Minangkabau, Orang Negeri in Malaysia

Joshua Project has identified the Minangkabau, Orang Negeri only in Malaysia






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Minangkabau, or Minang, comprise a majority of the state of Negeri Sembilan in Peninsular Malaysia. As descendants from the Minangkabau people from West Sumatra, Indonesia, the Minang of Malaysia have a distinct culture and their own royal line that dates back several centuries. The Minang speak the national language of Malaysia, but they have their own dialect that reflects lingual roots in the language of their Indonesian heritage. Within Malaysia, the Minang refer to themselves as Orang Negeri or person from Negeri.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Minang are most noted for their adherence to adat pepatih (matrilineal inheritance). Certain areas of Negeri Sembilan have moved away from this tradition due to the complexities of the matrimonial ceremonies and the blending of communities with peoples from different Malay groups who use traditional male inheritance. However, the areas of Kuala Pilah, Tampin, Seri Menanti, and Jelebu are still strong in their unique culture and consistently practice this tradition. The Minang place great emphasis on their women. In order to protect the rights of the female, the name and property are passed down through the line of the mother. Daughters are strongly encouraged to marry within the same people group or else they are not allowed to live on family land. Sons are allowed to marry outside of the people group, but they, too, forfeit their right to live on family land since the wife would have no land inheritance of her own. Newlyweds either live on their own or with the family of the bride.

Clan leaders within the Minang estimate that there are approximately 35,000 square kilometers of clan land in the region. This land is in the name of the female, but male clan leaders balance the scales of power. Clan leaders have their own titles within their suku (clan group) and strict hierarchy designates how many leaders each clan group is allowed.

Housing and architecture for the Minang have become more modern over the past generation though older, more traditional homes are still being occupied. The roof of a traditional home is peeked at both ends to represent the horns of a water buffalo. These roofs along with spicy food are two trademarks of the Minangkabau.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Minang are devout Muslims in spite of their matrilineal heritage. Polygamy is rare within the Minang culture because it conflicts with a pure inheritance line. The aspect of female inheritance and men being unable to take a second wife draws criticism from more fundamental Islamic people groups.

The Minang practice the five pillars of Islam and wear Muslim clothing that is consistent with other Malay groups throughout Malaysia. A large majority of Minang women wear a head covering and the percentage that do not are of the younger generation.

Marriage ceremonies and funerals are in keeping with Islamic tradition and both male and female children are circumcised: boys when they are twelve years old and girls when they are still babies. Only the circumcision of the male is celebrated.

What Are Their Needs?

The Minang feel the need to protect their culture from future assimilation. As other areas of Negeri Sembilan have shown, mixing with other Malay groups results in a loss of their unique matrilineal customs. As a result, the Minang feel a sense of loss of identity. May the unique culture of the Minang be preserved and blessed as a culture designed by the All-Compassionate One.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Minangkabau, Orang Negeri
People Name in Country Minangkabau, Orang Negeri
Population in Malaysia 902,000
World Population 902,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Malay, Negeri Sembilian, Minang, Minangkabau, Negeri Sembilian, Negeri Sembilian Malay, Orang Negeri
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Malay
People Name General Minangkabau, Orang Negeri
Ethnic Code MSY44k
People ID 14208
Country Malaysia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Southeast of Kuala Lumpur, Ulu Muar District.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Negeri Sembilan Malay (902,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Negeri Sembilan Malay 902,000
For Primary Language: Negeri Sembilan Malay

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

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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