in SarawakMalaysia. They are distinct, unrelated to the Penan and also the other so called Punan found in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Their name stems from two rivers along the banks of which they have been living time immemorial. They do have other names – ‘Mikuang Bungulan’ or ‘Mikuang’ and ‘Aveang Buan’. But these terms are only used ritually these days.
The Punan (or Punan Bah) have never been nomad. In the old days they base their living on a mixed economy. Swidden agriculture with hill paddy as the main crop, supplemented by a range of tropical plants which include maniok, taro, sugar cane, tobacco, etc. Hunting especially wild boar, fishing, and gathering of forest resources are the other important factors in their economy.
However, in the late 1980s many Punan, notably the younger, more educated, gradually migrating to urban areas such as BintuluSibuKuching and Kuala Lumpur in search of better living. However that doesn’t they abandon their longhouses altogether. Many would still return home – especially during major festivities such as Harvest Festival / or Bungan festival as it is known among Punan.
Punan is a stratified society of ‘laja’ (aristocrats), ‘panyen’ (commoners), and ‘lipen’ (slaves). This is a fact determine their historical traditions that have been preserved. Just like most of the history of European Middle Ages is linked to and mainly concerned the various ruling monarchs, so are the historical and mythical traditions of Punan closely connected to their rulings aristocrats.
‘Are all Punan related tribes/ethnic?’ There is this popular misunderstanding that all the so called Punan on the island of Borneo are related and referring to the same tribe. In Sarawak there is the confusion between Punan and Penan. On the whole island of Borneo the term Punan have been indiscrimately use referring then an unknown tribes as such as Punan Busang, Penihing, Sajau Hovongan, Uheng Kareho, Merah, Aput, Tubu, Bukat, Ukit, Habongkot, Penyawung asPunan. Sadly this colonial naming system name stick until today. Hence, there are now more than 20 different tribes / ethnics found on the island of Borneo being called Punan. They are;



Punan Busang

Punan Penihing

Punan Batu

Punan Sajau

Punan Hovongan di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

Punan Uheng Kereho di Kapuas Hulu, Kalbar

Punan Murung di Murung Raya, Kalteng

Punan Aoheng (Suku Dayak Pnihing) di Kalimantan Timur

Punan Merah (Siau)

Punan Aput

Punan Merap

Punan Tubu

Punan Ukit/Bukitan

Dayak Bukat

Punan Habongkot

Punan Panyawung
These so called Punans are not related to the
Punan or Punan Bah as being described in this page.


Officially, as under the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance and Article 161A, Clause 6 of the Malaysia
Constitution”, Punan is group under Kajang together with Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan and Sihan.
Unoffically, they are also included in the politically coined term
Orang Ulu - popularized by a political association known as Orang Ulu National Association or (OUNA). The association is a Kayan and Kenyah dominated association which they established in 1969.


‘Where are the Punan to found?’ Punan are mostly found around
Bintulu, Sarawak. Punan peoples can only be found at Pandan, Jelalong and Kakus in Bintulu Division; along the Rajang River, their longhouses dotted areas spanning fromMerit District to lower Belaga town.
The Punan are believed to be one of the earliest peoples to have settled in the central part of Borneo, the Rajang River and
Balui areas together with the Sekapan, Kejaman and Lahanan. However the mass migrations of Kayans, subsequently followed by the warfaring Ibans into Rejang and Balui areas approximately some 200 years ago, forcing the Punan communities living in these areas retreating to Kakus and subsequently to Kemena basin.
As in year 2006, there were more than 10 Punan settlements (longhouses) found along the Rejang, Kakus, Kemena and Jelalong river. These settlements (longhouses) are:

Punan Lovuk Sama,

Punan Lovuk Ba,

Punan Lovuk Biau,

Punan Lovuk Meluyou,

Punan Lovuk Lirung Belang (name by Rumah Bilong before and now as known as Rumah Ado)

Punan Lovuk Mina,

Punan Lovuk Pedan (also Rumah Nyipa Tingang), and

Punan Lo’o Buong (Jelalong also known as Rumah Adi).
Total Punan population is estimated to be around 3000 – 5000 people.


Punan speak a language categorized as
Punan Bah-Biau, a sub Rajang-Sajau language. Although often confused for the Penan, Punan language is actually closer to the language spoken by the Sekapans and Kejamans but not the Penan.
Here some word spoken in Punan:

1. Nu denge? – How are you?

2. Nu ngaro no? – What is your name?

3. Piro umun no? – How old are you?

4. Tupu koman si – Do you have your lunch/diner/breakfast?


Punan traditional regilion was a form
animist known as “Besavik”. The Brooke era saw the arrival of Christianmissionaries, bringing education and modern medicine into Sarawak. But the Punan communities remain with their traditional religion of Besavik and subsequently adopting a cult religion – Bungan brought by Jok Apui, a Kenyah from Kalimantan.
However in the late 1990 show an increase in the number of Punan converting to Christianity. This is partly due to more and more Punan have became educated and modernization. As in 2006 almost half of Punan are now Christian, leaving only the elderly, less educated still remain observing “Bungan” religion.

The Punan have a unique burial custom. In the early days they did not bury their aristocrats or “lajar”. Instead they built a pole known as kelirieng of 50 meter high to lay down their beloved leaders. In Sarawak it is estimated to be less than 30 kelirieng left standing. The Punan still practice secondary burial ceremony – whereby the dead body is kept at their longhouse for at least 3 – 7 days. This is partly to give more time for far away relatives to give their last respect to the deceased.


Nicolaisen, IDA.1976. ”Form and Function of Punan Bah Ethno-historical Tradition” in Sarawak Museum Journal Vol XXIV No.45 (New Series). Kuching.

‘Punan National Association’.

‘Leigh, MICHEAL’. 2002. ”Mapping the People of Sarawak”. UNIMAS. Samarahan.

The Official Punan Community site

The Official Punan Community Blog

Punan Community Forum

Calvin Jemarang


‘Note:’ There is still lack of literatures on Punan peoples. Available information about these peoples were often sourced from either passing notes written by Brooke and Colonial administrators not in-depth scholarly research. The earliest? literature on Punan is probably one written by Eduardo Beccari, an Italian botanist and traveller in 1876?. In the late 1950s, Rodney Needham, Tom Harrisson, de Martinoir wrote a brief notes on Punan people they either personally met or heard from their guides along the Rajang river. Because of the lack of information many have confused them for Penan and also the Punan of Kalimantan. In Sarawak for example the Punan was wrongly classified as Penan by the National Registeration Department in the late 1990. They are also often confused for a politically coined term such as “Kajang” and “Orang Ulu”. As such the Punan through their association ‘Punan National Association’ is willing to collaborate with both foreign and local scholars who interested in doing social, economic research among the communities.


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Banjar Tribe of South Kalimantan

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 2, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka


Negeri Sambang Lihum

Almost original citizen of South Kalimantan is Banjar tribe which is consist of sub tribe, it is Maayan, Lawangan and Bukiat and also has interference with Malay, Java and Bugis tribe. The main identity which is shown is Banjar language as a general medium. New comer citizen is like Java, Malay, Madura and Bugis has come to South Kalimantan for a long time. Malay tribe comes since Sriwijaya Kingdom or as the trader who is staying there. Java tribe come in Majapahit Kingdom even before and Bugis people come and build Pagatan Kingdom in the past.

Maayan tribe, Lawangan, Bukit and Ngaju is influenced by Malay culture and Java. It is joined by Budhas’ Kingdom, Hindu and the last is Islam or From Banjar Kingdom, so it makes the Banjar tribe which speaks in Banjar language. Banjar kingdom in 16 and 17 century has a relation with Sultanate of Demak and Mataram. This Kingdom was not slipped away from strange country like Holland and England which is alternately come from Banjar’s anchorage.When there were a fight to Holland in 29 century, there are leader is like Sultan Hidayat and Prince Antasari dace Holland.

Tradition people of South Kalimantan especially Banjar tribe know a lot of tradition ceremony which is about human life, from the time that human is in uterus until the death. For example: there are prohibition for pregnant woman tradition, Babalas Bidan ceremony when the baby born is 40 days old and also give the name. Marriage ceremony which is consisting of some part, Sajaka Babasasulus is looking for the candidate wife data, Badatang is asking for the hand parents. Bantar Patalian is to give a set of goods or bride price, Qur’an and the top ceremony is Batatai bride or sit in stage, Last is Pemakanan Pengantin, Both of bride and groom go though the honeymoon for 7 days and 7 nights to eat and drink behind the close screen.

In Banjar people, they have developed the literature art and beautiful voice art which come from daily association. One of them is tease each other, sometimes they use poem and Pantun and ones, it is humor between the young generations. This tease in a long time had been changing to become a beautiful literature art until today. For example is aphorism.

Fine art, Banjar tribe knows about the beautiful embroidery and usually use as the equipment of ceremony carved art. In the building of house or mosque; they have carved object which is made by wood, also in equipment industry from brass, it is like place for Betel Vine, Cuspidor, Bokor, Kapit, Abun and soon. Cane work from Pandanus or rattan, generally doing by women to fill up their free time is increased in other territory.

To building art especially for house building, the Banjar people has had the high value of architecture, traditional house is like grand stand house with the highly roof. If you see from side of the house, it is like pyramid. This grand stand houses id different with other because we can know from social class of the owner. A long time ago that house is devided into some high people of group; it is like nobility, the leader of Muslim and trader. They have high Bebungan house which is known as Gajah Baliku, Palimasan Palimbangan, Gajak Manyusu, Balai Laki house and Balai bini house. In the other hand common house are Cacak Burung houses, Tadah Alas house, Gudang house or common cottage. Generally, the houses for common people have cross cubic shape or long cubic.


Traditional Architecture of Banjar People (South Kalimantan)

(Thanks to Ari)

Mar 4, ’08 3:07 AM
by Ari for everyone

The black color on the Banjarese house in both South Kalimantan and Banjarmasin’s coat of arms represent the high culture of Banjar people. As a Banjarese, it’s my duty to appreciate and promote our own heritage. So from now on I will try to write about our culture.

For the first article I choose to do an overview of Traditional Architecture of Banjar people, the reason is because I’ve written parts of the article about this specific matter in Wikipedia, so it’s easier for me. These types of houses could still be found in South Kalimantan, but unfortunately they are in a bad shape to say the least. Such a shame, because their existence resonates the glory of our past.

Not only we should preserve it for the sake of our heritage, but because this type of houses was built with great consideration and expertise. Traditional dwellings in Indonesia have developed to respond to natural environmental conditions, particularly Indonesia’s hot and wet monsoonal climate. Banjarese traditional vernacular homes are built on stilts. A raised floor serves a number of purposes: it allows breeze to moderate the hot tropical temperatures; it elevates the dwelling above stormwater runoff and mud; allows houses to be built on rivers and wetland margins; keeps people, goods and food from dampness and moisture; lifts living quarters above malaria-carrying mosquitos; and the house is much less affected by dry rot and termites. “Modern” houses which most Banjarese prefer nowadays don’t have that kind of sensibility.

Bubungan Tinggi:

Among the 4 Kalimantan provinces in Indonesia, South Kalimantan is the only one that depicts our traditional house in our province’s coat of arm. The house in those particular coat of arms is the one named as “Bubungan Tinggi”, the style of “kraton” (royal palace) with its signature 45ºsteep roof. In the days of our kingdom, this was the type of house that a royalty would live in (although in time this type of house were also built by commoners). The house is built with the philosophy of harmony between the upper world and the under world.

In time, Bubungan Tinggi became the symbol of Banjar culture that represents both palace and vernacular traditions. But there are other types of traditional house in Banjarese community other than Bubungan Tinggi. Fortunately, not many Banjarese know these types of house, but it’s already explained in old Banjarese poem:
Bubungan tinggi wadah raja-raja,
Palimasan wadah emas perak,
Balai laki wadah penggawa mantri,
balai bini wadah putri gusti-gusti,
Gajah manyusu wadah nanang-nanangan, raja-raja atau gusti nanang

Gajah Baliku: this particular style of house was intended for the closest relatives of the ruler.

Gajah Manyusu: the type of house of the nobles or “pagustian”, the ones who bore the title of “gusti”.

Balai Laki: the type of house for high officials such as the ministers.

Balai Bini: they type of house for the ladies of the court, such as women of nobility and nannies of the court.

Palimbangan: the type of house for high clerics and big merchants.

Palimasan (Rumah Gajah): this type of house was where gold, silver and other precious belongings kept.

Anjung Surung (Cacak Burung): This is the type of house of commoners. The shape of this house if seen from above is the shape of a cross(+), that is why it is also known as RumahCacak Burung

Anjung Surung (Cacak Burung): This is the type of house of commoners. The shape of this house if seen from above is the shape of a cross(+), that is why it is also known as RumahCacak Burung.
Rumah Lanting: raft house which floats

Tadah Alas: A development of the Balai Bini style.

Joglo Gudang: This type of house has the roof that is similar to Joglo (Javanese-style house),hence the name. While the name “Gudang” (which means “storehouse”) was given because the lower part of the house is usually used to store things. This feature makes this type of house is the preferred style of the Chinese-ethnicity who live in South Kalimantan.

Bangun Gudang: a type of traditional house in South Kalimantan.


Kenyah People – Kalimantan (Borneo)

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 1, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka


The Kenyah people are an indigenous, Austronesian-speaking people ofBorneo, living in the remote Baram (Lio Mato, Long Selaan, Long Moh, Long Mekaba, Long Jeeh, Long Belaong, Long San, Long Silat, Long Tungan and etc), Data Kakus, Data Surau,Sg. Senep, Long Dungan, Long Busang, Long Beyak, Bintulu, Miri, Sungai ASAP, Long Bulan, Long Jawe and Belaga regions in SarawakMalaysia and the remote Apau Kayan, Bahau (Bau), Benua Lama & Baru and Mahakam regions in East KalimantanIndonesia.

Kenyah Dance

Kenyah people are divided into various tribes including the Uma Bakah, Lepo Anan, Lepo Tau, Lepu Jalan, Lepo’ Tepu, Uma Kelap, Badeng (Jamok, Lepo Aga’), Bakung, Kayan, Penan, Lepu Kulit, Uma Alim, Uma Timai, Uma Lasan, Lepo Ma-ot, Sambop, Lepo Ke’, Lepo Ngao, Ngurek, Kiput, Long Ulai, Long Tikan, Long Sabatu, Lepo Ga, Lepo Dikan, and Lepo Pua

Kenyah people
Total population 45,000
Regions with significant populations BelagaBintuluMiriSarawakMalaysia and East KalimantanIndonesia
Language Kenyah
Religion ChristianityBungan

1. Culture and economy

The Kenyah people, traditionally being swidden agriculturalists and living inlong houses (uma dado’), is an umbrella term for over 40 sub-groups that mostly share common migration histories, customs and related dialects. Kenyah people lived in long houses in a small communities. Each long house consists of families who choose their own leader (headman). When they have any event or celebration such as harvest festival they will normally use the long house verandah (oseh bi’o) to gather and deliver speeches to guide their youngsters. Normally this harvest festival celebration (tau bio Ramay o o Ajau, pelepek uman) is a major festival because most of them are still farmers.

2. Religion

Almost all Kenyah people are Christian. Before they became Christian they believed in ‘Bungan Malan Peselong Luan’ (a traditional form of animism). But now there are only a small number of Kenyah people that still believe in Bungan. When they die they believe they go to Alo Malau (heaven) with theirancestors (tepun).

3. Population

Statistical figures, based on the Indonesian and Malaysian national censuses collected in 2000, recorded a total of 44,350 Kenyah people in East Kalimantan and 24,906 in Sarawak. [1]

4. Origins

The Usun Apau (aka Usun Apo) plateau(in the Peliran river valley) or Apo Kayan Highlands (a remote forested plateau in Malaysian and Indonesian border) in the present-day Indonesian province of East Kalimantan was the largest concentration site of Kenyah populations between the late 19th century to the early 1980s.

5. Languages

The Kenyah languages are a small family of Austronesian languages.

