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The People of Sumatra

The following is a list of Unreached People Groups on the island of Sumatra



Who are the Trans Migrant Javanese?

By far, the largest people group in the country of Indonesia is the Javanese. The most densely populated island in the Indonesian archipelago of over 13,000 islands is Java. For this and other economic reasons, the government sanctioned a massive relocation program during the 1970s -1980s in which millions of Javanese farmers moved to rural locations in Sumatra. There are 15 million of them which makes the Transmigrant Javanese the largest people group on Sumatra - over twice the size of the … [Read more...]

Who are the Pakpak Boang?

The 18,000 Pakpak Boang live in the Singkil area of the southern part of Aceh Province in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The Pakpak Boang are part of the Pakpak or Dairi Batak tribe, but are often mistaken for Singkil people. Boang is comes from the Indonesian word “buang” which means to discard or throw away. They chose this name for themselves because they felt discarded by the rest of the tribe when then decided to leave Christianity to follow Islam. What Are Their Lives Like? Most Pakpak … [Read more...]

Who are the Deli?

The two million Deli and Asahan Malay live along the eastern coast of North Sumatra. Deli villages are clustered along the coast, and often include not only Deli Malay people, but also people of other ethnic backgrounds such as Javanese and Minangkabau. They live on the banks of rivers and near the ocean in marshy areas that often flood. What Are Their Lives Like? The Deli typically work as fishermen or traditional farmers. The fishermen work in the Straits of Malacca between Sumatra and … [Read more...]

Who are the Bonai Malay?

There are 14,000 Bonai Malay. They live in the western part of the Riau province, which is in central Sumatra. What Are Their Lives Like? Until recently they were considered “foreign” by their own government because of their refusal to enter into the modern world. But in this generation, all of that has changed. The Bonai Malay have embraced a more modern way of life. They are sending their children to school. They are welcoming electricity and other tools into their villages for the first … [Read more...]

Who are the Rawas?

The Rawas are a people group of South Sumatra. Those who live near the Rupit River are also known as the Rupit, while those who live near the Rawas River are most commonly known as the Rawas. They live in the Musi Rawas regency of South Sumatra province. Many Rawas people live in small cities or villages. In the west, the Rawas territory ascends to the peaks of the 2,068-meter-high Mount Hijau. To the south is the Musi Rawas regency capital, Lubuk Linggau, through which runs the trans-Sumatra … [Read more...]

Who are the Rejang?

The Rejang people live primarily in the province of Bengkulu, mainly in the Rejang Lebong Regency. Some also live in North Bengkulu Regency. The majority of Rejang live on the slopes of the Bukit Barisan mountain range, where the climate is cool and fresh. The Rafflesia flower (the world’s largest flower), as well as beautiful orchids, grow wild throughout this area. The Rejang have been known for their bravery and strength in battle. They have their own language, Rejang, with four … [Read more...]

Who are the Ranau?

The Ranau are a group who live near Lake Ranau in South Sumatra. They live in a few villages in South Ogan Komering Ulu regency, near Javanese, Daya, Komering and Chinese people who have lived in the area for several generations and mixed with the rest of the population. Linguistically, the Ranau speak a dialect of the Lampung Api language. They are able to understand the Komering, Daya and some other related languages. Ethnically, however, they identify with the Lampung Pesisir people, not … [Read more...]

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...]