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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 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 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...]

Who are the Lampung Sungkai?

The Sungkai have a strong social structure and make up their own subgroup within the Lampung cluster. The Sungkai are also known as the Bunga Mayang. The Sungkai live in the North Lampung regency. According to their ancient historical records, the Sungkai are likely closely related to the other Lampung ethnic groups. The Sungkai use a dialect of the Lampung Api language. It has several levels of formal language. Most Sungkai also speak Indonesian. Some also speak the languages of local … [Read more...]

Who are the Lampung Pesisir?

The indigenous people who live along the coastline of Lampung province are called the Lampung Pesisir (Coastal Lampung), or the Lampung Peminggir (“outskirts”). They have four subgroups. They speak a dialect of the Lampung Api language. The word api means “what?” There are two lines of cultural tradition in Lampung. They are Pepadun and Saibatin (“one leader”). Each subgroup of Lampung Pesisir has only one autonomous leader—a Prince or a Sultan. What are their lives like? Most of the Lampung … [Read more...]

Who are the Simeulue?

The Simeulue people live on an island included in West Aceh Province, Indonesia. Simeulue Island is about 120 km in length, and many of its inhabitants share kinship ties with one another. Sinabang is its largest city. Small towns and villages line the coast. Kampung Aie is one of the most important towns, serving as the center of Islam and the more refined dialect of the Simeulue language. “Mae o?” (Where are you going) is one of the most commonly asked questions on Simeulue. The residents … [Read more...]

Who are the Serawai?

The Serawai are a Malay ethnic group who live in Bengkulu province. Serawai call themselves Orang Selatan (People of the South), even though there are Kaur and Besemah people in this southern section of the province as well. The Serawai have their own language, which has two dialects. What are their lives like? The rural Serawai live in wooden houses raised on stilts which have thatched roofs made from leaves. The space below the house is used for storage or for keeping livestock. Villages are … [Read more...]

Who are the Semendo?

The Semendo are also often called Semende or Jeme Semendo. The Semendo live in the South Sumatra and Lampung provinces. The Semendo language is similar to Besemah and Lintang dialects, except that the Semendo tend to use /e/ at the end of words. What are their lives like? Most Semendo have been farmers for generations. Their fertile farmland lies approximately 900 meters above sea level. There are two main crops produced, rice and Robusta coffee. Semendo is one of the primary rice-producing … [Read more...]

Who are the Lintang?

The Lintang, or as they are more commonly known, Lintang Empat Lawang, is a mixture of the Lintang and Empat Lawang people. The Lintang are also often called the Musi Ulu people. They live along the left and right forks of the Lintang River in South Sumatra province. The Lintang understand the Besemah, Semende, Lematang, Kikim, and Enim dialects. They can understand Palembang Indonesian well. Some characteristic language features include the use of the words nedo, which means ‘no’ or ‘not yet’, … [Read more...]

Who are the Lampung Pubian?

The Lampung Pubian people have a very clear cultural organizational structure, which separates them from other peoples within the Lampung cluster. The Pubian are also called the Three Clans of Pubian because in the past they were made up of three clans. The concept of clan (suku) for the Pubian refers to a broader association than other groups in the region, because for them a clan can consist of several villages. The Pubian are made up of two subgroups. Each subgroup is made up of six clans. … [Read more...]