Borneo Dayak with the tattoed bodies

Kalimantan 127 Tribes

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 1, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

Kalimantan 127 Tribes :


Iban Tribe :

Iban people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iban girls.jpg 

Iban girls dressed in full Iban (women) attire during Gawai festivals in DebakBetong region,Sarawak

Total population 600,000 (Sarawak only)
Regions with significant populations SarawakBruneiWest Kalimantan
Language Iban
Religion Christianity
Related Ethnic Groups Kantu, Mualang, Semberuang, Bugau & Sebaru’

The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. In Malaysia, most Ibans are located in Sarawak, a small portion in Sabah and some in west Malaysia. They were formerly known during the colonial period by the British as Sea Dayaks. Ibans were renowned for practising headhunting and tribal/territorial expansion. In ancient times the Ibans were a strong and successful warring tribe in Borneo. They speak the Iban language.

Today, the days of headhunting and piracy are long gone and in has come the modern era of globalization and technology for the Ibans. The Iban population is concentrated inSarawakBrunei, and in the West Kalimantan region of Indonesia. They live inlonghouses called rumah panjai or rumah panjang [1]. Most of the Iban longhouses are equipped with modern facilities such as electricity and water supply and other facilities such as (tar sealed) roads, telephone lines and the internet. Younger Ibans are mostly found in urban areas and visit their hometowns during the holidays. The Ibans today are becoming increasingly urbanised while retaining most of their traditional heritage and culture.

Iban History

Main article: Iban history

The origin of the name Iban is a mystery, although many theories exist. During the British colonial era, the Ibans were called Sea Dayaks. Some believe that the word Ibanwas an ancient original Iban word for people or man. The modern-day Iban word forpeople or man is mensia, a totaly modified Malay loan word of the same meaning (manusia) of Sanskrit Root.

The Ibans were the original inhabitants of Borneo Island. Like the other Dayak tribes, they were originally farmers, hunters, and gatherers. Not much is known about Iban people before the arrival of the Western expeditions to Asia. Nothing was ever recorded by any voyagers about them.

The Ibans were unfortunately branded for being pioneers of headhunting. Headhunting among the Ibans is believed to have started when the lands occupied by the Ibans became over-populated. In those days, before the arrival of western civilization, intruding on lands belonging to other tribes resulted in death. Confrontation was the only way of survival.

In those days, the way of war was the only way that any Dayak tribe could achieve prosperity and fortune. Dayak warfare was brutal and bloody, to the point of ethnic cleansing. Many extinct tribes, such as the Seru and Bliun, are believed to have been assimilated or wiped out by the Ibans. Tribes like the Bukitan, who were the original inhabitants of Saribas, are believed to have been assimilated or forced northwards as far as Bintulu by the Ibans. The Ukits were also believed to have been nearly wiped out by the Ibans.

The Ibans started moving to areas in what is today’s Sarawak around the 15th century. After an initial phase of colonising and settling the river valleys, displacing or absorbing the local tribes, a phase of internecine warfare began. Local leaders were forced to resist the tax collectors of the sultans of Brunei. At the same time, Malay influence was felt, and Iban leaders began to be known by Malay titles such as Datu (Datuk)Nakhoda and Orang Kaya.

In later years, the Iban encountered the Bajau and Illanun, coming in galleys from the Philippines. These were seafaring tribes who came plundering throughout Borneo. However, the Ibans feared no tribe, and fought the Bajaus and Illanuns. One famous Iban legendary figure known as Lebor Menoa from Entanak, near modern-day Betong, fought and successfully defeated the Bajaus and Illanuns. It is likely that the Ibans learned seafaring skills from the Bajau and the Illanun, using these skills to plunder other tribes living in coastal areas, such as the Melanaus and the Selakos. This is evident with the existence of the seldom-used Iban boat with sail, called the bandung. This may also be one of the reasons James Brooke, who arrived in Sarawak around 1838, called the Ibans Sea Dayaks. For more than a century, the Ibans were known as Sea Dayaks to Westerners.

Religion, Culture and Festivals

File:Iban weaver.jpg

An Iban woman prepares cotton for spinning

The Ibans were traditionally animist, although the majority are now Christian, some of themMuslim and many continue to observe both Christian and traditional ceremonies, particularly during marriages or festivals.

Significant festivals include the rice harvesting festival Gawai Dayak, the main festival for the Ibans.Other festivals include the bird festival Gawai Burong and the spirit festival Gawai Antu. The Gawai Dayak festival is celebrated every year on the 1st of June, at the end of the harvest season, to worship the Lord Sempulang Gana. On this day, the Ibans get together to celebrate, often visiting each other. The Iban traditional dance, the ngajat, is performed accompanied by the taboh and gendang, the Ibans’ traditional music. Pua Kumbu, the Iban traditional cloth, is used to decorate houses. Tuak, which is originally made of rice, is a wine used to serve guests. Nowadays, there are various kinds of tuak, made with rice alternatives such as sugar caneginger and corn.

The Gawai Burong (the bird festival) is held in honour of the War God, Singalang Burong. The name Singalang Burong literally means “Singalang the Bird”. This festival is initiated by a notable individual from time to time and hosted by individual longhouses.

photo info:  top left: A young member of the Iban tribe.  top right: Two girls wait in costume for the festivities to begin. bottom left:  A friendly Dayak tribesman.  bottom right: Iban children play together outside their shared quarters.

The Gawai Burong originally honoured warriors, but during more peaceful times evolved into a healing ceremony. The recitation of pantun (traditional chants by poets) is a particularly important aspect of the festival.

For the majority of Ibans who are Christians, some Chrisitian festivals such as ChristmasGood FridayEaster, and other Christian festivals are also celebrated. Most Ibans are devout Christians and follow the Christian faith strictly.

Despite the difference in faiths, Ibans of different faiths do help each other during Gawais and Christmas. Differences in faith is never a problem in the Iban community. The Ibans believe in helping and having fun together.

File:Modern Iban Longhouse.JPG

A Modern Iban Longhouse in Kapit Division

Musical & Dancing Heritage

Main article: Agung

Iban music is percussion-oriented. The Iban have a musical heritage consisting of various types of agung ensembles – percussion ensembles composed of large hanging, suspended or held, bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drones without any accompanying melodic instrument. The typical Iban agung ensemble will include a set of engkerumungs (small agungs arranged together side by side and played like a xylophone), a tawak (the so-called ‘bass’), a bendai (which acts as a snare) and also a set of ketebung (a single sided drum/percussion).

The Iban as well as the Kayan also play an instrument resembling the flute called ‘Sapek’. The Sapek is the official musical instrument for the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is played similarly to the way rock guitarists playguitar solos, albeit a little slower, but not as slow as blues.[1][2] One example of Iban traditional music is the taboh.

The Ibans perform a unique dance called the ngajat. It serves many purposes depending on the occasion. During Gawais, it is used to entertain the people who in the olden days enjoy graceful ngajats as a form of entertainment. Iban men and women have different styles of ngajat. The ngajat involves a lot of precise body-turning movements. The ngajat for men is more aggressive and depicts a man going to war, or a bird flying (as a respect to the Iban god of war, Singalang Burong). The women’s form of ngajat consists of soft, graceful movements with very precise body turns. Each ngajat is accompanied by the taboh or the body.

File:Iban people of Betong.jpg

Iban people of Betong

Branches of the Iban People

Although Ibans generally speak a dialect which is mutually intelligible, they can be divided into different branches which are named after the geographical areas where they reside.

  • Majority of Ibans who live around the Lundu and Samarahan region are called Sebuyaus.
  • Ibans who settled in areas in Serian district (places like Kampung LeborKampung Tanah Mawang & others) are called Remuns. They may be the earliest Iban group to migrate to Sarawak.
  • Ibans who originated from Sri Aman area are called Balaus.
  • Ibans who come from BetongSaratok & parts of Sarikei are called Saribas.
  • The Lubok Antu Ibans are classed by anthropologists as Ulu Ai Ibans.
  • Ibans from Undup are called Undup Ibans. Their dialect is somewhat a cross between theUlu Ai dialect & the Balau dialect.
  • Ibans living in areas from Sarikei to Miri are called Rajang Ibans. They are the majority group of the Iban people. They can be found along the Rajang RiverSibuKapitBelaga,Kanowit, Song, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri. Their dialect is somewhat similar to the Ulu Ai dialect.

In West Kalimantan (Indonesia), Iban people are even more diverse. The KantuAir TabunSemberuangSebaru’BugauMualang & along with many other groups are classed as “Ibanic people” by anthropologists. They can be related to the Iban either by the dialect they speak or their customs, rituals & their way of life.



The Different Ethnic Tribes of Indonesia

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 1, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

The Different Ethnic Tribes of Indonesia
The info for the Tribes is collected from and
Thanks for this!
The number of languages listed for Indonesia is 737
Java Bali

Badui, Bali, Betawi, Javanese, Kangean, Madura, Osing, Petjo, Sunda, Tengger.


Ahe, Ampanang, Aoheng, Bahau, Bakumpai, Banjar, Basap, Bekati’, Benyadu’, Biatah Bolongan Bukar Sadong Bukat Bukitan Burusu Dayak, Land Djongkang, Dohoi Dusun Deyah, Dusun Malang, Dusun Witu Embaloh, Hovongan Iban Kahayan, Katingan Kayan, Mahakam Kayan, Busang Kayan, Kayan River Kayan, Mendalam Kayan, Wahau Kelabit, Kembayan, Kendayan ,Keninjal Kenyah, Bahau River Kenyah, Bakung Kenyah, Kayan River Kenyah, Kelinyau Kenyah, Mahakam Kenyah, Upper Baram Kenyah, Wahau Kereho-Uheng Kohin Lara’ Lawangan Lengilu Lundayeh Ma’anyan Malay, Berau Malay, Bukit Malay, Kota Bangun Kutai Malay, Tenggarong Kutai Malayic Dayak Modang Mualang Ngaju Nyadu Okolod Paku Punan Aput Punan Merah Punan Merap Punan Tubu Putoh Ribun Sa’ban Sajau Basap Sanggau Sara Seberuang Segai Selako Selungai Murut Semandang Sembakung Murut SiangTagal Murut Taman Tausug Tawoyan Tidong Tunjung


Abung Aceh Batak Alas-Kluet Batak Angkola Batak Dairi Batak Karo Batak Mandailing Batak Simalungun Batak Toba Bengkulu Enggano Enim Gayo Kaur Kayu Agung Kerinci Komering Krui Kubu Lampung Lematang Lembak Lintang Lom Loncong Lubu Malay Malay, Jambi Mentawai Minangkabau Muko-Muko Musi Nias Ogan Palembang Pasemah Pekal Penesak Pesisir, Southern Pubian Ranau Rawas Rejang Semendo Serawai Sikule Simeulue Sindang Kelingi Sungkai

Moluccas, Maluku

Alune Amahai Ambelau Aputai Asilulu Babar, North Babar, Southeast Banda Barakai Bati Batuley Benggoi Boano Bobot Buli Buru Dai Damar, East Damar, West Dawera-Daweloor Dobel Elpaputih Emplawas Fordata Galela Gamkonora Gane Gebe Geser-Gorom Gorap Haruku Hitu Horuru Hoti Huaulu Hukumina Hulung Ibu Ili’uun Imroing Kadai Kaibobo Kamarian Kao Karey Kayeli Kei Kisar Koba Kola Kompane Kur Laba Laha Larike-Wakasihu Latu Leti Liana-Seti Lisabata-Nuniali Lisela Lola Loloda Lorang Loun Luang Luhu Maba Makian, East Makian, West Malay, Ambonese Malay, Bacanese Malay, Banda Malay, North Moluccan Mangole Manipa Manombai Manusela Mariri Masela, Central Masela, East Masela, West Masiwang Modole Naka’ela Nila Nuaulu, North Nuaulu, South Nusa Laut Oirata Pagu Patani Paulohi Perai Piru Roma Sahu Salas Saleman Saparua Sawai Seit-Kaitetu Selaru Seluwasan Sepa Serili Serua Sula Tabaru Taliabu Talur Tarangan, East Tarangan, West Tela-Masbuar Teluti Teor Ternate Te’un Tidore Tobelo Tugun Tugutil Tulehu Ujir Waioli Watubela Wemale, North Wemale, South Yalahatan Yamdena .


Abui Adang Adonara Alor Amarasi Anakalangu Bilba Bima Blagar Bunak Dela-Oenale Dengka Dhao Ende Hamap Helong Ile Ape Kabola Kafoa Kamang Kambera Kedang Kelon Kemak Ke’o Kepo’ Kodi Komodo Kui Kula Lamaholot Lamalera Lamatuka Lamboya Lamma Laura Lembata, South Lembata, West Levuka Lewo Eleng Lewotobi Li’o Lole Malay, Kupang Mamboru Manggarai Nage Nedebang Ngad’a Ngad’a, Eastern Palu’e Rajong Rembong Retta Ringgou Riung Rongga Sabu Sasak Sawila Sika So’a Sumbawa Tereweng Termanu Tetun Tewa Tii Uab Meto Wae Rana Wanukaka Wejewa Wersing


Abinomn Abun Aghu Airoran Ambai Anasi Ansus Anus Arandai Arguni As Asmat, Casuarina Coast Asmat, Central Asmat, North Asmat, Yaosakor Atohwaim Auye Awbono Awera Awyi Awyu, Asue Awyu, Central Awyu, Edera Awyu, Jair Awyu, North Awyu, South Bagusa Baham Barapasi Bauzi Bayono Bedoanas Berik Betaf Biak Biga Biritai Bonerif Bonggo Burate Burmeso Burumakok Buruwai Busami Citak Citak, Tamnim Dabe Damal Dani, Lower Grand Valley Dani, Mid Grand Valley Dani, Upper Grand Valley Dani, Western Dao Dem Demisa Demta Dera Diuwe Doutai Dubu Duriankere Dusner Duvle Edopi Eipomek Ekari Elseng Emumu Eritai Erokwanas Fayu Foau Gresi Hatam Hupla Iau Iha Iha Based PidginIrarutu Iresim Isirawa Itik Iwur Kaburi Kais Kaiy Kalabra Kamberau Kamoro Kanum, Bädi Kanum, Ngkâlmpw Kanum, Smärky Kanum, Sota Kapori Karas Karon Dori Kaure Kauwera Kawe Kayagar Kayupulau Keder Kehu Kemberano Kembra Kemtuik Ketengban Ketum Kimaama Kimki Kirikiri Kofei Kokoda Kombai Komyandaret Konda Koneraw Kopkaka Korowai Korowai, North Korupun-Sela Kosadle Kowiai Kuri Kurudu Kwer Kwerba Kwerba Mamberamo Kwerisa Kwesten Legenyem Lepki Liki Maden Mai Brat Mairasi Maklew Mander Mandobo Atas Mandobo Bawah Manem Manikion Mapia Marau Maremgi Marind Marind, Bian Masimasi Massep Matbat Mawes Ma’ya Mekwei Meoswar Mer Meyah Mlap Moi Molof Mombum Momina Momuna Moni Mor Mor Moraid Morori Moskona Mpur Munggui Murkim Muyu, North Muyu, South Nafri Nakai Nalca Narau Ndom Nduga Ngalum Nggem Nimboran Ninggerum Nipsan Nisa Obokuitai Onin Onin Based Pidgin Ormu Orya Papasena Papuma Podena Pom Puragi Rasawa Riantana Roon Samarokena Saponi Sauri Sause Saweru Sawi Seget Sekar Semimi Sempan Senggi Sentani Sentani, Serui-Laut Sikaritai Silimo Skou Sobei Sowanda Suabo Tabla Taikat Tamagario Tanahmerah Tandia Tangko Tarpia Tause Taworta Tefaro Tehit Tobati Tofanma Towei Trimuris Tsakwambo Tunggare Una Uruangnirin Usku Wabo Waigeo Wakde Walak Wambon Wandamen Wanggom Wano Warembori Wares Waris Waritai Warkay-Bipim Waropen Wauyai Woi Wolani Woria Yafi Yahadian Yale, Kosarek Yali, Angguruk Yali, Ninia Yali, Pass Valley Yamna Yaqay Yarsun Yaur Yawa Yei Yelmek Yeretuar Yetfa Yoke


AndioAralle-Tabulahan Bada Bahonsuai Bajau, Indonesian Balaesang Balantak Bambam Banggai Bantik Baras Bentong Besoa Bintauna Boano Bobongko Bolango Bonerate Budong-Budong Bugis Bungku Buol Busoa Campalagian Cia-Cia Dakka Dampelas Dondo Duri Enrekang Gorontalo Kaidipang Kaili, Da’a Kaili, Ledo Kaili, Unde Kaimbulawa Kalao Kalumpang Kamaru Kioko Kodeoha Konjo, Coastal Konjo, Highland Koroni Kulisusu Kumbewaha Laiyolo Lasalimu Lauje Lemolang Liabuku Lindu Lolak Maiwa Makasar Malay, Makassar Malay, Manado Malimpung Mamasa Mamuju Mandar Moma Mongondow Mori Atas Mori Bawah Moronene Muna Napu Padoe Pamona Panasuan Pancana Pannei Pendau Ponosakan Rahambuu

Rampi Ratahan Saluan, Coastal Saluan, Kahumamahon Sangir Sarudu Sedoa Seko Padang Seko Tengah Selayar Suwawa Tae’ Taje Tajio Talaud Taloki Talondo’ Toala’ Tolaki Tomadino Tombelala Tombulu Tomini Tondano Tonsawang Tonsea Tontemboan Topoiyo Toraja-Sa’dan Totoli Tukang Besi North Tukang Besi South Ulumanda’ Uma Waru Wawonii Wolio Wotu.


