Jambi , 5 Tribes, Map
|Batin Tribe 76.000 Islam|
|The Batin people inhabit a portion of the interior of the Jambi province. Their rumah panggung (stilt-house), rural communities and small district towns of Bangko, Tabir, Jangkat, Sungai Manau, Muara Bungo, and Rantau Pandan are located in the Sarolangun Bangko and Bungo Tebo regencies. This area borders one of the most treacherous sections of the rugged Bukit Barisan (Marching Hills) mountain range. Temperatures are cool in the western hills, but in the valleys to the east,they are humid and hot. Three rivers provide inter-village concourse: Batang Merangin, Batang Bungo, and Batang Masumai. Besides the Batin, this area is inhabited by the the Kubu, Jambi, and Kerinci. According to their folklore, the ancestors of the Batin were Kerinci people that moved from the foot of Mount Kerinci. The Batin language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster, and it is very similar to the Jambi language.|
The Batin like to move from place to place, and they value community cooperation (gotong royong). This cooperative attitude is often seen in relationships between two villages, as typically the relationship between the village heads is very good. The main sources of livelihood for the Batin include farming, plantation work, gathering forest products, panning for gold, and fishing. Their fields are called umo talang, and they plant rice, rubber, coffee, and other crops.The Batin culture is apparently a blend of elements from the Minangkabau and Jambi cultures. Like the Minangkabau, the kinship system of the Batin is from the mother’s side (matrilineal). But the men still have a role as the head of the household. In addition to the public school system, there are also special Islamic religious schools (madrasah). Each extended family (piak) is lead by an elder (ninik mamak). The various ninik mamak in a village (dusun) pick a leader who is titled Rio. In each family the preparation for building a new house begins at the birth of a girl. This house is usually built as a 9×12 meter structure complete with storage for the harvest and a place for family heirlooms. Houses are often adorned with carvings of plants and animals. Traditional houses like this are usually referred to by the term Kajang Lako.
Almost all of the Batin embrace Islam. Even though that is true, there is still belief in traditional animism, magical powers, and idols. The area of Negeri Serampas, for example, is known for having residents who possess magical powers. Here are found the sacred graves of two legendary figures named Si Mata Empat (Four Eyes) and Si Pahit Lidah (Bitter Tongue). It is believed these two legendary women passed on their magical or supernatural character to the Batin people.
|Kerinci Tribe 383.000 Islam|
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|Originally from the eastern coast of Sumatera, the Kerinci fled from local Muslim Sultanates in an ancient war and moved into their existing homeland high in the Bukit Barisan Mountains near Mount Kerinci in West Sumatera and Lake Kerinci in Jambi. Although the highlands present challenges for living, intensive agriculture coupled with fishing has been sufficient to sustain sizeable indigenous populations. The Kerinci have been able to resist assimilation with the stronger lowland peoples. They have managed to not only survive but to grow enriched by what they have borrowed from the coastal cultures, but in each case absorbing and reshaping according to their indigenous ethos without losing their own ethnic identity. Today, their isolation is being broken by government-sponsored mass relocations of Jawa, Sunda, and Bali people for plantation projects on their rich soil. In addition, a world-class national park is being developed by the World Wildlife Fund to preserve the rain forest, flora, and fauna. This will draw even more outsiders into this remote area.|
Most of the Kerinci are farmers. Other than their main crop of rice (grown in both irrigated and unirrigated fields), they also grow potatoes, vegetables, and tobacco. Those who live around the base of the mountains are nomadic farmers. These nomadic farmers grow coffee, cinnamon, and cloves. The primary crops harvested from the jungle are resin and rattan. Most of the people living near Lake Kerinci and some other small lakes are fishermen. Their village homes are built very close together. A village is called a dusun and is inhabited by one clan that has descended from one common female ancestor. In a dusun there are always several long-houses, which are built side by side along the road. The nuclear family is called a tumbi. Once a man marries, he moves out of his family’s home and moves in with his new wife’s family. Normally, if a daughter is married, she is given a new small house attached to the house of her parents. In turn, her daughters will be given houses attached to her house. A mother’s clan is called the kelbu. This kelbu is considered the most important family unit among the Kerinci people. Even though the Kerinci people are matrilineal, the nuclear family is led by the husband, not the wife’s brother (as is common to other matrilineal groups, including the Minang). The mother’s brother avoids involvement in clan issues and only gets involved in problems with his sister’s immediate family. Inheritance is given to the daughters in the family.
