Introduction / History
The Tugutil are located in several remote mountain range in mid-Halmahera of the Maluku Islands. They lived in very small group consist of 3 or 5 family and each group don't communicate one to each other. The eldest or chieftain is the main person on the group. Sometimes one Tugutil group attacks another Tugutil group for reasons not presently known. They speak "Tobelo" language with old accent – very few outsiders in the area can speak this language. They live on mountain range and always avoiding contact with coastal tribe, the Sawai tribe, the main tribe in mid Halmahera. The Tugutil provide for themselves by hunting or gardening.
What Are Their Beliefs?
From the local information, they were animism (worshiping the spirit in their surroundings include their ancestors. But, long time ago some of Tugutil converting to Christianity, some to Islam particularly those which lived closed to coast. There is a church on Lelilef - nearest village to the Tugutil that was started by an American evangelist.
What Are Their Needs?
There is concern about the continued existence of the Lugutil homeland as there are significant mining projects underway in their area. These mining projects could cause the Tugutil to lose their natural living condition, and they will move out and find other places to live. There is not a similar remote place like they have now because other places have already being taken over by logging companies.
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