Tribes Java & Bali

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on November 1, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

Tribes Java & Bali : 

Bawean Tribe 65.000

The Bawean homeland is a 200 square kilometer island 120 kilometers north of Surabaya (East Java) in the middle of the Java Sea. Bawean has been known as the “island of women” because the majority of its inhabitants are women. This is because the men tend to look for employment in other lands. A man from Tanjung Ori village who worked for 20 years in Malaysia said, “A Bawean male is not considered an adult until he has stepped on foreign soil.” Merantau (going to distant lands to seek success) is a major aspect of Baweanese culture, and it influences most every other facet of their society. A significant number of the Baweanese reside in Malaysia. In fact, the Baweanese population there far exceeds that found on the island itself, which numbers 60,000 inhabitants. Other areas of Baweanese migration include Singapore, where they are known as the Boyanese people, and Perth, Australia.
The culture of merantau creates some interesting dynamics for the Baweanese people. On one hand, their homeland is isolated and cut off from modern Indonesian life. On the other hand, they are very exposed to the world through their family members who migrate and then return to Bawean Although early settlers came from the island of Madura (as seen in the similarity of their lan-guages), over the centuries the Baweanese have developed their own unique culture. Influences are evident from Madura, Java, S. Sulawesi, Su-matra and Kalimantan. Because of this, a Kompas reporter Emmanuel Subangun wrote in 1976 that the Baweanese people are a “crystallization of In-donesian ethnic variety.”The main sources of income for those living and working on the island are farming and fishing. Apart from this, some residents make grass mats from palm leaf fiber as a local handicraft, own small shops, or harvest the high quality onyx which is found on the island, and ship it to Java or elsewhere in the world. Most of the income on the island however comes from the family members who live and work overseas and who send money back to their families on Bawean.
Originally the Baweanese embraced animistic beliefs. Then Hindu and Buddhist influences entered the island until the 1600’s when the Baweanese people converted to Islam. Their religious devotion is extremely strong and they pride themselves in the fact that 100% of the island’s inhabitants follow Islam. There are many mosques (mesjid), small Islamic prayer houses (musholla) and traditional Islamic schools (pesantrans) in every village. Boys and girls from six or seven years of age receive religious instruction including lessons in reciting the Qur’an, and sometimes live in the house of a kiai (Islamic teacher). Kiais are greatly respected by the Baweanese. 

Betawi Tribe 3.669.000 

Indonesia, tribes, Betawi, suku

Jakarta, Java. Alternate names: Batavi, Batawi, Betawi Malay, Jakarta Malay, Melayu Jakarte. Dialects: A Malay-based creole quite distinct from both standard Indonesian [ind] and from other Malay-based pidgins and creoles. It evolved by the mid-19th century. Unique phonological, morphological, and lexical traits. Also influences from Peranakan Indonesian [pea] and Bali [bcp]. Often not intelligible to Indonesian speakers not familiar with it (Allen 1989).
The Betawi are considered the original inhabitants of Jakarta. They are often called “Jakarta People, Batavi, Batawi, or Jakarte.” They originated from the mixture of peoples who arrived in Batavia (Jakarta’s historical name), and they have occupied the port city since the 15th century. The authentic Betawi people can be found in the outlying areas of Jakarta, such as in Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta, in Condet in East Jakarta, and the area of Kampung Sawah in Bekasi, West Jawa.
In the inner city, the Betawi live as traders, civil servants, laborers, craftsmen or private employees. In the outskirts of the city (such as Jagakarsa, Cirasas, Cilangkap) most Betawi have agricultural occupations as fruit growers, rice farmers, or fishermen. Their farmland is gradually decreasing because much of it is sold for housing developments, industry, and other modern uses. Consequently, the farmers are changing jobs for more urban occupations such as laborers, traders, and motorcycle taxi drivers.It is difficult for the Betawi to be separated from their family. If they are in their hometown and experiencing difficulty, they can request financial assistance from their family members. This situation sometimes gives the impression that they are less industrious in seeking a livelihood compared with outsiders. The formal educational level of this indigenous Jakarta population is usually rather low. Possibly, they have connected “school” with the Chinese or Dutch Colonists’ lifestyles, which they have rejected. This antipathy to public education is reinforced when Islamic teachers urge them to avoid government schools and instead study in Islamic schools (pesantren) and seminaries (madrasah).The Betawi also have special arts such as folk theatre (lenong), giant parade puppets parades (ondel-ondel), traditional brass music (tanjidor), masks (topeng), and puppet theatre (wayang golek). However, today the Betawi are rarely involved in the presentation of their own traditional arts.
Many Betawi orient their daily personal and communal lives toward Islamic ethics. An example of Islam’s influence is the following four principles that are followed by most Betawi. First, at every encounter they will use the Islamic greeting, Assalamualaikum, which is answered, Walaikumsalam. Second, they must perform the five daily compulsory prayer times. Third, a daughter must be married when she reaches the eligible age. Fourth, a guest must be served according to the full capability of the host.Their foundational philosophy is, “Blessings are for today. Tomorrow is tomorrow’s matter.” They believe that God will give blessings, but they also believe in the presence of spirits in places like trees, bridges, and graves. 

Indonesia, tribes, Betawi, suku

Bayumasan Tribe 5.478.000 

The Jawa Banyumasan live in the southwest part of the province of Central Jawa (Java), specifically in the regencies of Cilacap, Kebumen, Purworejo, Purbalingga, Banjarnegara, and Banyumas. The Jawa Banyumasan are one of the subgroups of the Jawa cluster of peoples, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples.The Jawa Banyumasan are often called the Jawa Mendhoan or Jawa Serayu. They are called this because one of their best-known foods is mendhoan tempe. This is prepared from tempe (fermented soybean cake) dipped in spiced batter and then fried until half-cooked. The name Serayu is sometimes used because the Serayu river runs through most of their area. They speak the Banyumasan dialect of the Jawa language. It is easier for the Jawa Banyumasan to understand conversations in most other Jawa dialects, since its dialect is so similar to the standard Ngoko dialect. However, other Jawa groups find it harder to understand the Banyumasan dialect due to the widespread use of specific Banyumasan vocabulary. Their use of ‘a’ rather than ‘o’ enables them to learn the national Indonesian language more quickly than other Jawa subgroups.
Most of the Jawa Banyumasan people make their living from farming, but compared to other Indonesian people groups, they are fairly advanced in this field. Besides having fertile land, they use the land well, even more so now that they have more modern equipment. The industrial sector is also experiencing rapid growth. An example is the development of Cilacap as an industrial city.Besides heavy industry, small industries are also growing well. Woven bamboo and brown sugar products are a mainstay of small industry. In addition to fulfilling the needs of the Jawa Banyumasan themselves, these commodities are sold in other areas.
The majority of the Jawa Banyumasan are Muslim. However, 80% of them are nominal Muslims (abangan). The other 20% are serious Muslims (santri) who strictly follow Islamic teachings and are faithful in worship. In addition, there are also some Jawa Banyumasan who follow animistic beliefs. They believe there are spirits that come from the unseen world. For example, they believe in spirits such as bujungan (shrouded ghosts, shaped like a corpse in burial cloth); jangkrong (shaped like a human skull); and dhemit (spirits that live at shrines). Places that are often considered sacred include graves, mountains, caves, and seas. Some of the Jawa Banyumasan still seek help from a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) if they are sick or bothered by spirits. They often hold ceremonial meals (selamatan) or ritual feasts (kenduri), which include use of mantras and offerings to spirits. The purpose is to protect their area from calamity.
Java Kangean Tribe 23.000
Madura Tribe 14.000.000
North coastal area of east Java, Sapudi Islands, Madura Island. Also in Singapore. Alternate names: Basa Mathura, Madhura, Madurese. Dialects: Bawean (Boyanese), Bangkalan (Bangkalon), Pamekesan (Pamekasan), Sampang, Sapudi, Sumenep. Dialect continuum. Reports differ about inherent intelligibility among dialects: some Sumenep and Sampang report they cannot understand Pamekasan or Sumenep. Difficult intelligibility with Kangean [kkv]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Kangean. 

The Madura people are the third largest people group in Indonesia. They make up 7% of the entire Indonesian population. Currently about four million Madura people still live on the island of Madura while another nine and half million live primarily on Jawa (Java). Other major pockets of Madura people can be found in Jakarta, Kalimantan. and Sulawesi. The Madura people are renowned for their harsh character and lifestyles. This is probably caused by their natural surroundings and their history of oppression by others, both of which make life very difficult for them. 

Nevertheless, their harsh temperament can be seen positively if one examines their work ethic. Most of them work extremely hard and refuse to give up. Both men and women do not shrink from hard work in order to meet basic needs.The Madura have their own language, Bahasa Madura (literally translated as Madura language) that includes several dialects. The Bangkalan dialect is used in the regencies of Bangkalan and Sampang. People employ the Pamekasan dialect in the southern portion of Pamekasan Regency and in the central part of Madura Island.

The Sumenep dialect is found in the Sumenep Regency. Furthermore, one finds the Girpapas and Kangean dialects used by smaller populations.
The majority of Madura living on the island reside in closely-knit farming communities. But very few Madura living on the island gain their only income from farming. The climate is very dry and the land is not very fertile and thus yields only two harvests of rice and tobacco each year. Also, many Madura are fishermen, salt farmers and sailors on boats carrying inter-island cargo. The Madura who live on Jawa generally do not own land, but become fishermen, sailors, businessmen and unskilled laborers. The Madura are also known across Indonesia for their sate (skewered meat kebabs) and soto (meat soup). According to tradition, the first step in Madura marriage customs is to seek a young lady for one’s son (nyalabar). The next step is taken by contacting the woman’s family (narabas pagar). If well received, the proposal leads to engagement.Among the Madura people, the family does not merely include close relatives, brothers, sisters and parents. They maintain large family structures called pon popon gik semak meaning that even pupu (distant ancestors) are still considered close. It does not matter if they are close relatives from the same grandparents or distant cousins.
The majority of Madura people are known for being very devout Sunni Muslims. Nevertheless, many Madura people seek security from the use of magic spells that are used in an attempt to control both good and evil spirits. Those who complete the five pillars of Islam by going on the Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) receive a special place of honor in the eyes of the people.

Mancanegar Tribe 12.246.000
The Jawa Mancanegari live primarily in the province of East Jawa (Java). The name, Mancanegari, is a Javanese word meaning “outside the nation”. This name was given to them by past Jawa Negarigung kingdoms in Surakarta and Yogyakarta and refers to the fact that they resided outside of their kingdoms.Jawa Mancanegari have a rich history of which they are very proud. Two ancient Hindu kingdoms in particular, the Kediri kingdom (11th-12th c. AD) and the Majapahit kingdom (14th-15th c. AD), illustrate this heritage. The combined influence of these kingdoms extended from Vietnam to New Guinea. Relics from these eras are found throughout Southeast Asia, but are especially prevalent in East Jawa. Even today, Kediri and Mojokerto are the centers of Jawa Mancanegari culture.
Jawa Mancanegari are primarily farmers. They have been blessed with extremely fertile land, much of which can support four crops per year. This is due both to the rich volcanic soil as well as to the many rivers and tributaries which crisscross their homeland. Rice is the predominant crop, however tobacco, soybean, and corn are also farmed.There is a growing industrial sector developing primarily in the major cities. Many people who feel they don’t have a future in the villages seek factory jobs in them. Some of the primary industries include textile, cigarette, steel, and furniture production.The Jawa Mancanegari are considered less “refined” than the other Jawa subgroups. However, they are known for their openness and straightforwardness, their “can do” attitude and their indomitable spirit. Many of Indonesia’s independence leaders including the first president were Jawa Mancanegari.Cultural events and ceremonies include the Reog and Kuda Lumping dances. During these dances, the dancer will go into a trance by inviting spirits to enter into his body in order to perform extraordinary acts. In the Kuda Lumping dance, the dancer dances around on a woven bamboo horse while eating glass, flowers, and grass. In the Reog Dance, the dancer wears a giant tiger-head mask decorated with peacock feathers that is 2 m. (6 ft.) tall and weighs about 45 kg. (100 lbs.)
The majority of Jawa Mancanegari call themselves Muslim. However, most mix Muslim beliefs with Hindu and Pre-Hindu beliefs. This mixture of beliefs is called Agami Jawi.Many Jawa Mancanegari learn to read the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) and vocalize prayers and Qur’an recitations in Arabic. However, they seldom understand the meaning of what they are reading or vocalizing. They often use the Islamic prayers as mantras and written verses from the Qur’an as good luck charms or to ward off evil spirits.Most Jawa Mancanegari, give sajian (offerings) to the Danyan (guardian spirit) which watches over the village in order to ensure the protection of their village, houses, and well-being.
Osing Tribe 524.000
East Java, east and northeast coast. Alternate names: Banyuwangi. Dialects: Related to East Javanese. 

The Jawa Osing reside in the Banyuwangi district in East Jawa Province and seem to be the original occupants of this eastern-most area of Jawa (Java). The Jawa Osing are part of the Jawa cluster of peoples, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples. Banyuwangi is a transit city for tourists who are en-route to Bali. It seems Banyuwangi was the capital city of the Hindu Blambangan Kingdom that was the last kingdom in Jawa. 

The Osing speak Ngoko Osing (Osing language). For other Jawa, this language is considered old fashioned and corrupted because of influence from the Madura language.
Family, housing, food, as well as social and health patterns of the Jawa Osing are very characteristic of the Jawa culture, but the Bali culture has also influenced them. An example is seen in the Janger dance. This dance has the theme of love, and is performed to the rhythm of the two-sided drum (kendang kempul). Their clothing is Jawa in style, but the wigs (sanggul) used resemble that of the Bali people. Many of the Jawa Osing people make their living by farming, raising livestock, and trade. In addition, there are also some who work as local government officials or private employees.

They never experience water shortages because they live on the slopes of the Ijen-Merapi volcano.The Jawa Osing take great care and highly value preserving their relationships with relatives, whether they are near or far. Good relationships with others are also maintained through mutual sharing and giving, as well as trying to understand other people’s feelings and abilities. This practice is summarized as tepo seliro, which means not doing something one would not want done to one’s self. The Jawa Osing are known as hospitable and well mannered people. Their culture, which is under governmental protection, has become popular and interesting to tourists. The government wishes to preserve and utilize the unique beliefs and culture of the people. This has added to the pride of the Jawa Osing in their culture.

Islam became the dominant religion of the Jawa Osing after Hinduism was pushed from their area to Bali. The Kiai (Islamic teacher) has the ultimate authority in matters of religion. The Jawa Osing have many selametan (ritual meals) specific to each occasion, such as: the death of a family member; the cleaning of the village, tilling and harvesting the land, birth, marriage, and moving to a new house. Selametan combine a mixture of Jawa and Islamic culture ceremonies and are thus also done for Islamic holidays. A few of these days are: Suran, Muludan, Ruahan, Punggahan, Rejabatan, and Sekaten. The traditional dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is famous for his ability to apply his black magic from far distances. Through his magical powers he can heal or destroy whoever or whatever is a cause of problems.