Islam is the majority religion of the Kerinci, but they still hold to animism, especially as it is exhibited by their use of traditional healers and magic to bless their crops. Moreover, in their everyday life they often refer to tataman (meeting ghosts), tatampo (being hit by ghosts), and tapijek anaok antau (being stepped on by ghosts).
|Kubu Tribe 13.000 Animism|
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|Spread across Jambi, Riau and south Sumatra, eastern swamp region. Alternate names: Anak Dalam, Orang Rimba, Orang Hutan. Dialects: Lalang, Bajat, Ulu Lako, Tungkal, Tungkal Ilir, Dawas, Supat, Jambi, Ridan, Nomadic Kubu. Related to Lubu [lcf].|
he Kubu live on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are believed to be the descendants of a pygmy race of wandering Negrito people. The first Kubu settlement was located on the Lalan River. Today, they live primarily in the Jambi province.
Legend says that the coast of Sumatra was regularly visited by pirates and their families. It once happened that one of the pirates committed incest with his sister, causing her to become pregnant. Condemned by the pirates, the pair were abandoned in the coastal brush of Sumatra. The Kubu are the descendants of this couple.
The name “Kubu” comes from the word Ngumbu which means “elusive.” This belittling name was given to them to suggest that they are a primitive people because they eat unclean foods, do not live in houses, and do not like to bathe. The Kubu, however, prefer to call themselves the Orang Darat, which means “land dweller” or “river dweller.”
The Kubu are forest dwellers found primarily in swampy areas near various rivers. Most are involved in the farming of yams, maize, rice, and sugar cane. Since the Kubu are not hard workers, their fields are poorly kept. Jungle produce and small game provide much of the food. Their basic diet consists of wild pigs, fish, monkeys, bananas, and yams.
The Kubu are found most frequently in settled villages called sirups. Their houses are built on platforms without any walls, and are made with bamboo and leaves. Usually three to five houses form a village. An older person serves as chief, but has no real authority.
Every Kubu has a name; but this name is only known by members of the same sirup. People of other villages are simply referred to as “people of this or that little river.” The villagers of one settlement rarely come into contact with those of another, since there are no feasts, “coming of age” ceremonies, or other community gatherings.
The little contact they do have with their Malay neighbors has traditionally been through silent trade. The Kubu would take their goods to a place where Malay traders could look at them. The traders would then place the goods that they were willing to exchange nearby, then withdraw to a safe distance. If the deal was satisfactory, the Kubu would take what was offered and vanish back into the brush.
Along with the tradition and simplicity of their material culture, the Kubu are also lacking in social and religious development. Musical instruments of any kind and dancing are unknown to them.
Although the Kuba are considered to be Muslim, they still practice various animistic rituals, such as curing ceremonies. (Animism is the belief that inanimate objects have spirits.) Their witchdoctors, called shamans, make offerings to the spirits for them.
