Hitu in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Hitu only in Indonesia






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Hitu live in five village areas along the north coast of Ambon island: Wakal, Hila, Hitu, Mamala and Morela. These areas are in Lehitu county, Central Maluku Regency, Maluku Province. In 1999, North Maluku Province was divided from Maluku Province. In the past, Hitu village formed the commercial center and goods distribution point for Ambon island. Hitu can be reached by land or sea. Since the regional violence of 2000 and following, public transport usually comes and goes once daily from the city of Ambon. The only historical record of the Hitu people is found in their stories, about how in the past they lived at the edge of the jungle. Later developments caused them to begin moving out of the jungle and building beach-side houses. The Hitu people use Hitu language, consisting of various dialects. The Hitu language is part of a larger linguistic grouping called the Seram Straits which also includes the Laha, Tulehu, Paulohi, Amahai, Elpaputih, Nusa Laut, Watu, Saparua and Kamarian.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Hitu cultivate cloves, nutmeg, sago palm, coconut and various other spices. Their land, although fertile, remains sadly underutilized. Most of their land is governed by tribal law and is regarded as tribal land. Most Hitu live near the sea in beach-side houses, but some live along the road leading to the city of Ambon. The Hitu area has ample sources of fresh water, flowing from fissures in limestone rocks. These water sources form rivers flowing across the main road. Many Hitu combine both farming and fishing for income. In addition to the main crops are cassava, taro, cloves, nutmeg and coconut. They also cultivate fruits, such as banana, guava, durian and soursop. Sago palm grows well without even being cultivated. Some Hitu work as teachers or other government employees. Many Hitu women work as fish sellers (jibu jibu).

What Are Their Beliefs?

Hitu is the historical entry-point of Islam into the Malukus. For this reason, nearly all Hitu people are Muslim. They believe that later they will be judged both on their knowledge of the Qur'an and on their good works. But like most Muslim people in Maluku, the Hitu are strongly influenced by even more ancient animism.

What Are Their Needs?

Not all Hitu receive formal education. Even where schools exist, many finish only elementary school. In the whole Hitu area, there is only one agricultural school, one government Islamic school and the private Islamic boarding school, Madrasah Tsanawiyah. Apart from needing formal education, the Hitu also need general knowledge about health and public sanitation. The Hitu society needs good leadership and direction to develop their physical health and their agricultural potential. Appropriate small-scale technology could also help them become a more productive society. They have very few chances to improve their job skills. Lack of electricity and dependable clean water supply also hinder development of Hitu society.

Profile Source:   IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Hitu
People Name in Country Hitu
Population in Indonesia 17,000
World Population 17,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Maluku-Central
People Name General Hitu
Ethnic Code AON09e
People ID 12110
Country Indonesia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 47  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Ambon Island, Hitu Peninsula, Wakal, Hitu, Mamala, Morela, Hila.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hitu (17,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hitu 17,000
For Primary Language: Hitu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
95.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
100.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: IPN   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: IPN   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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