Pesisir Kulon Tribe 3.092.000 

The Jawa Pesisir Kulon (West Coast Java) people group is also called the Jawa Cirebonan or the Cerbon people. The center of the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people group is in the regencies of Cirebon and Indramayu in West Jawa Province. They live in small cities like Patrol, Anjatan, and Haurgeulis. There are also some who live to the east around the vicinity of the Sanggarung River, and across the river there are also several Cirebonan villages located in Central Jawa Province. The Ceremai mountain marks the southern border of their area while the Jawa Sea coastline marks the northern border.Geographically speaking, the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people group live in Sunda districts, yet they use the Jawa Ngoko Cerbon (Jawa Cerbon language). Their language is apparently a mixture of the Jawa, Sunda, Arab, and Melayu languages, and possibly some others as well. The Cerbon Ngoko language is taught to every Cerbon child from first through tenth grades. 

The Jawa Pesisir Kulon people tend to be open and spontaneous in their social interactions. This is visible in their vibrant, colorful, and artistic clothing. Their culture leans more toward Islamic culture than towards their own historical Jawa culture. For them, Islam is looked at as the national cultural foundation that takes precedence over the traditional Jawa cultural values, which are still predominant in Central and East Jawa.The word cirebon is a combination of two words, ci which means water and rebon which means shrimp. Cirebon has always been famous for its salted fish, fresh shrimp, as well as petis and terasi (shrimp pastes used as spices). Most Jawa Pesisir Kulon are fishers or farmers. Their land is very fertile and has acres of plantations that produce export crops of coffee, sugar, tobacco, citrus fruits, and the well-known Dermayu mango. There is also a local government-owned oil refinery. There are many among them who work in government and private institutions. Craftsmen make various products from the world-famous batik cloth, as well as clay, wood and rattan. The city of Cirebon is also considered a tourist destination because of the many historical and sacred landmarks. These historical sites include the palaces of Kasepuhan, Kanoman, Kacirebonan, and Kaprabonan, as well as Mesjid Panjunan (a mosque), Gua Sunyaragi (a cave), and Panjang Jimat (a place of worship).
The large majority of the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people are Sunni Muslims although there is a Sufi Muslim minority. Despite this fact, the practice of occultism is very evident. Dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are still heavily relied upon. Various ceremonies that include meals are done to obtain happiness, safety, and peace

Pesisir Lor Tribe 22.389.000
Geographically, there are two groups of Jawa Pesisir Lor (North Coast Java) people. The first group lives to the west of the city of Semarang, with its center in Pekalongan-Tegal. The second group lives to the east of Semarang, with its center in Demak-Kudus. The western portion of the Jawa Pesisir Lor people live on the slopes of the mountain range of Slamet-Dieng facing north towards the Jawa Sea from Kendal to Brebes. The eastern portion of the Jawa Pesisir Lor people live on the slopes of the Kapur Utara mountain range from Demak to Tuban. Most of the Jawa people who live in Semarang are transplants from other Jawa subgroups, such as Negarigung, Banyumasan, or Mancanegari.
Jawa Pesisir Lor people mainly make their living from agriculture. They use the land effectively and are equipped with (relatively) modern tools. The industrial sector is also experiencing rapid growth, both in heavy industry and small industry.The Jawa people in general are known as being more reserved and concerned about politeness than most Indonesian people groups. While this is also true for the Jawa Pesisir Lor, they are generally more open, straightforward, and spontaneous when contrasted with other Jawa subgroups. They are bolder to speak their mind even when they differ from their elders. They also describe situations more straightforwardly and they speak more openly, even to sensitive issues. The Jawa Pesisir Lor are known to express their convictions with action and emotion, not just words.Many Jawa Pesisir Lor view traditional Jawa culture as backward and are proud of what they consider to be their more modern worldview and stronger Islamic commitment. Unlike other Jawa subgroups, they tend to prefer Islamic music to Jawa music (gamelan). They prefer Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) readings to watching wayang (shadow puppet plays). In spite of this, they still love the Jawa drama forms of ludruk and ketoprak.
Almost all Jawa Pesisir Lor people are Sunni Muslims, although some are Sufi Muslims. Most Jawa Pesisir Lor people consider sacred the graves of two holy men, Sunan Kalijaga and Sunan Ja’far Shodiq. People come to both of these graves to worship and to seek blessing. They hold to nine aspects of religious knowledge that were taught by these two holy men. The first aspects are the five Islamic pillars of syahadat (the Muslim creed), sholat (Muslim prayer ritual), zakat (giving to the poor), puasa (fasting during the month of Ramadan), and haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). To these five aspects are added the four aspects of syari’at (Islamic law), hakekat (essence), tarekat (mysticism, especially Sufism), and marifat (the highest knowledge in mysticism). Occultism is still practiced, along with syncretistic elements of Hinduism and animism. .
Sunda Banten Tribe 537.000 

Indonesia, tribes, sunda, suku

Java, western third of the island. Alternate names: Priangan, Sundanese. Dialects: Bogor (Krawang), Pringan, Cirebon.
The Banten people live in the province of Banten, located at the northwestern end of the island of Jawa. Currently, most Banten people live in the regencies of Pandeglang, Labak, and Serang. In the year 2000, Banten officially became an Indonesian province independent of West Jawa Province. The Banten border area has often been unclear. This can obviously be seen in the differing languages spoken by the northern portion (Jawa-Banten language) and the southern portions including the areas of Pandeglang and Lebak district (Sunda language).
The Banten people grow rice and other crops, such as coffee, cloves, jengkol and petai (beans eaten raw), bananas, and durian (“stinky” fruit with a thick, spiky shell). Working the land is done in cooperative groups. One type of cooperative work is royongan. In royongan, workers are not paid directly; rather, wages are collected and stored by a community elder (kokolot) to be used for repair of mosques and smaller prayer houses. Another form of cooperative work is called liliuran, which is helping one another work the rice field without any expectation of payment. Cooperative work arrangements are also used for repairing roads, bridges, and other public facilities. Cooperation of this kind is expected of community members. For instance, in Tanjung Sari village, a household head who does not participate is assessed a monetary fine. Local Banten leadership is composed of three elements: formal leaders (umaroh), religious leaders (ulama), and traditional leaders (jawara). These three groups play an important role in shaping the local political system. The village’s kinship relationships are cultivated and developed by the village leaders, who are very respected and honored. Other village matters are handled by the carik (secretarial), ulu-ulu (irrigation), kabayan (logistics), and amil (religious affairs). Ancient Banten is still of great interest, especially for historians and archeologists. Banten is one of the famous kingdoms of the past. In the Banten area there are many tourist attractions, beginning with the nature preserve, the Great Mosque of Banten, with the tombs of the Banten Sultans placed at the south and north ends of this mosque. It is said that there is a “nine-story rock” 15 meters high, which is a remnant of the megalithic era. As a tourism area, Banten is open to the outside world, but their traditions and culture are still maintained.
From the 15th century establishment of the Sultanate of Banten until today, the majority of Banten people have been Muslims. They are obedient Muslims, but they still have deep involvement in black magic and occultic power. This can be seen in the famous art of Banten known as debus: through the use of certain mantras, the body of a practitioner can be made invulnerable to physical blows, fire, and sharp objects.

Sundanese (Basa Sunda)

Sundanese is a Polynesian language spoken by about 27 million people on the Greater Sunda island and the western third of Java in Indonesia. It is also the third most-spoken language in Indonesia.

Sundanese is used as a medium of instruction in elementary and junior high schools.

Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda)
Sundanese is normally written with the Latin alphabet, however the Sundanese script is still used to some extent. The Sundanese script developed from the Old Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda Kuna), which was used between the 14th and 18th centuries, and was standardized during the 1990s. Sundanese has also been written with a version of the Arabic script.

Vowels (Aksara Swara)

Diacritics (Rarangkén)

Consonants (Aksara Ngalagena)


Sample text in Sundanese

Sakumna jalma gubrag ka alam dunya teh sifatna merdika jeung boga martabat katut hak-hak anu sarua. Maranehna dibere akal jeung hate nurani, campur-gaul jeung sasamana aya dina sumanget duduluran.

Source :


Redjang/Kaganga alphabet

The Redjang or Kaganga alphabet is descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. Some linguists claim that there is are connections between the Redjang alphabet, Egyptian hieroglyphs and various Semitic languages such as Hebrew.

Notable features
Redjang is a syllabic alphabet – each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above or below the consonants.
Used to write:
Redjang/Rejang, an Austronesian language spoken by about a million people in Sumatra. The Redjang alphabet is used mainly to write magic spells and medical incantations and some poetry.


Vowel diacritics with ka

Source :



Tengger Tribe 636.000 

pura poten tengger bromo

East Java, Tengger-Semeru massif and slopes of Mt. Bromo. Alternate names: Tenggerese. Dialects: May be marginally intelligible with Javanese [jav].
The Tenggerese live on the slopes of a large volcanic crater high in the Tengger Mountains of eastern Java. Their origins are uncertain, but some consider them to be refugees from the ancient Hindu-Javanese kingdom of Madjapahit who retreated to the mountains at the fall of Madjapahit in the early sixteenth century. Others believe they occupied the area well before that period. The people speak an archaic Javanese dialect called Tengger. 

Tenggerese, Tribes, Indonesia, java, suku, tengger
The populous (and still growing) nation of Indonesia has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world-more than 300 distinct people groups. Located in Southeast Asia on an archipelago of more than 3,000 islands that command vital sea routes between Australia, Europe, and the Asian mainland, they are the principal link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. With about sixty percent of the total population, Java is the most populated Indonesian island.

The Tenggerese are farmers who grow corn on dry permanent fields or, by using the “slash and burn” technique, they create temporary agricultural plots called swiddens. For more than a century many have also grown vegetables and potatoes as cash crops. Farms are very small-the average size is about one hectare (slightly over 2.4 acres). Because farms are so small and unable to sustain large families, the number of landless peasants has increased rapidly, causing a swelling immigration to the cities and coastal areas.
Tenggerese youth are free to do their own courting, although parental consent is required. The wedding ceremony takes place in the bride’s home. Ideally, the newlyweds set up their own household, but in many cases they are forced to live with their parents until they can afford their own dwelling. The average household may be an extended family composed of nephews and nieces or younger brothers, sisters, or cousins and may have between seven and ten members.
A village consist of clusters of smaller villages, or hamlets. The village headman is elected for life by the adult (male and female) citizens of the village. He is assisted by village administrators and controls the headmen of the various hamlets.
vMost Tenggerese are Hindus who mix their beliefs with animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits).
Each temple congregation holds periodic rituals to placate and please various gods and protect the group’s peace and prosperity. They also make offerings to the spirits of their deceased ancestors and to spirits connected with certain places. Brahman priests conduct the major religious ceremonies; lower caste priests care for the temples and perform local ceremonies. Rituals are performed in several cycles, with the most important being a six-month cycle. Families arrange “life cycle rituals,” an especially important task when planning the cremation of a family member. Rituals often include music and dance.

Bali Loloda Tribe 19.000 

The Loloan people are located in the Jembrana Regency of the island of Bali. More specifically, they live in the villages of Pengembangan, Tegal Badeng Islam, Cupel, Tukadaya, Banyubiru, Tuwed, Candi Kusuma, Sumber Sari, Ketatan, Airkuing, Sumbul, and Pekutatan. The word loloan is derived from the word liloan (“wrapped around” or “winding”), which refers to the first settler’s description of the River Ijogading, which is turbulent with changing currents. It is thought that their ancestors were Muslim immigrants from Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Malaysia. Sunan Wajo led the first group of settlers from Sulawesi. They came to Bali in the 17th Century to escape from the Dutch military. At that time, I Gusti Ngurah Pancoran, the King of Jembrana, welcomed them. He had also resisted the Dutch. These Bugis-Makassar immigrants developed good relationship with the King for the purpose of converting all of his people to Islam. Another group of settlers came from Kalimantan and was led by Abdullah bin Yahya Al Qadry, a descendant of the Sultan of Pontianak. Several of the Melayu groups from Malaysia originated from the areas of Pahang, Johor, Kedah and Trengganu and some of the immigrants were of Arab origin. These groups were also seeking to evade the Dutch military and became assimilated into the Loloan people group.
As a community, the Loloan villages have significantly different characteristics than the villages of the Bali people who live in the surrounding areas. In addition to the obvious religious differences, there are also other differences such as the style of homes. The Loloan houses are built on raised platforms, on top of stilts approximately two meters high. The main door of their houses always faces to the east. The location of the door in this manner is designed to avoid any distraction when they are doing their prayers toward Mecca in the west .The decorations of their houses is generally Islamic in nature, such as Arabic calligraphy. The Loloan style of dress, especially the womens’, is also Islamic. In general, they maintain a special and distinctive cultural pattern in the midst of the Hindu Bali people, who have in turn, maintained their own cultural distinctiveness in the midst of an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
They are strong Muslims, which is different from the majority of the Bali people group who are Hindu. This leads to their being ostracized by the Bali people. Loloan traditional laws have been handed down through the generations, and they also strictly enforce Islamic law. Despite this, there are Loloan people who are greatly influenced by animism and many superstitions. These beliefs cause them to seek protection using magic by either appeasing or controlling good and evil spirits.
Bali Tribe 4.200.000
7,000 in South Sulawesi. Island of Bali, north Nusa Penida, west Lombok Islands, and east Java, South Sulawesi. Alternate names: Balinese. Dialects: Lowland Bali (Klungkung, Karangasem, Buleleng, Gianyar, Tabanan, Jembrana, Badung), Highland Bali (“Bali Aga” ), Nusa Penida. Reportedly two distinct dialects. High Bali is used in religion, but those who can use it are diminishing. There are speech strata in several lowland varieties (1989 A. Clynes).
The island of Bali is probably better known than the country of Indonesia. The word “Bali” brings to mind visions of a tropical paradise. Its beauty, friendly people, and exquisite art and dance have made Bali a favorite destination for millions of tourists from around the world. On this “Island of the gods” reside the Balinese. However, many Balinese can also be found on the nearby island of Lombok, as well as in Lampung, Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, Sumbawa and Papua.
Most Balinese live in very close knit villages with strong family, social, religious and economic interrelationships. Much of the village’s interactions are centered on Hindu worship in the temples and agricultural cooperatives in the surrounding fields. The Balinese are separated into two distinct groups, the Bali Aga, (indigenous Balinese), and the Bali Majapahit (originally from the Majapahit Kingdom of Jawa). The Bali Majapahit inhabit the largest sec-tion of the island, and are located in the lowlands. The Balinese main livelihood is rice farming. Their irrigation system is called subak (sharing water resources). The solidarity among those who share water is displayed in their meetings and religious ceremonies. The natural beauty of Bali and the unique culture of the Balinese have provided the impetus for a boom-ing tourist industry. The face of the island has been changed with the development of luxury hotels, souvenir shops, and other tourist related industries. Along with these changes have come a variety of employment opportunities. The Balinese are known throughout the world for their artistic abilities. Many Balinese villages specialize in one particular form of art. Their artistic talents can be seen in their many varieties of painting, carving, sculpting, dancing, and weaving.
Hinduism is the primary religion of the Balinese. Even though Hinduism has greatly affected the culture, the Balinese have managed to maintain their original culture, so that Balinese Hinduism differs from Indian Hinduism. Balinese Hindus believe that there is one god that can be explained by the Trimurti, a concept of three aspects of God: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the protector; and Shiva, the destroyer.The Balinese practice Panca Yadnya (5 Ceremonies): 1) Manusia Yadnya (life cycle ceremonies); 2) Putra Yadnya (ancestral ceremonies); 2) Dewa Yadnya (cer-emonies to gods who save the world); 4) Resi Yadnya (priest ordination); and 5) Buta Yadnya (ceremonies to protect against evil spirits). The impact of Hinduism can be seen throughout Bali. For example, each neighborhood provides a dadia (communal shrine). Both individual families as well as larger assemblies use this shrine to offer food and flowers to their gods. 

galungan @ panglipuran village

galungan@panglipuran village

the entrance to pura ulun danu - IR

a Balinese man and his Cock - no pun intended

Balinese man on his porch - IR

pura ulun danu bratan - IR

pura ulun danu bratan - IR

Lampung 6 Tribes

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on October 29, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

Lampung 6 Tribes :

Lampung, Tribes

sumatra, lampung, tribe, suku

sumatra, lampung, tribe, suku

Komering Tribe 1.509.000 Islam
The majority of the Komering (pronounced KO-mer-ing) people live in the southeastern part of the island of Sumatera. They get their name from the Komering River, upon which so much of their livelihood depends. The Komering consist of two main groups. The Komering Ilir live in Tanjung Lubuk District around the city of Kayu Agung in the regency of Ogan Komering Ilir. The Komering Ulu live in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency in the districts of Cempaka, Buay Madang, Belitang, Simpang, Martapura, and in the municipality of Baturaja. The Komering language has characteristics that are slightly different from the Melayu (Malay) language cluster to which it is related.They are closely related to the neighboring Lampung people groups.