|Melayu Jambi Tribe 976.000|
|Jambi Province. Alternate names: Djambi, Batin. Dialects: Downstream Jambi Malay, Upstream Jambi Malay.|
|The Jambi people (also known as the Melayu Jambi – i.e. Jambi Malay) primarily live in four of the six districts that comprise the Jambi Province of central Sumatera. These districts are Tanjungjabung, Batanghari, Bungo-Tebo, and the capital city of Jambi. The Jambi language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. Their culture is greatly influenced by the Minangkabau culture.Most of the area the Jambi inhabit is a lowland basin of dense jungles, peat bogs, swamps, and rivers–all drained by the mighty Batang Hari River (655 km. long) and its tributaries. The rivers are important to them not only as a means of transportation but as a source of fish. They are adept swimmers and fishermen. They use eight types of traditional fishing tackle, as well as the modern pukat (fishnet). They are great eaters of ikan (fish) and complain that a meal is incomplete without its distinctive flavor.|
Most of the Jambi make their living by fishing. For catching fish they use different types of traps ranging from the traditional to the modern. Some of the types of fish they catch are: ringau, kelemak, toman, pati, baung, juaro, bujuk, seluang, gabus, betok, and serapil. In addition to fishing, farming and plantation work are important occupations for the Jambi people.The Jambi are proud of their status as descendants of an ancient Melayu kingdom that dates back to the 7th century. This pride, in fact, has threatened their economic development due to their unwillingness to accept modernization. This is evident as transmigrants from other parts of Indonesia are better off economically than most of the Jambi themselves. Travel between neighboring rural villages is more often done by river than by land. This is due to the Jambi mainly living in thick jungle areas with wide marshes, making land travel very difficult. The Jambi have many different kinds of ceremonies and rituals, which they celebrate at special occasions. These would include: birth of a child, naming a child, first hair cut, ear piercing for two-year old girls, and circumcision for sons between six and ten years old. When the children come of age, (15 year old girls and 17 year old boys), there is a ceremony to file their teeth as a symbol of their adulthood.
Almost all of the Jambi are Muslims. All villages have a mesjid (mosque) or langar (prayer house) with many having a madrasah (Islamic school). For the Jambi, all principles and guidelines governing human life have been passed down from their ancestors, who in turn received them from the official Islamic written sources of revealed truth, the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) and the Hadith (guidelines for faith and practice derived from the Prophet Muhammad’s life). They also believe that religious leaders, dwarfs, and dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) possess supernatural powers.
|Penghulu Tribe 27.000 Islam|
|The Penghulu tribe is one of the ethnic groups, which is regarded as the “original inhabitants” of the Jambi province on the Indonesian island of Sumatera. They primarily live in the districts of Sungai Manau, Batang Asai, and Ulu Tabir in the regency of Sarolangun Bangko in the province of Jambi. Some also live in Bungo Tebo Regency. This group reportedly migrated from West Sumatera to Jambi in the 15th century to look for gold. 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. In accordance with the area of their origin, their language is a mixture of the Minangkabau and Jambi languages.|
The main occupation of the Penghulu is cultivating irrigated and unirrigated rice fields. Besides planting rice, they also grow rubber, cinnamon, and coffee. Another means of livelihood is gathering forest products, such as wood and rattan.Some Penghulu people make their living by mining gold using their traditional methods. The main gold mining area is centered on the areas of Sungai Manau and Batang Asai. Handicrafts that are found in this area are mainly woven products, such as woven balls, mats, baskets, bowls, and winnowing baskets. Besides this, they also do metal work making knives, machetes, adzes, and pickaxes.An important custom for the Penghulu people is called, menyerayo (or parian), and refers to mutual assistance in planting, cultivating, and harvesting their fields. Usually, this kind of activity involves almost everyone in the village.The Penghulu usually build their villages with the homes closely grouped together and located along the road or the riverbank. Several villages form a community, which is called a marga. A marga is led by a pasirah. The nuclear family is called a kalbu. A number of kalbu form a family clan, which is led by a Tua Tengganai. A Tua Tengganai has the responsibility of supervising the members of his clan and is responsible for resolving problems that arise among them. Penghulu society is led by a council which is comprised of one respected leader (ninik mamak) from each extended family.
In general the Penghulu are Muslims. Despite this, traditional animistic beliefs are still strong in daily life. They still believe in the power of unseen spirits that inhabit sacred places. Some of the Penghulu still give offerings to improve relationships with the spirits. The services of a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are often sought for many purposes, including healing sicknesses and exorcising evil spirits.