Introduction / History
The Kumbewaha live on the coastal road to the northeast between Pasarwajo and Lasalimu on Buton Island. The village right before Kumbewaha is Matanauwe. Right after Kumbewaha is Ambuaw, and then Lasalimu Pantai. They live in the Sulawesi Tenggara Province, Buton regency, Lasalimu subdistrict, Kumbewaha & Wajah Jaya villages.
Kumbe means "come," and waha means "year." One hundred percent (100 %) of the adults speak Kumbewaha while only 40 % of the children do. Before 1942 the Kumbewaha lived in the village called Wapomaru. Fighting with the Japanese during World War II resulted in many deaths. The dead bodies in the village were making many people sick. They moved to their present location. In 1955 a rebellion leader burned the Kumbewaha village to the ground. The people escaped and lived in the jungle for 7 years. In 1962 they came back and rebuilt the village where they are now. In 1962 the present village leader’s father became village leader.
What Are Their Lives Like?
About 80% of the people are farmers and about 20% are fishermen. Others work in the mines.
The Kumbewaha grow cloves, cocoa beans, coconuts, cassava, peppers, and red rice (very popular for health purposes).
They have 1 junior high and 2 elementary schools.
They have just one clinic and one nurse.
They have only one police department for many villages, but there is very little crime (The common man in Indonesia cannot own a gun).
They have 20 men who walk around the village every night for security purposes.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Kumbewaha are 100% Muslim. There are 3 mosques. About 40% of the people own their own Qur’an. The people are pretty good at practicing the 5 pillars of the faith (praying 5 times/day, fasting during Ramadan, etc.). They are friendly and appear not to be opposed to others sharing their faith with them. They are a very strong community that supports each other.
What Are Their Needs?
1. Education is their primary need. They need a high school. They also need teachers who are education majors, not just college graduates in whatever.
2. They need a harbor and large nets to efficiently catch fish. The government provides them with small boats they don’t need but doesn’t provide them with nets they do need. They also need training to improve their farming skills.
3. They need a hospital and a doctor.
* Pray that God to raise up and send workers.
* Pray for a senior high school.
* Pray for better trained teachers.
* Pray for a worker to open a library in the village.
* Pray for the needs in the section above.
SIL Ethnologue, 2004
Interview with Kumbewaha village leader La Ode Mohamed Kassim
|Profile Source: Anonymous|