The first language of the Komering is called Bahasa Komering, but the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is taught in the schools.
The main source of livelihood for the Komering is rice farming, using both irrigated and unirrigated methods. In addition to rice, they also raise secondary crops of fruits and vegetables. They usually have a few cattle, goats, chickens, ducks, and also catch fish from the river. In several areas, they mine raw materials such as oil, gold, nickel, diamonds, uranium, and coal.

From the forests they harvest timber, resin, and rattan.The majority of Komering houses are located along the Komering River, so the houses are built atop tall wooden stilts to protect against flooding. The houses are made of wood or bamboo with tile or palm leaf roofs and consist of one bedroom and one large family room. In the past, a Kerio (village headman) was responsible for managing and overseeing the growth of the village.

A person known as the Kermit functioned as a town herald, spreading the local news to each member as he walked through the village. Kinship is usually patrilineal (tracing descent from the father). While traditional law follows the patrilocal pattern. This means that the wife lives with the husband’s family, a tradition that in the Komering language is called ngalaki.Additionally, ngakuk anak marriages are also common. In this pattern, they follow the matrilineal (tracing descent from the mother) system and the husband lives with the wife’s family (matrilocal). Male children are considered descendants of the wife, so this pattern is quite common if the wife’s family has no male children.
Besides the teachings of Islam, which has a strong influence on their culture, the Komering also have strong beliefs in superstitions and spirits. They often call a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) to heal the sick or cast out demons. Their effort to balance their Islamic and animistic beliefs can be seen in the proverb: “adat bersendikan syarak dan syarak bersendikan Kitabullah” (Tradition is centered upon canon law and canon law is centered on Qur’an (the Islamic Holy Book).

Abung Tribe 737.000 Islam


The Lampung Abung people originated in the districts of Kayu Agung and Mesuji in Ogan Komering Ilir Regency and now are spread along the northeastern coast of Lampung Province. They are bordered on the north by the Tulang Bawang River, to the west by the border between North Lampung and West Lampung districts, to the south by the Sunda Strait, and to the east by the Jawa (Java) Sea.Although often identified as a single “Lampung people,” the Lampung cluster of peoples consists of three main people groups: Abung, Peminggir, and Pubian. The Lampung Abung people are known as mountain dwellers and have a unique history as headhunters. Their language of Abung is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster and is similar to the Melayu Riau language.
The majority of Lampung Abung make their living as rice farmers. After they harvest the rice, the best fields are then used to plant pepper (ladar). These small pepper plantations are productive for 20-25 years. Pepper crops are usually sold and the money is used for a big and expensive ritual celebration known as pesta pepadon, to mark the beginning of the rice-planting season. The other important source of livelihood for the Lampung Abung is fishing, especially in the swampy areas near Tulang Bawang where rice farming is nearly impossible.The Lampung Abung live in traditional communities known as tiuh, in which each clan has its own permanent house.


Typically, these clan houses have only a few older members of the clan living in them while the younger adults with children live in seasonal settlements known as umbulan. Usually, ten clans are grouped into one village. The leader of each clan is known as the penyimbang (advisor). This position is inherited, being passed down to the eldest male child. The Lampung Abung families are grouped according to the patrilineal (tracing descent from the father) system.

After the wedding, the newlywed couple lives near the man’s family. Polygamy is allowed, but is only practiced by the rich. Marriage between immediate family members as well as cousins is forbidden. According to tradition, divorce is not allowed. However, if a wife leaves her husband, the husband’s family must pay a fine to the community elders.

Currently, every Lampung Abung is theoretically a Muslim, as is every other Lampung person. The influence of Islam can be seen in everyday life. Religious themes with an element of Melayu culture can be seen in a growing number of art objects. One of the art forms is called tari tigel. This ancient war dance is accompanied by the ritual sacrifice of a water buffalo to be eaten at a big celebration. Besides the teachings of Islam, the Lampung Abung also have strong beliefs in superstitions and spirits. They often call a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) to heal the sick or cast out demons

Krui Tribe 32.000 Islam


The Lampung Krui (or Kroe) are a small sub-group who are closely related to the Komering, a larger people group in the Lampung cluster. The Lampung Krui and Komering are sometimes considered as one group called the Njo people. Most of the Lampung Krui live in and around the towns of Krui, Sanggi, and Kotajawa on the southwest coast of Sumatera, the world’s fifth largest island.Sumatera is an island rich in natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and forest products. However, most of the land consists of thick forests, swamps, and volcanic mountains with many obstacles for transportation and communication.


The land where the Lampung Krui live is flat and swampy. This type of land is very suitable for rice farming. Most of the Lampung Krui earn a living as farmers and small traders. Their crops are mainly sold at local markets or shops. Their lives are difficult and their incomes are low. Many children are forced to drop out of school to help supplement the family income.Lampung Krui houses usually consist of two main rooms. The first room serves as a bedroom while the second, which is larger, is used as a place to receive guests or for family gatherings. The walls and floor are constructed of wood and bamboo. The roof is clay tile or woven palm leaves.The father is the head of the family and may have more than one wife. Nevertheless, seldom does a man have more than one wife due to economic obligations. It is the wife’s responsibility to manage the home and the children. In addition, Lampung Krui women also work in the rice fields.

The overwhelming majority of Lampung Krui embrace Islam, which has a tremendous influence on their culture. Followers of Islam believe they will be judged on their knowledge of the Qu’ran, their sacred book, as well as what they did with their lives. Some are devoutly religious people who say their prayers five times daily. Besides the teachings of Islam and its strong influence on their culture, the Krui also have strong beliefs and accompanying practices concerning the powers of spirits. These beliefs influence various facets of their lives. Some believe whistling in a house at night can invite evil spirits. Also, there is the belief that traveling on your birthday is bad luck. Many Lampung Krui wear amulets with verses from the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) written on them. Belief in the powers of dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is still very strong. The dukun is usually called to heal the sick or cast out evil spirits. Because of their fear of evil spirits, the Lampung Krui try to live good lives so as to be careful not to become the targets for the anger of the evil spirits.

Peminggir Tribe 632.000 Islam


The Lampung Peminggir (coastal Lampung) live in the province of Lampung, the southernmost province on the island of Sumatera. The people groups in the Lampung cluster can be classified according to geography, language, or culture. The three geographical groupings are the Abung, who are mountain dwellers, the Pubian, who live in the eastern part of the province, and the Peminggir, who live along the southern coast. The Lampung Peminggir people are divided into four sub-goups, namely the: 1) Peminggir Melinting Rajabasa in the area of Labuhan Meringgai and around Rajabasa Kalianda; 2) Peminggir Teluk in the area of Telukbetung; 3) Peminggir Skala Brak in the area of Liwa, Kenali, Pesisir Tengah, Pesisir Utara, and Pesisir Selatan; and 4) Peminggir Semangka in the area of Cukuh Balak, Talangpadang, Kotaagung, and Wonosobo.
The Lampung Peminggir are farmers growing labor-intensive crops such as pepper, chocolate, and durian (“stinky” fruit with a thick, spiky shell). The Lampung Peminggir settlement patterns vary from crowded villages to widely spread out villages. Each village has a papanca, which is a place to rest or meditate that may be used by all the people.The Lampung Peminggir have two systems of community organization, namely the Pepadun and the Saibatin. In the Saibatin system, the leader is called the Penyimbang Sebatin, and he is given the honorary title of Batin (King). Other members of this system are called the children of the Sebatin. In the Pepadun, several families from one ancestor live in one village, called a tiyuh, anek, or pekon. The village leader (Penyimbang Tiyuh) also serves as the leader of their traditional law and customs. Several villages may join together to form one larger group (buay or kabuayan). This larger group lives in an area known as a marga, mergo, or mego. Their leader is called the Penyimbang Marga. One of their key principles is that of Pi-il Pesenggiri, which means “guarding one’s dignity above all else.” They usually live a simple life, yet they love to receive honor or praise. They typically do not hesitate to spend huge sums on ritual celebrations. The Lampung Peminggir use honorific titles known as juluk. Upon marriage, men receive a title known as Adok and for women it is Inai.
As a result of Islamic traders from the Middle East, Islam made its way into Sumatera by the end of the thirteenth century. Islamic influence weakened the culture, and local chiefs eventually lost their titles and power. The Lampung Peminggir are followers of Sunni Shafi’i Islam, which they consider stricter Islam than the Maliki, Ambali, and Hanafi subgroups of Sunni Islam. Even so, there are still those who believe that the power obtained at several graveyards is sacred, like the sacred well of Pitu. They also often place symbols, such as the cross with betel-nut chalk above the door, window, or other entrances to the house. They believe that this symbol can ward off evil spirits such as the kuntilanak, especially when there is a woman advanced in her pregnancy in the home.
Pubian Tribe 526.000 Islam
The term Lampung is often applied to all those living in the Lampung province. However, there are actually several people groups, each with their own history and culture. The three main groups are the Abung, Peminggir, and Pubian.The Lampung Pubian live in the regency of Central Lampung. Their villages are scattered throughout the lowlands to the east. For centuries they were forced to avoid the Abung people, who forbade them to cross the border between them. Now the Lampung Pubian have assimilated with the original inhabitants and live in a small area within the Central Lampung district.The daily language is Pubian, a dialect very similar to the Pesisir dialect. During the past twenty years, the Indonesian government has forcibly relocated three million Jawa people to the area, and as a result of these changes, the indigenous peoples of this area are experiencing much bitterness and unrest.
Lampung Pubian villages are permanent settlements following a traditional community pattern. Every clan has a permanent house, but the clan house typically houses only a few of the clan elders. Most of the working adults and children live in seasonal housing settlements (umbulan). Wood houses on stilts that encircle one administrative building, known as a sesat, characterize Lampung Pubian villages. The sesat usually is a building with one large room, which is partitioned into several small sections for members of various groups. A single village can be inhabited by up to 3,000 inhabitants, with about 100 clan houses. In addition, each village has a house used specifically for traditional ceremonies. The entire community participates in carrying out traditional ceremonies.In an area ruled by one village, each member of the village may clear new land. The clans own the traditional ceremony house and the cultivated land, including the pepper plantations. Rules concerning ownership are determined according to traditional law. A council of elders, composed of the clan headmen, serves as the court to settle any disputes regarding land ownership. In the interior regions of Lampung, the Lampung Pubian cultivate a type of rice called gogoranca, which grows in dry fields. Usually after one harvest, pepper is planted which provides a good income for them. In addition, the income from the pepper crop enables the Lampung Pubian to hold a traditional celebration known as pepadon. Fishing predominates in the swamp areas. They also raise water buffaloes, cattle, goats, chickens, and ducks.
As a result of contact with Muslim traders, Islam entered Sumatera near the end of the 13th century. The influence of Islam weakened the local culture and one result was that the area headman lost his position and power. At the present time, the majority of Lampung Pubian are strict Sunni Shafi’i Muslims

Sungkai Tribe 6.900 Islam


Kain Tapis from Lampung

South Sumatera 18 Tribes

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on October 29, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

South Sumatera 18 Tribes :

South-Sumatra , Tribes

sumatra, tribe, suku, palembang

Daya Tribe 54.000 Islam
The Daya people are spread throughout the districts of Baturaja Timur, Baturaja Barat, Simpang, and Muaradua in the district of Ogan Komering Ulu in the province of southern Sumatera. The Daya language is one of the languages considered to be part of the larger ethnolinguistic grouping of Melayu (Malay) languages. Daya is sometimes considered to be part of the Komering language, but the delineation is unclear. The national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is taught in schools.
Daya homes are mostly found in the southern and western foothills and mountains of the Bukit Barisan range. The land in the Daya area is relatively fertile and most Daya make their living by farming. Rice is the main crop, but they also grow fruits, coffee, rubber, coconut and yams. Some seek a living as fishermen. The Daya who live near the larger towns are mostly traders.Daya houses usually consist of a bedroom and a large guest room. The floor and walls are made of wood or bamboo. The roof is often made of coconut palm leaves layered with clay.Important and heavy work that benefits the community is done through a system called gotong royong. This system is a traditional burden sharing principle of working together for the common good. Individual and family needs are done in a similar manner of exchanging assistance.The men are dominant in the community and the family system of the Daya is patriarchal. The father is respected as the head of the family and makes final decisions. Men may have more than one wife but this seldom happens due to the costs involved. Wives act as the housekeepers and caretakers of the children. Besides household work, most Daya women work in the fields. Daya women can be seen carrying heavy loads of goods on their heads.
The Daya people are followers of Islam. Followers of Islam believe they will be judged on their knowledge of the Koran, their sacred book, as well as being judged on the basis of whether their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Although the influence of Islam is strong upon the culture of the Daya, they also maintain animistic beliefs. Many Daya use amulets with written verses from the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book). A dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is often called to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits.Awareness of the difficulty of facing the natural world is shown by the honoring of their ancestors. The Daya often express this respect through ceremonies to the ancestors that founded their villages or established the fields where they work and live. Other celebrations and ceremonies involve life cycle observances, work related festivals, house-warmings, and so on. All of these activities are done through the gotong royong system to show community solidarity.
Enim Tribe 81.000 Islam
The Enim people live along the Enim River in the districts of Tanjung Agung and Muara Enim in Muara Enim Regency in South Sumatera. Sumatera is the world’s fifth largest island. It has a vast potential wealth of minerals, oil, and natural produce, but much of the land remains untamed jungle, swamp, and volcanic mountains with transportation and communication difficulties. Sometimes called the most unreached island in the world, Sumatera is home to some of the world’s largest unreached people groups. The Enim people are descendants of the Melayu Palembang (Palembang Malay) people. At the time of the decline of the Kingdoms of Sriwijaya and Majapahit, they were driven out of the Palembang area and formed a community along the Enim River. They use the Enim language, which is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster.

sumatra , South, enim, tribe, , suku
Farming is the major means of livelihood for the Enim. Farming is particularly important to those living near the river. Some Enim men work as miners in the government-owned Bukit Asam coal mines. Others work in areas around southern Sumatera such as Palembang and Lampung.The Enim homes are usually built from wood with a traditional pyramid shape raised on stilts. This style is used due to two factors. The first is security ,as this style affords protection from wild animals. The second factor is that the houses are often built in swampy areas. The traditional Enim home faces the main street and has a pance (porch) in front. The pance is a common place for relaxing with the family or visitors.Marriage is carried out according to Islamic principles. There are three forms of Enim marriages. The first is Tanam Batu, which means the groom joins the bride’s family. The second is Kepelaking and means the bride joins the groom’s family. The third is Tambe Anak Samarizing, which means that the bride and groom can live in the place which they prefer, so there is no “tie” to either of the families. The Enim are very open to newcomers. This characteristic is referred to as Serasan Sekundang (as if family) or Sesama Teman (friends together). This means they are open to form relationships with anyone regardless of ethnic or religious background. This factor of openness has lead to many mixed marriages with people of other ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The Enim people are nearly all followers of Islam. Their faith in Islam is passed on to each new generation. The Enim follow Islam because their ancestors chose it, but some of the Enim people still practice the traditional beliefs of their ancestors. The influence of animism is apparent from ceremonies performed before clearing forests and other events that involve a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) and traditional rituals. Some Enim believe their own behavior can cause their ancestor’s spirits to either help or harm them.

