The Minangkabau (Minang) people originate from the province of West Sumatera. These people are famous for their tradition of merantau (going to distant areas to seek success). Many of them have moved to other islands in Indonesia. They are the fourth largest ethnic group in Indonesia and exercise significant influence in the country. The name “Minangkabau” reflects their clever intellect. Minangkabau literally means “victorious water buffalo”. According to legend, an army from Jawa long ago invaded West Sumatera. Realizing they were outnumbered, the local leaders challenged the invaders to a contest between water buffaloes. The local leaders chose a small calf and then starved it. When the calf mistakenly sought to nurse from the huge Jawa bull, a knife attached to the calf’s snout sliced the bull open. From that time on, the water buffalo has endured as a symbol of the Minangkabau and is still evident in their ethnic myths, culture, and architecture. The roofs of traditional Minang homes and buildings are shaped in the form of buffalo horns.In the past, the Minangkabau homeland consisted of many small villages (nagari) run by a village chief (penghulu) and a council of leaders. Each village managed its own affairs with minimal interference from the Minangkabau kings and nobles. The Minangkabau are very proud of their culture and traditions. In their culture, the family name and inheritance is passed down from mother to daughter (matrilineal). Historically, in the home, primary responsibility has been in the hands of the uncle (mother’s brother) called the ninik mamak. He must take care of his nieces and nephews as well as supervise everything that relates to family inheritance. However, today the role of the uncle is decreasing because more and more Minangkabau families are following the more universal pattern of the father leading the household. This change is most clearly seen among Minangkabau families who are living outside the province. Other than the restaurant business, the Minangkabau are also famous for their skill in retail business. They often sell clothes and jewelry. Most Minangkabau are committed Muslims. In fact, they have a proverb that states, “To Be Minangkabau is to be Muslim.” If a Minangkabau converts to another religion, he will be thrown out of his family and community as well as lose his job. In the 1800s, the Dutch took advantage of a conflict between the Minangkabau cultural guardians and Muslim leaders and intervened to gain control of the area. Islam was used as a rallying point in the struggle against the Dutch and resulted in Islam being incorporated into Minangkabau traditions.
Mentawai 65.000 Christian
Mentawai Islands. Alternate names: Mentawei, Mentawi. Dialects: Simalegi, Sakalagan, Silabu, Taikaku, Saumanganja, North Siberut, South Siberut, Sipura, Pagai.
Talang Mamak Tribe 22.000
The Talang Mamak people live in the districts of Pasir Penyu, Siberida, and Renggat in the regency of Indragiri Hulu in the province of Riau. Their population center includes three areas known as Pasirpenyu, Siberida, and Rengat. In this area, they are a minority amidst a mix of Riau Melayu, Kubu, Minangkabau, Jawa, and other people groups. While the history of the Talang Mamak is unclear, they seem to have been influenced by the Minangkabau culture. Marks of this influence include similar clothing designs and the shape of their rice barns (rangkinang). The Talang Mamak have their own language by the same name. The origin of the name Talang Mamak is as follows. The word Mamak means “a respected person,” and is derived from the same word in the Minangkabau language. Formerly, the ancestors of the Mamak people would clear an area of jungle for a new settlement, which as called a Talang. The Talang Mamak live a simple life. They are not attracted to technology or education. Their main foods are rice and cassava. They usually work as farmers planting rice and systematically moving from field to field while still using simple tools. They also plant corn, cassava, or various beans. Some Talang Mamak gain their livelihood through fishing, hunting, gathering rattan, or tapping rubber trees.Most Talang Mamak live in settlements that are spread throughout rubber tree forests. Typically, the houses are located quite far apart. Their houses are generally built on raised platforms. Logs, bark, and woven bamboo are used to build their homes, which are thatched with sago palm fronds. Usually, their houses have multiple levels, with each level containing only one room. The parents and small children live on the first floor and a married daughter and her family would stay on the second floor. Farming tools are stored on the third floor.The various roles of Talang Mamak leadership are identified with the following terms: Ria or Penghulu (village leader), Batin, Pemangku, Debalang, Orang Tuha (village elders), and Penghulu Muda (youth leaders). The duty of those involved in leadership is to rule on social conflicts, divorce, and carut (accidentally and wrongly saying things that hurt other persons). Most Talang Mamak people fuse animistic and Islamic beliefs. They believe in spirits that inhabit various places and things. Ancestral treasures, such as a keris (a ceremonial knife), certain weapons, and clothes, are believed to have magical powers. They still worship Semambu Bauk (a cluster of bamboos with a huge snake) in the area of Batin Sungai Limau. They also believe that a large tree called Kayu Puako has magical powers.The Talang Mamak believe that God created Adam and Eve. They believe that this couple bore 9 children who later intermarried and had many descendants. One descendant was an unmarried woman who bore Datuk Perpatih Nan Sebatang, the ancestor of the Talang Mamak.
Kerinci 258.000 Islam
Jambi Province, western mountains, Sungaipenuh area, and north and west. Also in Bahrain. Alternate names: Kerinchi, Kinchai. Dialects: Ulu, Mamaq, Akit, Talang, Sakei. High dialect diversity in a small area, shading into Jambi Malay [zlm] east and Minangkabau [min] north. Distinct from Kerinci-Minangkabau dialect of Minangkabau.
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.
Born in the Netherlands on 23-04-1940 and passed away in Bali on 25-05-2015. Farelli was the pseudonym of a remarkable man who was infused with an obsessive desire to create things that did not yet exist. Born in the Netherlands in 1940 Dolf Versteegh left his home country in 1990 in order to start a new life on the Island of Bali. Without any formal education he reinvented himself as an architect, as a designer of furniture, as a sculptor and as a writer.
As a teenager Dolf spent only three years in High School but he kept studying history and the natural world all his life and during his last 25 years on Bali he revealed himself not only as versatile artist but also as a formidable scholar of biology.
Farelli was a prolific creator of web content and what he has left behind will remain standing as a great monument to his creative spirit, his ingenuity and his never-ending search for knowledge.