Jambi in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Jambi only in Indonesia





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Sumatran Malays

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Introduction / History

The Jambi people also known as the Jambi Malay or Melayu Jambi, primarily live in central Sumatra. They occupy the regencies of Batanghari, Bungo-Tebo, Sarolangun, Muaro Jambi, Merangin and the capital city of Jambi Province. The Jambi language is part of the Malay language cluster. Their culture has been heavily influenced by the Minangkabau culture. Most of the area inhabited by the Jambi is a lowland basin of dense jungles, peat bogs, swamps and rivers. This area is drained by the mighty Batang Hari River and its many tributaries. The river system, which is 409 miles/655 km long, is important both as a means of transportation and as a source of fish. The Jambi are adept swimmers and fishermen. They use eight types of traditional fishing tackle, as well as the modern fishnet. They are great eaters of fish and complain that a meal is incomplete if lacking the distinctive fish flavor.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Jambi earn their livelihood from fishing. To catch fish they use both modern and traditional methods and equipment. They catch, sell and eat over eleven types of fish. Other ways of making a living include farming and plantation work. The Jambi are a very proud people due to their links with the ancient Malay kingdom that flourished from the 7th century AD until the Middle Ages. Sadly, this pride now threatens their economic development due to their unwillingness to accept modernization and reform. This can be seen when comparing their lives to those of transmigrants to the Jambi area, who now enjoy a higher standard of living than the native Jambi. Transportation between neighboring communities is done more frequently by water than by land. The reason is that most Jambi communities are located in forest areas with thick undergrowth and extensive swamps which make land travel difficult. Many traditional ceremonies and special rituals are performed by the Jambi. These are for events such as the birth of a child, giving a name to the child, cutting the child's hair for the first time, piercing a girl's ears at age two and circumcision for boys between the ages of six and ten years old. Once a child is at the age of adulthood (15 years old for a female and 17 years old for a male), there is a ritual of filing the teeth to make them even, as a rite of passage into adulthood.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all of the Jambi are Muslim. Every village has a mosque or prayer house and typically also an Islamic religious school (madrasah). For the Jambi, all principles and guidelines governing human life originated with their ancestors, who in turn received them from the Qu'ran and the Hadith (written instructions for faith and practical matters taken from the life of the prophet Mohammed). The Jambi also believe that religious leaders, dwarves and shamans have supernatural powers.

What Are Their Needs?

Many Jambi feel neglected and exploited by the transmigrants who have come in the area over the past few decades. Greater educational assistance will help them learn skills that will make them more competitive with other ethnic groups who have moved into the area. Better medical help is also needed.

Profile Source:   IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-06-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-06-14
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-06-26
People Name General Jambi
People Name in Country Jambi
Population in Indonesia 1,124,000
World Population 1,124,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Batinese, Jambinese Malay, Malat
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Melayu of Sumatra
People Name General Jambi
Ethnic Code MSY44k
People ID 12318
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 Southeast Sumatra, Jambi Province.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Malay, Jambi (1,124,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malay, Jambi 1,124,000
For Primary Language: Malay, Jambi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.06 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.94 %
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
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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