Kayu Agung Tribe 54.000 Islam
The Kayu Agung people are located throughout the districts of Kayu Agung and Upper Ogan Komering Ilir in the province of South Sumatera. They speak the Kayu Agung language, which is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. Kayu Agung means “the people of the noble wood”. They are not nomadic, but tend to live in the same area their entire lives. Currently, there are approximately 40 Kayu Agung villages.Some neighboring people groups characterize the Kayu Agung as lazy and thieving. A rumor suggests that they are blessed by the local religious leader(s) before setting off on a “robbery trip.” Obviously in response to this hatred, the Kayu Agung are generally unfriendly and suspicious of outsiders.
The Kayu Agung houses have wooden walls and floors, with a sago palm leaf roof. The houses are usually raised several feet off the ground on top of wooden stilts.Livelihood is earned through farming, trading and making earthenware vessels. Seasonal farming is common because they live in a swampy area. During the rainy season, rice is the only crop that can be grown. Cultivating the rice takes place in the following stages. First, the field is cleared. Second, after the water levels recede, a crop is planted. In this phase, the workers are mainly men, but in the third stage of the harvest time the whole community helps one another in a system called gotong royong. Every citizen is required to perform service for the good of the village and clan.Family lineage of the Kayu Agung is determined bilaterally. Community life is ordered by a system of customs called Simbur Cahaya, which is based on a traditional system of regulations from the Sriwijaya Kingdom and the Sultanate of Palembang. This system still maintains a distinction between the royal class and the ordinary people. Decisions in matters of adat (customs) are made in meetings of peers or through village, community, clan, or small group meetings. The community meetings are lead by the pasirah (village chief) or his deputy. If several clans are involved in a problem they often hold small meetings. Larger meetings are lead by regents or other high-ranking officials. Kayu Agung customs include many traditional ceremonies begin at birth, and include engagement, marriage, circumcision and death.
Almost every Kayu Agung person follows Islam. However, many also hold traditional beliefs in the spirit world. The Kayu Agung believe that ancestral spirits can trouble humans. Because of this, before a body is buried they must cleanse it with flowers. The goal is to confuse the dead spirit so it forgets its way back to its former home. A dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is highly trusted and is often requested to perform rituals for planting and harvesting. The Kayu Agung also consider some areas as sacred places for the enthroned spirits of the departed.
Kelingi Tribe 64.000 Islam
The Kelingi are located in the south-central part of the island of Sumatra along the Bukit Barisan Mountains. Historically, they were probably a people of coastal Borneo who expanded into Sumatra as a result of their trading and seafaring way of life. Their culture has been strongly influenced by other peoples, including the Siamese, Javanese, and Sumatrans. The Kelingi are close neighbors to the Pasemah people groups, which include the Semendau and the Lematang. They speak Sindan Kelingi, which is an Austronesian language.
The Kelingi are a rural people, living in villages of 50 to 1,000 people. Much of the country is covered by jungle, but the villages are located along the coasts, rivers, and roadways. Within their villages, the Kelingi build houses on stilts raised four to eight feet off the ground.
Farming is the primary occupation of the Kelingi. Rubber is the main cash crop, but coffee and rice are also grown. Wet-rice plots are worked by hoeing, or by plowing with oxen or water buffalo. Planting and harvesting are usually done by either hired work groups or by the extended families. Farmers often use tractors in cultivating their crops. They set aside part of their proceeds from their harvests for several years, then buy their tractors from the government.
Since most of the people make their living from farming, major ceremonies are usually held after the harvest. These events include marriages, circumcisions, and hair cutting ceremonies. Every family in the village participates in such activities because of their strong feeling of community.
Kelingi families do not usually live together as extended family units. Instead, each family tries to have its own separate home. Newlywed couples may temporarily live with their parents, but they prefer to have their own homes as soon as possible.
Kelingi women wear cotton sarongs (loose skirts made of long strips of cloth wrapped around the body) with long-sleeved cotton blouses. They also wear skirts over trousers, jackets, and scarves; they do not wear veils. Men wear Western-style cotton shirts and slacks.
The Kelingi are 95% Muslim, with the remainder following their traditional ethnic religions.
Kikim Tribe 16.000 Islam
The Kikim people are an indigenous group residing near the tributaries of the Kikim River in Lahat Regency of South Sumatera Province. They are spread throughout Kikim District, where they are the majority ethnic group. Although a small number also live in the Lahat City District. The Kikim District constitutes the largest district in the Lahat Regency, but it is sparsely populated. The Kikim are often equated with the Pasemah (or Besemah) people who live nearby.
In everyday life, the Kikim use their own language, called Kikim, which is a specific branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. Their language is often erroneously called the “Besemah language,” which is used by the Melayu community residing in some of the other districts of the Lahat Regency.Most Kikim people make their living as farmers, having rice as their main crop. Many Kikim also plant various dry-season crops such as yam, cassava, corn, and legumes, among others. Some of the Kikim also raise livestock, both for field preparation and for consumption. In general, those farmers living near the jungle still practice migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another), mainly because they cannot maintain the soil’s fertility. New farmland is opened by cutting down the large trees and burning the underbrush. This clearing method is often cited as one of the causes of the forest fires that frequently occur in Sumatera. Even though their actions do cause some damage, it is not comparable to the destruction done by the large plantation owners who illegally burn large areas of the forest with impunity due to corrupt governmental protection.
Presently, the Kikim people are known as adherents of Islam. Followers of Islam believe they will be judged on their knowledge of the Qu’ran, their sacred book, as well as what they did with their lives. Despite their Islamic faith, vestiges of old animistic beliefs are still seen in their lives. The Kikim are known for a traditional ceremony called Sedekah Rame, which is a religious meal eaten with fellow-villagers while sitting in an area called Tanah Badahe Setue (Land of Future Graves) in the middle of the rice fields. This area is designated as a place to burn incense, make ritual offerings to spirits, and light bonfire.
Lematang Tribe 163.000 Islam
The Lematang (or Lemantang) people’s homeland extends from the city of Lahat in the regency of Lahat until the area of Lematang llir Ogan Tengah in the regency of Muara Enim. Bordered by the areas of the Kikim and Enim peoples, it runs along the full length of the Lematang River near the cities of Muara Enim, Prabumulih, and Gelumbang. It also includes the region of the tributaries of the Rawas River near the cities of Bingintelok and Terusan. The Lematang River, also called Sungai Orang Kaya (Rich Man’s River), is South Sumatera’s largest producer of “river rock,” which is used for foundation material in building. The Lematang area includes the districts of Gunung Magang, Muara Enim, and Merapi. Merapi District has 37 villages, including Muara Lawai, Gedung Agung, Banjarsari, Kota Agung, Tanjung Baru, and Arahan. The Lematang originated from Banten people who immigrated at the time of the ancient Majapahit Kingdom.
In general, the Lematang people work on farms and plantations. Their main crops include coffee, rubber, palm oil, and other permanent crops. They own large expanses of farmland, so there are no shortages of work opportunities.The Lematang people are very hospitable and friendly when welcoming newcomers. They have a strong sense of community togetherness proven by their adherence to gotong royong (neighborhood mutual service and assistance), not only to the Lematang community itself but also to outside communities. Lematang homes are raised on stilts with roofs resembling pyramids. The front of the house has a sitting area (pance) facing the main road. This porch is for relaxing with family members and visitors.Regarding marriage, the Lematang people have two main customs. First, the prospective groom will become a full-fledged member of the bride’s family with all wedding expenses born by her family. Second, the new couple may leave their in-laws in order to seek work elsewhere, but they still have a responsibility to provide for the parents’ eventual retirement needs.Inheritance is granted to the daughters causing many of the sons to set off for other areas to earn their living. When an outsider marries one of the Lematang, it must be in a Muslim ceremony. After such a wedding, however, they are given freedom to embrace another religion and still be accepted as family members, but not as Lematang community members.
The Lematang people currently embrace Islam, yet still hold to ancient beliefs concerning magic and mystical powers. In matters of belief, they are of the opinion that all religions are equally valuable. In matters of traditional customs, their customs are similar to Lahat and Muara Enim customs.
Lembak Delapan Tribe 31.000 Islam
The Lembak Delapan reside in Bengkulu Province, in the provincial capital of Bengkulu and 25 villages located in the low-lying areas of the districts of Talang Empat and Pondok Kelapa. They and the nearby Lembak Beliti people are both members of the Melayu (Malay) ethno-linguistic cluster. The Lembak Delapan consider themselves to be one of the original people groups in this area of South Sumatera.
The Lembak Delapan make their living from traditional farming and raising livestock. The livestock are let loose to find their own grazing areas, and the method of farming is migratory agriculture (shifting from one field to another). Farmers will cultivate fields until the land is depleted and then move to new fields. Because of a low level of fertility, the people use slash and burn farming and then move again for the next season. The natural forestlands are being depleted due to the continuous search for fertile fields. Old fields are quickly overgrown and become difficult to farm.Rice is their main crop, and they also collect rubber sap. Because farming success is somewhat uncertain, the younger generation is generally disinterested in becoming farmers. Many Lembak Delapan young people leave their hometowns to look for work. Many have moved to Jakarta (the national capital) and Palembang (South Sumatera provincial capital) looking for a job. Often these young people have the opinion that their language and customs are rather backward resulting in many of the new generation experiencing an identity crisis.The familial system of the Lembak Delapan is patriarchal. The women help work in the fields or manage their households, and the older children also help in the fields and at home. Most of the houses in Lembak Delapan villages are still the traditional style raised on stilts. In current times, however, some have built brick and cement homes. These folks are seen as making progress and “getting ahead.” Thus the custom of building stilt-houses is beginning to be abandoned.
Lembak Delapan people proudly consider themselves firm followers of Islam. Followers of Islam believe they will be judged on their knowledge of the Qu’ran, their sacred book, as well as what they did with their lives. In addition to faithfully worshipping in the mosque, a large number of the elder generation continue to perform ancestor worship at gravesites. In their everyday lives, they still practice animistic beliefs just as their ancestors did. The younger, better-educated generation generally feels confused and unsure about what they should believe. They feel there is no longer a pattern of what it means to be religious, so many choose to practice those religious values that make sense to them.
Lembang Tribe 174.000 Islam
The Lembak People live in the boundary area of the provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatera. In Bengkulu they are located in the regencies of Rejang Lebong and North Bengkulu as well as in the city Bengkulu. In Bengkulu Province they call themselves “Sindang Kelingi” or “Lembak Sindang Merdeka” (meaning “Free”). The Lembak may have originated from the valley of the Musi-Rawas River in South Sumatera to the east of the city of Lubuklinggau. This area is currently occupied by the Lakitan people. The Lembak moved in the 16th century to secure freedom from their Palembang rulers. Outsiders often call them the Bulang (turban) people. The Lembak language is part of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. The Lembak people have an indigenous script, called Surat Ulu (Letter of Beginning), which is similar to Rejang and Serawai scripts.
The Lembak people’s main livelihood is cultivating rice in irrigated and unirrigated fields. Quite a few men work as rubber tappers on the many rubber plantations in the area. Others run small-scale brick-making factories in rural areas. The women help in the fields and manage the households.The Lembak family system is patriarchal and the lineage of descent is bilateral (traced through both parents). There are three post-marriage patterns for newlyweds. The first is to set up a new, separate household. The second is the bejojoh custom of living with the groom’s relatives. The third is the semendo custom of living with the bride’s relatives.Lembak homes are raised on stilts and have large rooms. Most homes have a stairway on the side. They typically have more furnishings than the homes of the neighboring Lintang and Rawas peoples. Electricity is available throughout the area, but their cooking fuel is kerosene or wood. The Lembak societal system resembles those of the Rejang and Serawai peoples. Villages join together to form a clan, which is lead by a pasirah (village chief). An official (mangku) and his deputy (penggawa) supervise kepemangkuan (clan districts). They are supported by religious experts, such as imam (Muslim prayer & ceremonial priest) and khatib (mosque preacher).Elements of the Lembak culture include: (among others) the Tari Piring (Plate Dance) and the Tari Pisau (Knife Dance). In addition, there is Dangdut music, which often combines a strong beat with Arabic rhythms and Islamic teachings. The young people are trained in singing, dancing, and Indonesian martial arts.
Most Lembak people today embrace Islam, although a large part of the community still adheres to animistic beliefs. Most believe in the power of unseen spirits inhabiting sacred places. The services of a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are often sought for many purposes, including healing the sick and exorcising evil spirits
Lintang Tribe 76.000 Islam
The Lintang make their living as farmers who produce rice, coffee, rubber, spice, and vegetables. They also raise goats, water buffaloes, dogs, chickens, ducks, and other animals. Although they live near rivers, they do not catch fish as a livelihood. The economic condition of the Lintang is low. Although the Lintang young people choose their own spouse, their parents still make the arrangements for the wedding. The Lintang lineage is patrilineal (tracing descent from the father). The Lintang men work as farmers whose activities are dependent on the seasons. For instance, harvesting coffee only occurs once a year. Women help men work in the fields, and consequently, they often leave their children at home unsupervised. Lintang houses are built from wood on top of raised platforms. The Lintang who do not perform manual labor would typically have a long pinky fingernail as a sign of higher social status. When a conflict arises, the Lintang solve it through family discussion. If they do not reach an agreement, the problem is brought to the village leaders or elders. If they still fail to find a solution to the conflict, they would then ask for help from the police or the mahkamah (religious court). The Lintang do not appear to practice any indigenous art forms, except pencak silat (an Indonesian traditional martial art), which is taught in local Islamic schools. Formerly, the Lintang performed dances, but they have fallen into disuse. The Lintang traditional festivals and ceremonies normally are Islamic in nature, such as circumcisions, weddings, and Idul Fitri (Muslim celebration at the end of Ramadan fasting month).
The Lintang are loyal adherents of Islam. This is evidenced in the number of mesjid (mosques) in their area. Despite this, traditional animistic beliefs are still strong in daily life. They still believe in the power of unseen spirits that inhabit sacred places. The services of a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are often sought for many purposes, including healing sicknesses and exorcising evil spirits.
Musi Banyumasin Tribe 161.000 Islam
The Musi Banyuasin people group live in several districts of Musi Banyuasin Regency in South Sumatera Province. Often the inhabitants of the Musi Banyuasin area are simply called the Musi people because their dwelling place is near the Musi River. However, the residents of the district differentiate between the different Musi groups such as the Musi Sekayu and Musi Banyuasin.The Musi Banyuasin people speak the Musi language as the medium of communication in everyday life. The Musi language is a part of the Melayu (Malay) language family that has the characteristic of using the letter ‘e’ sound at the end of a word. For example, the Indonesian apa (what) becomes ape. According to researchers, the original region of the Musi language covers the districts of Sekayu, Babat, Toman, Banyu Lincir, Sungai Lilin and Bayuasin Tiga.
The Musi’s area is largely made up of lowland clearings interspersed between marshland. In the westward direction, the area consists of highland dense jungle, including part of the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range. Generally, Musi Banyuasin settlements are located in the area of a river. The largest river in the area mentioned above is the Musi River, which has several tributaries. Even now, the river is still the principal communications track.Their basic means of livelihood is farming with the principal products being rice and a variety of fruit. Some also become workers in coconut and tire plantations or in petroleum mines.Historically, the Musi Banyuasin people have been patrilineal (tracing descent from the father). However, today quite a few families follow the bilateral practice of tracing descent from both the mother and father. Current practice states that both families will be consulted on important matters or the matters will be clearly delineated before the marriage takes place. Their wedding ceremonies are known as melerai pengantin, signifying the separation of the woman from her household and her entrance into the man’s household. Singing and dancing are common for every ceremony and program. Some examples of song names are Pucuk Pauh, Biduk Batabe, Iban-Iban, Mare-Mare, and Anyot Sa Antau. Examples of dance names are Setabek, Sekapur Siri, Nasib, Ranggonang, and Selendang Mayang.
The majority of the Musi Banyuasin follow Islam, but most still believe in animism, particularly concerning ancestor spirits. This belief has a very strong influence in community life. This is evident from the many historical graves in the area. For example, the graves of Puteri Darah Putih, Cende Muara Bayo, Puyang Rio Raos, and several more burial sites have become places of ancestor worship and places for asking blessings for their lives.
Ogan Tribe 370.000 Islam

