Madura in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Madura only in Indonesia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Madura people are the third largest people group in Indonesia. The majority of Madura live on the island of Madura and in the eastern part of the island of Java. Other major pockets of Madura people can be found in Jakarta, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and even Singapore. "E tembang pote matah, angok pote tolang" means "it is better to die than to be humiliated". This is a common Madura sentiment that typifies their nature, a proud and purposeful people, who are known as fierce fighters and very hard workers. They are said to be the most loyal of friends but the fiercest of enemies. The Madura people are renowned for their harsh character and lifestyles. This is probably caused by their natural surroundings and their history of oppression by others, both of which have made life very difficult for them. Nevertheless, their harsh temperament can be seen positively if one examines their work ethic. Most of them work extremely hard and refuse to give up. Neither men nor women shrink from hard work in order to meet basic needs.The Madura have their own language as well as several dialects. The Bangkalan dialect is used in the regencies of Bangkalan and Sampang. The Pamekasan dialect is used in the southern portion of Pamekasan Regency and in the central part of Madura Island. The Sumenep dialect is found in the Sumenep Regency. There are also the Girpapas and Kangean dialects that are used by smaller populations.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The majority of Madura living on the island reside in closely-knit farming communities. But very few Madura living on the island only gain their income from farming. The climate is very dry and the land is not very fertile and thus yields only two harvests of rice and tobacco each year. Many Madura are fishermen, salt farmers and sailors on inter-island cargo ships. The Madura who live on Java generally do not own land, but become fishermen, sailors, bicycle-taxi drivers and unskilled laborers. The Madura are also known across Indonesia for their sate (skewered meat kebabs) and soto (meat soup). According to tradition, the first step in the Madura marriage process is for a parent to seek a suitable young lady for one's son (nyalabar). The next step involves contacting the lady's family (narabas pagar). If well received, the proposal leads to engagement. Among the Madura people, the family does not merely include close relatives (brothers, sisters and parents). The Madura maintain large family structures called pon popon gik semak, meaning that even distant relatives are considered close family. It does not matter if they are close relatives from the same grandparents or distant cousins.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Madura people are known for being very devout Sunni Muslims. Nevertheless, many seek security from the use of magic spells that are used in an attempt to control both good and evil spirits. The Kyai (the leader of a pesantren - Islamic traditional school) and the Hajj (one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca) have a special place of honor in the eyes of the people.

What Are Their Needs?

On average, the Madura live on one-third of the median Indonesian income. Education beyond middle school is an immense need for the Madura people, as is job skills training. Economic growth and spreading industrialization are having an impact on their island and they need advanced training in order to benefit from this growth. Their arid and salty soil could use desalination technology in order to increase their farming yields, as well as outside help in advanced fishing techniques to prevent denuding the earth and sea. Extracting fresh water from sea water would be another useful technology.

Profile Source:   IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-06-18
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-28
Video Links:
Debt of Honor
People Name General Madura
People Name in Country Madura
Population in Indonesia 8,567,000
World Population 8,567,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Boyanese, Madurese
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Madura of Java
People Name General Madura
Ethnic Code MSY44h
People ID 13199
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 North coastal area of east Java, Sapudi Islands, Madura Island.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Madura Malay, Makassar
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Madura Malay, Makassar
For Primary Language: Madura

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1890-1987)
New Testament Yes
Complete Bible Yes   (1994)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Madura Film / Video
Madurese Language Film Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.02 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.98 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
10.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
70.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source: Create International   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: IPN   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: IPN, 2011   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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