The Ethnic Groups of Indonesia

Please select one of the regions below to go to the list of the people groups based on that region.

 


 

Who are the Rambang?

The Rambang people live in an area spread across the southeastern part of South Sumatra province. In Prabumulih City, they live scattered throughout several districts in which they are the dominant group. The Rambang people have several names, including: Rambang Dangku, Rambang Senuling, and Anak Rambang. What are their lives like? Rambang society is rich in various rituals oriented toward the natural environment. These include birth and death rituals, and Buang Juang, a farewell ceremony … [Read more...]

Who are the Kayu Agung?

The Kayu Agung live in South Sumatra. Kayu Agung means “the people of the noble wood.” They are not nomadic, but prefer to live in the same place their entire lives. Currently, there are about 40 Kayu Agung villages. The Kayu Agung speak Kayu Agung, a dialect of Komering which is part of the Lampung language cluster. The Kayu Agung are made up of two groups. The first group is called Original Kayu Agung. People in this group tend to identify ethnically with the Komering people. The second group … [Read more...]

Who are the Aneuk Jamee?

The Aneuk Jamee are found in the south-western part of Aceh in Sumatra. They live around the small bays and on the low plains hemmed in by the Bukit Barisan mountain range. One group of Aneuk Jamee who call themselves the Ba’apo live the farthest south. The name Aneuk Jamee means “offspring of guests” or “newcomer” in the Aceh language. The name refers to Minangkabau people who migrated to the area in the 17th century. Gradually, they settled among the Aceh people in the area, a process … [Read more...]

Who are the Cia-Cia?

The Cia-Cia people are found throughout the southern part of Buton island, generally in the more rural areas. These people also inhabit the remote island of Batu Atas (south of Buton) as well as the eastern half of the island of Binongko in the Wakatobi island chain. The traditional laws and customs of the Cia-Cia are very strong. The Cia-Cia can be found inland and in coastal communities. Back in the 1970’s, the government forced most of the villages to move to the coast so they could provide … [Read more...]

Who are the Kikim?

The Kikim people group live in South Sumatra province. The Kikim are generally the only people group in their area, but there are a few areas with a small number of Javanese as well. In Tebing Tinggi, the Kikim live beside the Lintang, Javanese, Sundanese, and Saling (Lembak) people. In Lahat, the Kikim live near the Lematang people, Javanese, and Sundanese. The Kikim have their own dialect, and understand some of the other dialects in their area, but not all of them. One characteristic of the … [Read more...]

Who are the Komering?

Most of the Komering people live in southeastern Sumatra, in the province of South Sumatra. The Komering people are part of the Lampung ethnic group. The name “Komering” comes from the Komering River, which is their life source. There are two subgroups within the Komering people—the Komering Ilir (downstream) and Komering Ulu (upstream). They use the Komering language, but they also use Indonesian, which is taught in school. The Komering language has several distinguishing features that … [Read more...]

Who are the Konjo Pegunungan?

The Konjo people cluster consists of two groups: the Konjo Pegunungan (mountain) and the Konjo Pesisir (coastal) in the South Sulawesi province. As their name states, the Konjo Pegunungan (“of the mountains”) primarily live in the mountainous region of Konjo in South Sulawesi. They use the Konjo language, which is part of the Makassar language family. It is similar to other South Sulawesi languages. What are their lives like? Most Konjo Pegunungan people live as farmers. Most of them practice … [Read more...]

Who are the Konjo Pesisir?

The Konjo people cluster consists of two groups: the Konjo Pegunungan (mountain group) and the Konjo Pesisir (coastal group). The Konjo Pesisir people are also called Tiro. The Konjo Hitam (Black Konjo) people are considered part of the Konjo Pesisir. They live in South Sulawesi. The Konjo Hitam consider themselves the original inhabitants and regard their area as the center of traditional customs for all of the Konjo Pesisir. They have never had a king and do not follow a system of social … [Read more...]

Who are the Kaili Unde?

The Kaili Unde live in the mountainous western side of Palu Bay in Central Sulawesi. Some of the Kaili Unde also inhabit the southern part of Donggala and across the mountains to the coast. The word unde means “no.” The Kaili Unde language is part of a larger language group called the Kaili subfamily which also includes the Baras, Kaili Ledo and Lindu languages. What are their lives like? The Kaili Unde villages are small. The houses are typically on stilts. The coastal Kaili Unde practice … [Read more...]

Who are the Singkil?

The Singkil people live in the South Aceh Regency which is in the southwestern part of Aceh Province. The Singkil area borders on North Sumatra Province. The Singkil people are a mixture of the Mandailing, Aceh, Minangkabau, and Nias peoples. The Singkil language is called Pesisir Singkil. It is influenced by the Minangkabau and Batak languages. Two different groups call themselves the Singkil: the Ulu people and the Ba’Apo. The two groups live side by side, the Ba’Apo in the center, and the … [Read more...]