sumatra , South, tribe, ogan, suku

The Ogan people live along the Ogan River in South Sumatera. Their area begins in the Bukit Barisan mountains in the southwest and extends to the city of Palembang in the northeast. Locally, they are often referred to as the Pegagan, which identifies them as the indigenous people of the area. The geographic center of Ogan life is the city of Baturaja, through which both the trans-Sumatera highway and Lampung-Palembang railroad pass. The fact that the name Ogan has been given to three of the six districts in the province 1) upstream Ogan-Komering; 2) downstream Ogan-Komering; and 3) midstream Ogan-Lematang – underscores the importance of this ethnolinguistic group in South Sumatera. Mutually-intelligible Ogan dialects include: Enim, Musi, and Rawas.
Ogan villages usually consist of 300-400 households. Stilted single-family houses are built of wood and have 3-4 rooms. Storage and workspace are beneath the house. Each Ogan village has its own distinct story about their origin and how they became Muslims. Often each village will also be associated with a specific skill, such as woodworking or goldsmithing. There are also similarities among the villages, such as the practice of Islamic education and training, patterns of marriages, loss of face, and efforts to preserve their customs and culture.Two types of customary marriage are followed. The first requires the groom’s family to pay a price to the bride’s family. The couple will live in the groom’s family home and the children become descendants of the groom’s family. The other method does not require a payment to be made. The newlyweds live in the bride’s family home. The children become part of the bride’s family. Married couples are responsible to care for family members and manage the family’s land and assets, including contributions to customary ceremonies.Farming is the principal economic activity in the area and is based on three key crops: rice, rubber and coffee. Planting is done by 5 to 10 hired workers or by shifts of family members. Harvests involve groups of men and women including the farmer’s family.
The Ogan have followed Sunni Shafi’i Islam since the 16th century. At the end of that century, they were also introduced to Sufi beliefs. They practice all Islamic holidays such as Idul Fitri (end of Ramadan fasting month) and Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice). They tend to believe in superstitions related to spirits occupying a place or item. Their social and spiritual life consists of activities such as religious feasts, celebrating the birth of a child, praying for deliverance from disaster, or in giving thanks for a harvest. People gather to do Islamic prayer readings as well as prayer ceremonies to the spirits of their ancestors.
Pasemah Tribe 684.000 T
Most Pasemah (or Besemah) live in the regencies of Lahat and Ogan Komering Ulu in the province of South Sumatera. Some live in Bengkulu Province. The center of Pasemah territory is the impressive volcanic peak, Mount Dempo. Pasemah communities spread from its slopes to the west, south, and southwest along the Bukit Barisan (“Marching Hills”) mountain range. Historically, their political center was Pagar Alam (“Nature’s Fortress”), which helped protect the Pasemah from their aggressive neighbors, the Rejang.The Pasemah are an energetic and enthusiastic people. They play a dominant role in South Sumatera politics and also hold key leadership roles in many government departments and educational institutions in Bengkulu. They have secured numerous patronage posts in both provinces.
Agriculture is their principle economic activity based on three key crops: rice, rubber, and coffee. Planting and harvesting is carried out by groups of five to ten people working either for wages or crop sharing. Some also produce rubber from rubber trees. Pasemah houses are built from wood with tin roofs and 3-4 rooms including a closed kitchen in the back part of the house. The traditional Pasemah house is built on raised platforms as high as 1.5-2.5 meters off the ground. The enclosed area below the house is used for various purposes: as a cooler room on a hot day or as a storage space for tools, food, and other items. The Pasemah recognize three types of marriage as follows: (1) belaki, where the groom pays a bride price and the price of the wedding and the newlywed couple live with the husband’s family; (2) ambil anak, where the husband moves to the wife’s family and he does not have to make any payments for a bride price or the wedding. Consequentially, the children are considered descendents of the wife’s family; 3) semendean, where the cost of the wedding is split and the newlywed couple is free to choose where they will live.
Most of the Pasemah are Muslims. Islam entered the southeastern Pasemah area in the 16th century. The western and northwestern areas were islamicized in the 19th century. The Pasemah who embraced Islam in this period were Sufi Muslims who then spread throughout Sumatera. The teachings of Sufism are focused on subjective feelings and stress that it is more important to know God than to merely observe religious rituals. On Pasemah plateau, there are 26 historical sites with various artifacts, cemeteries, and Buddhist stupas that have been considered holy since before 100 A.D. There, enormous stones were sculpted into amazing forms such as soldiers riding elephants, a man wrestling with a snake monster, and ocean waves. The Pasemah still use these large statues as places for making sacred pledges, calling out to their ancestors’ spirits to give blessings, and protection from misfortune.
Penesak Tribe 22.000
The Penesak live around Prabumulih in southern Sumatera, including the city of Kayu Agung. The Penesak people originated in the district of Tanjung Batu in the regency of Lower Ogan Komering. This area is somewhat infertile, and although their preference is to stay in the same area their entire lives, they will sometimes move to other areas in search of more fertile land and resources, such as wood for cooking. The Penesak are a primarily rural people and are rarely found in the larger cities and towns in the area.
Penesak seek their livelihood in many ways. Many work as farmers, day workers, carpenters, traders, and iron-workers or in cottage industries. Many women work in their homes, making embroidery and weaving straw mats and a clothing known as songket. The Penesak houses have timber walls and floors with a sago palm leaf roof. The houses are usually raised off the ground several feet on top of wooden stilts. Some Penesak men build these timber houses on wooden stilts for buyers to view and purchase, and upon closure of the sale, they dismantle the house and transport it to its destination for re-assembly.Because of a low level of fertility, the people use slash and burn farming and then move again for the next season. The natural forestlands are being depleted due to the continuous search for fertile fields. Old fields are quickly overgrown and become difficult to farm. Some success comes from rubber, pineapple, sugar cane and vegetable plantations.Traditional customs are influenced by Islam. This includes wedding, birth, death and circumcision ceremonies. One of the most strongly held customs is the wedding ceremony. When a marriage contract is made, the groom and his family visit the bride’s family home. The couple then returns as a part of a procession to the groom’s home to formalize the wedding. The engagement is serenaded with tambourines and music. The groom wears a long white robe topped off with a turban. The wedding ceremony is begun with long readings from the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book).
The majority of all Penesak people are Muslims of the Muhammadiyah movement. However, there are still some who believe in a spirit of fear named Sindai, who is often referred to as an invisible creature who disturbs the community. There are dukun (shaman/healers/occultist) who function as mediums between humans and the spirit world. The Penesak also value sacred relics and shrines such as the relics of Lord Umar of the Sari royal line; a spear and a staff with a sword hidden inside; a prayer rug painted in Mecca and signed by the hand of the Prophet Mohammed; and a piece of cloth with a footprint of a prophet. Holy places and shrines such as the gravesite of Lord Umar are located near the village Tanjung Atap.
Pindah Tribe 21.000 T
The Pindah people live in the border area of the provinces of Jambi and South Sumatera. They are mainly located in Jambi Province in the districts of Desa Pauh and Desa Mandiangin of Batang Hari Regency and also in Desa Sarolangun District of Sarolangun Bangko Regency.According to legend, they are descendants of people from Palembang who came and stayed in their present location. Based on their physical characteristics, it is believed they are the descendants of the “Older Malay” race. They are usually shorter than the vast majority of the other people groups living in the area who are from the “Younger Malay” lineage.The Pindah language is considered a part of the larger linguistic cluster of Melayu (Malay) languages. Their language is very close to the Rawas language. The similarity to other Melayu of the Palembang area is shown in the change of a final ‘a’ vowel sound to an ‘e.’ For example, the word ada (there is) becomes ade; apa (what) becomes ape; and kemana (where) becomes kemane. An example of their linguistic proximity with the Rawas is the use of aya (water) rather than air.
Their main livelihood is cultivating crops in irrigated and unirrigated fields. There are rubber and coffee plantations in the forest areas. Today, many Pindah work as laborers in plantations and in the timber industry.One of their often-used hunting weapons, named a pulut, is made from a piece of bamboo or a palm leaf rib that has a clump of sticky sap at the end. The Pindah differ with most other ethnic groups in Jambi in that their lifestyle is very much influenced by the Melayu Palembang culture. This influence is particularly evident in their kinship system and social organization. The lineage of descent is bilateral (traced through both parents). The Pindah have an open (rather than restrictive) marriage tradition. Their tradition says that the couple is free to live where they want after the wedding, or their location can be decided by their families before the wedding. The new family is the responsibility of both the wife’s family and the husband’s family. For the Pindah, the wedding ceremony has an important meaning. It symbolizes the relationships between: 1) humans and humans; 2) humans and inanimate objects; and 3) the visible and invisible world. From the wedding ceremony, a feeling of unity, togetherness, and cooperation is created.
Most of the Pindah are Muslims. However, a great number of the people still practice their traditional animistic beliefs in their daily life. For example, they still believe in magical power and sacred objects, and there are many taboos and prohibitions. The services of a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are often sought for many purposes, including healing of sicknesses and exorcising evil spirits.
Rambang Senuli Tribe 43.000 Islam
The Rambang Senuli people, who are often called simply the Rambang people, are an indigenous people group who live in the Pedamaran and Mesuji districts of the Ogan Komering llir district in the province of South Sumatera. The Rambang language is one of the languages considered to be part of the larger ethnolinguistic grouping of Melayu (Malay) languages.
The customs of the Rambang communities are rich in the variety of activities focused upon the natural environment. Activities involving the lifecycle include birth and death rituals and Buang Juang (farewell ceremonies when one leaves the village to find work). Other rituals relate to special events such as lunar and solar eclipses, requests for rain, earthquakes, and so on. They also place a high priority on Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) reading competitions and the Islamic Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.The Rambang Senuli people are inclined to live simply. Agriculture is the principal economic activity in the area and rice is the primary crop. Wet rice plots are still worked mostly by water buffalo. In addition to rice, corn, peanuts, other fruits and vegetables are also grown. They are sometimes called orang selengek, which is a term referring to their unique method of preserving fish. They make several traditional items from bamboo, rattan, wood, roots, and palm leaves.Rambang villages usually consist of 300-400 households. Houses are generally single-family dwellings of three or four rooms raised on stilts with the lower part of the house used for storage or, in some cases, trade.The Rambang Senuli are bilateral, which means descent is measured through both the mother’s and father’s family. Two types of marriage arrangements are practiced: 1) payment of bridewealth thereby establishing a couple’s residence in the groom’s household with whom all offspring will be primarily affiliated; 2) no payment of bridewealth thereby placing the groom in the bride’s household and the offspring in the mother’s line.The marriage relationship is considered a powerful factor in the unifying process of families, clans, and people groups. This tendency is seen throughout South Sumatera. Weddings are not seen as only personal affairs, but as a family matter, which also involves the larger clan and the community at large. In the event of a marriage across clan or ethnic lines, there is a meeting to agree on time, place, and which marriage customs will be followed.
The Rambang Senuli people believe their first leader to follow Islam was Lord Bintang Ruano. He introduced Islam to the people of Bengkulu and condemned the practice of animism. Since that time, the people ceased animistic sacrifice offerings, but they still believe there are supernatural forces in certain objects. The teachings of the Sunni Shafi’i branch of Islam became the guidebook for their lives.
Ranau Tribe 74.000 Islam
The Ranau people live in the area along the border between the provinces of South Sumatera and Lampung, in the Baturaja District of the Ogan Komering Ulu Regency. The Ranau are possibly descendants of the Komering people. Their Ranau language is similar to that of the Lampung Krui. However, there are many that speak Bahasa Palembang (Palembang language) due to their proximity to that city.
The Ranau earn their living farming, raising livestock, mining, and gathering forest products such as rattan, resin, and wood. The primary farming product is rice using both irrigated and unirrigated fields. The Ogan Komering Ulu area is the number one producer of rice in South Sumatera. In addition, there are plantations of rubber, coffee, and vegetables. The Ranau also make use of Lake Ranau, rivers, ponds, and rice fields for fishing. Mining products include oil, natural gas, tin, and coal.Generally, the Ranau carry traditional daggers known as keris. In this area, this traditional weapon is very much a part of everyday life. This cultural tradition is illustrated in the saying “your weapon is your clothing.” Thus going out without a weapon is the same as going naked. In addition, this weapon is called dengasanak, which signifies an older sibling that protects the person from danger. During wedding ceremonies, a keris is carried on top of a carved container by a representative of the man, and given to a representative of the woman. The meaning of this is that the man vows to protect the safety of the woman with all his strength. The Ranau build their traditional homes in three shapes: limas (pyramid), ulu (head), and rakit (raft). The limas house is for the nobility. The ulu is built on stilts and is for the commoner. The rakit house is built on top of several layers of bamboo, which have been tied together so that they resemble a raft. This type of house is found along the Musi River. In addition to functioning as a residence, the raft house serves as a place for trading and a port for boats.Decorations in these houses always have a plant motif, which is considered a symbol of life. For example, the jasmine flower is a symbol of politeness and the rose symbolizes an antidote for disaster. This is intended to make an impression on the children as they grow up with these reminders. According to tradition, the number of steps to enter the house is always odd in order to bring blessings to the inhabitants of the house.
Due to the influence of other people groups in South Sumatera, the majority of Ranau are Muslims. Yet, they are Muslims more by tradition and culture than by conviction (taklid). In light of this, it is not surprising that many still believe in superstitions, objects with magic powers, and places considered haunted. The Ranau still practice magic and occultism as well.
Rawas Tribe 174.000

sumatra , South, tribe, rawas, suku

The Rawas people live in the districts of Rawas Ulu and Rawas Ilir in Musi Rawas Regency in South Sumatera Province. Most Rawas live either in small cities, such as Surulangon and Binginteluk, or villages like Lubuk Kemang, Lesung Batu, Sungaibaung, Pangkalan, Pulaukida, Muarakuwis, and Talangberingin. The Rawas villages spread along the Rawas and Rupit Rivers. On the west, Rawas territory ascends up the peaks of 2,068 meter high Mount Hijau. To the south is the Rawas Regency capital, Lubuklinggau, through which runs the trans-Sumatera highway. The Rawas language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster.
The most prominent production of the Rawas people comes from rubber plantations. They are self-sufficient in producing their food supply. The Rawas area also produces many fruits such as oranges, mangoes, pineapples, duku (small white fruit), langsat (small yellow fruit), jackfruit, papaya, rambutan (hairy fruit), and durian (“stinky” fruit with a spiky shell). They also raise livestock such as ducks, chicken, goats, and water buffaloes. In catching fish, the Rawas still use traditional boats without motors. Their houses are built close together, which shows unity and the close relationships among them. The Rawas houses are made from wood and raised on stilts. They typically have three large rooms, including two bedrooms and a kitchen in the back part of the house. Usually, these houses face the road with an overhanging porch in the front.Depending on the agreement before the wedding, the Rawas can practice either a patrilineal (tracing descent from the father) or a matrilineal (tracing descent from the mother) system. There is a clear job division between men and women among the Rawas people. The men work in the rice fields, plantations, rivers (as pebble gatherers), and in making bricks. The women have the jobs of cooking and caring for the children at home or opening small stores. The Rawas people have interesting art forms. Their art consists of singing and traditional dancing with tambourine accompaniment. Examples of traditional Rawas dancing are the Tari Piring (Plate Dance) and Tari Pisau (Knife Dance). Among young people, forming art groups encourages this dancing and singing. Other than that, they are also active in developing pencak silat (an Indonesian martial art).
The Rawas people embrace Sunni Islam. They obediently perform the religious fast and implement merry celebrations on Muslim holidays. Their traditional weddings and marriages agree with the teachings of Islam. They carry out circumcision ceremonies for 6 to 7 year old boys. The Rawas also hold religious meals for remembering the deceased 7 days, 40 days, and 1000 days after a death. They often use a carved object with an Islamic motif or design as a charm.
Semendo Tribe 119.000 Islam
The Semendo people are also often called Semende or Jeme Semendo. They form an indigenous community of South Sumatera Province, living in Semendo District of Muara Enim Regency. Semendo District consists of 31 villages with an area of 900 square kilometers. Its capital is Pulau Panggung. Their daily language is Semendo. Generally, words end with the letter ‘e’.The Semendo people trace their history to the Banten people group, some of whom left the island of Jawa a few centuries ago to seek a new home and settled on the island of Sumatera. The descendants of the Banten in this area became the Semendo people. The Semendo are a subgroup of the Pasemah cluster, which includes the Lematang, Lintang, and Lembak. Geographically, the Semendo people are divided into two groups: the Semendo Darat group and the Semendo Lembak group. The Semendo Darat people reside in Muara Enim Regency, and the Semendo Lembak people live in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency.
The majority of the Semendo are traditional farmers. Their farmland lies approximately 900 meters above sea level, and the soil is fairly fertile. There are two main crops on which they depend, rice and Robusta coffee, which has a production that reaches 300 tons per year. The Semendo area is one of the major rice producing areas for South Sumatera. There are approximately 5,000 productive rice fields being planted and harvested yearly.The customs and culture of this area are greatly influenced by the touch of Islam. From rebana (tambourine) music to popular regional songs to folk dances, all are strongly influenced by Melayu (Malay) Islamic culture. One custom still strongly held being passed down through Semendo generations, is the Tunggu Tubang custom. This custom arranges the inheritance rights within the family. The oldest female child is the primary heir. The inheritance is typically a rice field and a house that is to be passed down through the generations. This custom has given rise to a strong motivation among the Semendo men to seek their fortunes far from home.
Through many generations, the Semendo people have been Muslims. The teaching of Islam is firmly and deeply implanted in the society. This can be seen in how faithfully some of the people routinely and regularly carry out the laws of Islam in accordance with the five “pillars” of Islam. Houses of worship, large and small, can be seen everywhere. There are also many pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) in the area. These schools have the specific purpose of teaching Semendo sons and daughters to spread the Islamic faith in the area.

