Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK
Introduction / History
The origin of the Tutung people (also referred to as Tutong 2) is not certain, but they claim to have lived in Brunei Darussalam for many hundreds of years. They are the "most original" of the country's indigenous people. They are related to other ethnic communities in the Baram-Tinjar subgroup. They live around the sleepy coastal town of Tutong.
The Tutung take pride in their language and use it regularly for intra-ethnic communication. However, they also speak the common Brunei Malay language. In mixed marriages, many use Brunei Malay with their children.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Tutung communities no longer live in village styled settlements but have adopted individual family houses. They live in small but well established towns with modern styled homes that are still stretched along the coastal land of Tutong. Their main settlement in Tutong is a little over 40 km west of the capital city. The town has witnessed little of the development that the discovery of oil has brought to other parts of the country. It has a much slower pace than other Bruneian settlements.
Traditionally, the Tutung made their living from seafaring and trading. Villagers fish on a daily or overnight basis, returning to the village to eat and to sleep. For many, fishing was the primary source of livelihood. Trade also occupied a central place in the Tutung economy, and historically, the Tutung were highly valued for their specialized seafaring skills. Today, however, many of them no longer engage in traditional occupations. The educated Tutung commute weekly or monthly to lucrative jobs in Bandar Seri Begawan and other coastal towns. Medical and educational services are relatively well developed and are largely financed by the oil-rich government of Brunei Darussalam. Education is free for the Tutung people. Public medical institutions charge a nominal fee of one Brunei dollar for every consultation and dispense medicine free of charge.
What are Their Beliefs?
Tutung are traditionally animists, but nothing is ever told about their former way of life. the Malay Islamic Authority of Brunei Darussalam includes them as a Muslim group. Therefore, all Tutung are considered Muslims at birth.
Tutung people claim to be Muslims, adhering to traditional Islamic practices and beliefs. Theirs is a religion of works based on their belief in one God, Allah. Their religious duties include praying five times a day, fasting, and giving alms to the poor.
What are Their Needs?
No written resources are available in Tutung language. Pray the workers will be sent that will invest their lives to help provide written form of the Tutung so that the people will have access to materials to read in their own language.
Pray for workers to be sent who will invest their lives in the Tutung community. Pray for receptive hearts among the Tutung.
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