Bangka Belitung Tribes

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on October 29, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

Banka-Billiton, Tribes

Banka Tribe 340.000 Islam
Bangka Island. Dialects: Urban (Jakarta), North, Central, South, Lom (Belom, Mapor).

The Bangka people live on Bangka Island in the South China Sea to the east of Sumatera, specifically in Bangka Regency and Pangkal Pinang Municipality in Bangka-Belitung Province. Indonesians often visit this island because it has beautiful beaches and is easy to reach from the capital of South Sumatera (Palembang). 60% of the inhabitants of Bangka Island are Melayu (Malay) and about 25% are descendants of Chinese, who migrated to the island. The Bangka language is a branch of the Melayu language cluster.
Bangka Island is known for its large tin mining industry, which was developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Bangka Island was influenced by the Hindu kingdoms in Indonesia. This is seen in the archaeological remains of various ancient inscriptions, which have been found there. For example, the “Kota Kapur Plaque” has been found, which dates back to 686 A.D. This island is also famous for its pepper plantations, which reached their height of prosperity in 1987. However, in the 1990’s the price of pepper declined drastically and was followed by a drop in the price of tin, which seriously impacted the Bangka.The Bangka people make their living in a variety of ways. Many of the island’s inhabitants are laborers in the tin mines. In addition, many are also farmers, fishermen, and boat builders. They produce many crafts, such as cane work, plaited mats, porcelain, ceramics, and carvings from tin. Many people who live around the cities have become traders and merchants; particularly those of Chinese descent. The lineage of descent is bilateral (traced through both parents). According to tradition, after marriage, the couple does not live near either set of parents. As a result, there are many mixed marriages between the Bangka and other ethnic groups that have come to the area. This outside influence can be seen in their wedding customs. The engagement is initiated by the man’s family giving gifts to the bride. The engagement ceremony is typically done in a berbalas pantun (traditional singing dialogue). Islamic influence is also shown in the public wedding procession which is accompanied by tambourines and drums. Another regional art form is called the Sepintu Segudan. This Bangka drama tells the story of the community’s attitude of gotong royong (mutual assistance).
The majority of the people on Bangka Island are Muslims, particularly those of Melayu descent, whereas those who are of Chinese descent follow Buddhist or Confucius beliefs. The ethnic Bangka people mix Islam and traditional animistic beliefs that still flourish among the community.

Loncong 420 Islam
East coast on both sides of the mouths of the Kampat and Inderagiri rivers, nearby islands, and coasts of Bangka and Belitung islands. Alternate names: Lonchong, Orang Laut, Seka, Sekah.

Riau 6 Tribes

Posted in INDONESIAN TRIBES on October 29, 2010 by Yappy Kawitarka

RIAU 6 Tribes :

Riau, Tribes

Traditional Dress from Indragiri Riau

Traditional Dress from Malayu Bengkalis Riau

Traditional Dress Melayu Siak Riau

Banka Tribe 340.000 Islam
Bangka Island. Dialects: Urban (Jakarta), North, Central, South, Lom (Belom, Mapor).
The Bangka people live on Bangka Island in the South China Sea to the east of Sumatera, specifically in Bangka Regency and Pangkal Pinang Municipality in Bangka-Belitung Province. Indonesians often visit this island because it has beautiful beaches and is easy to reach from the capital of South Sumatera (Palembang). 60% of the inhabitants of Bangka Island are Melayu (Malay) and about 25% are descendants of Chinese, who migrated to the island. The Bangka language is a branch of the Melayu language cluster.
Bangka Island is known for its large tin mining industry, which was developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Bangka Island was influenced by the Hindu kingdoms in Indonesia. This is seen in the archaeological remains of various ancient inscriptions, which have been found there. For example, the “Kota Kapur Plaque” has been found, which dates back to 686 A.D. This island is also famous for its pepper plantations, which reached their height of prosperity in 1987. However, in the 1990’s the price of pepper declined drastically and was followed by a drop in the price of tin, which seriously impacted the Bangka.The Bangka people make their living in a variety of ways. Many of the island’s inhabitants are laborers in the tin mines. In addition, many are also farmers, fishermen, and boat builders. They produce many crafts, such as cane work, plaited mats, porcelain, ceramics, and carvings from tin. Many people who live around the cities have become traders and merchants; particularly those of Chinese descent. The lineage of descent is bilateral (traced through both parents). According to tradition, after marriage, the couple does not live near either set of parents. As a result, there are many mixed marriages between the Bangka and other ethnic groups that have come to the area. This outside influence can be seen in their wedding customs. The engagement is initiated by the man’s family giving gifts to the bride. The engagement ceremony is typically done in a berbalas pantun (traditional singing dialogue). Islamic influence is also shown in the public wedding procession which is accompanied by tambourines and drums. Another regional art form is called the Sepintu Segudan. This Bangka drama tells the story of the community’s attitude of gotong royong (mutual assistance).
The majority of the people on Bangka Island are Muslims, particularly those of Melayu descent, whereas those who are of Chinese descent follow Buddhist or Confucius beliefs. The ethnic Bangka people mix Islam and traditional animistic beliefs that still flourish among the community.
Belide Tribe 22.000
The Belide live southwest of Palembang along the Musi River. One of the greatest kingdoms in the region’s history, the Buddhist Empire of Sriwijaya, prospered and grew along the banks of the Musi River in South Sumatera over a thousand years ago. The Sriwijaya Kingdom was a major maritime power that controlled the nearby Straits of Malacca, which is a key waterway between Asia and Europe.The region’s historical background is rich and colorful. The Sriwijaya kingdom practiced a bustling and lucrative trade with ancient China during its era of powerful dynasties, and in 672, the Chinese scholar I Tsing recorded that a thousand monks and scholars could be seen studying Sanskirt in what is now the regional capital of Palembang. However, few relics of this memorable era remain.
The Belide are not nomadic, but they tend to live in the same area their entire lives. The total Belide people group is comprised of about 20 villages. Traditional houses are made of wood with palm leaf roofs. The houses are built on wooden or brick columns above ground level. Their Belide language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster.Approximately 60% of Belide men work as rubber tree tappers or laborers in pineapple plantations. Others work as traders or government employees. The Belide communities are typically lead by three men. A political leader is appointed and paid by the government, and a village chief is chosen by the people. The village chief is not paid, but does receive a 10% tax on land sales within the village. However, the third man, the religious leader, apparently has greater influence than the other two.Family conflicts are solved by the head of the family, and a spiritual leader may handle village level problems. Punishment for minor offenses is handled by the citizens of the village, but more serious crimes are referred to the police.Belide youth may choose their own mates with agreement from their family. If there is a member of the family that does not agree, the village chief is asked to decide. If he agrees, the family must allow the wedding to proceed. The groom must pay a bride’s price. The bride then uses this money to purchase their household essentials. Spiritual leaders are consulted to determine the best day for the wedding. It is common for Belide wedding feasts to last two to three days. Belide men may practice polygamy, but while it is permitted, it seldom occurs.
Customs and traditions have been passed down over many generations and have been harmonized with Islamic law. Although the Belide are Muslims, many of them still believe in superstition and evil spirits. For instance, some believe that whistling in a home at night calls forth evil spirits or that walking in circles on a person’s birthday brings bad luck to the person. Many write verses from the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) on small pieces of paper and carry them as protection against evil. A dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is often called to heal the sick and exorcise evil spirits.
Belitung Tribe 163.000
The Belitung live on the island of Belitung (sometimes called Bilton island) in the province of Bangka-Belitung. This island is located in the South China Sea on the east of Sumatera to the southwest of Bangka Island. The island is mostly lowlands with some hills, such as Tajam Laki and Tajam Bini. In some areas there are small rivers, and some small lakes can be found in old tin quarries on the island. The Belitung people’s term for themselves is Urang Belitong. The Belitung language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. A distinctive feature of their language is that it does not have the letter ‘h’ and they use ‘e’ at the end of the word rather than ‘a’. For example, jauh (far) becomes jao; hujan (rain) becomes ujan; putih (white) becomes pute; and apa becomes ape. Another distinctive feature is that they use terms that come from joining two or more words, such as hendak kemana (where are you going) becomes nakmane.
The islands are considered important for their tin mines. Many earn their livelihood from mining tin and kaolin (a fine white clay). Other occupations include trade, fishing, boat building, iron working, and general office work. Only a small part of the land is suitable for rice cultivation. Planting rice is usually done by cutting and burning an area of the forest. Besides dry rice crops, the people in this area also grow corn, cassava, sweet potato, and banana. Other crops include rubber, pepper, cloves, coconut, sweet potatoes, and bananas. Handicraft industries developed by the Belitung include porcelain ceramics and woven rattan. The traditional Belitung house is built on a raised platform with bark walls and roofs of sago palm leaves. They also have temporary villages used during harvest. These houses are built at the edge of the forest and are usually lived in during the time the people work in the field. After the harvest, the people move back to their main village.The ancestry of the Belitung can be traced through either the line of the father or the mother. A village is formed by a group of families, termed a keleka. The keleka, lead by a traditional chief along with his assistants, has its own rules and accepted boundaries. The religious leader is a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) whose duty is to lead the ceremonies of the community.
The Belitung adhere to Islam which came to the area around the 17th century. In spite of their dedication to Islam, many Belitung people are still influenced by animistic belief in spirits and various superstitions. These beliefs are focused upon seeking protection through magic by either appeasing or controlling both good and bad spirits. This can be seen in their ceremonies for working the rice fields (maras taun), fishing (buang jong), and weddings (gawai pengantin). They still believe in magical forces that inhabit sacred objects. Many things are forbidden by taboos.
Duano 19.000 Islam
19,000 (Seidlitz). Population total all countries: 15,500. West Riau archipelago and east coast of Riau, Daratan Province. Also in Malaysia (Peninsular). Alternate names: Duano’, Orang Kuala, Desin Dolak, Desin Duano, Orang Laut.

sumatra, tribes, riau, suku,malay

Musi Sekayu Tribe 160.000 Islam
The Musi Sekayu people group generally build houses on the banks of the Musi River. Because of this, the Musi Sekayu are often called manusia sungai (river people). The literal meaning of sekayu is “one wood.” The phrase refers to a piece of long fabric that is spread out for people to sit on while eating together. The standard measurement of this long piece of cloth is designated as a musi sekayu. Unlike other people groups in Indonesia, such as the Bugis, Minangkabau or Jawa, the Musi Sekayu seldom move to a faraway place. Their desire to progress and search for their fortune is carried out only as far as the capital city of the province. This place can be reached by car in less than three hours. Their means of livelihood includes agriculture, forestry, labor, fishing, public transportation, construction, and government jobs such as teaching. The Musi Sekayu people living in the city of Palembang occupy a variety of work sectors, beginning with university professors, research specialists, land developers, shipyard workers, and pedicab drivers.
Most families of the Musi Sekayu wish for a male child. They perceive that sons are a guarantee for the country’s future power (bakal negeri) as well as guaranteeing the continuation of their hereditary line (negakke jurai).
Almost all of the Musi Sekayu people embrace the religion of Islam. Every Musi Sekayu village has a mesjid (mosque) or langgar (Muslim prayer house). Some villages have Islamic schools and musholla (small public buildings or rooms for performing religious duties) as teaching and education centers for the Islamic religion. In spite of this, the people also still consult a local dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) for treatment or to have their fortunes told.
Sakai and Talang Mamak Tribe 6.400
The indigenous Sakai people in Riau province, for example, who used to live in lush green jungles, now have to dwell in nearly barren areas in Bengkalis. Another tribe, the Talang Mamak in Indragiri Hilir, Indragiri Hulu and Jambi, are facing similar situations as their forested surroundings, too, have been cut down for oil palm plantations or have been turned into industrial forests. 

sumatra, tribes, riau, Sakai, Talang Mamak, suku, anak dalam
Despite their nomadic life, to these people, the earth and forests are part of their lives and something they must care for. They know how to manage their lands and forests, a knowledge that is passed down from their ancestors, which has enabled them to coexist harmoniously with nature and maintain their environs for many generations.
The majority of the Talang Mamak tribe, which comprises only 6,400 or so people, are illiterate. Most of them live in the districts of Seberida, Kelayang and Rengat Barat in Indragiri Hilir, and a small number of them live in Surnai, Bangko Tebo and Bukit 30 National Park, bordering Jambi province.
The Talang Mamak are currently languishing: the presence of forest concessionaires has been detrimental to their way of life and rendered it barely sustainable.
The state schools located far from their villages still remain a luxury for the animist tribespeople and, to make matters worse, many of them refuse to go to school, arguing that conventional, modern education would mean a departure from their long-maintained customs and traditions. They fear modern education will change their beliefs. According to tradition, converts are no longer regarded as members of the tribe.
Quite a few have embraced Christianity, but they still practice their indigenous customs, such as worshiping the animist spirits at sacred places. Others have converted to Islam, after which they become known as “Malay people” among the Talang Mamak.

sumatra, tribes, riau, Sakai, Talang Mamak, suku, anak dalam
The Sakai, Bonai, Talang Mamak and Duano tribes are socio-culturally and ethnically Malay, but have not been exposed to the Hindu, Islamic and European cultures. These people were segregated by the Malays for their “unhygienic” way of life.
Most Talang Mamak people are reluctant to become Muslims, because Islamic teachings, according to them, are contrary to their customs and traditions. For example, pork is traditional fare at wedding parties. They still use bark and leaves for clothing.
Being nomadic, they are able to prevent the government from annexing their ancestral lands and still lead a simple way of life, unaffected by external impurities. Their huts, usually measuring 3 meters by 4 meters, are built on stilts and have walls made of bark. It is in these homes that they cook, receive guests and chat. They cultivate the land around the huts — usually less than 1 square hectare, to grow cassava and sweet potatoes as their staple foods.
“We have planted cassava and sweet potatoes all our lives for many ages,” said Mohammad Supermi, 34, village chief of Durian Cacar.
Apart from farming, some of the tribespeople go to the forest to harvest rattan and honey from trees, which they call sialang. They sell the honey at the market or drink it with traditional herbal medicines.
Now, however, the ancestral forests, on which they depend their lives, are about to disappear, with the forests, the Talang Mamak way of life.


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