Malay, Sumatera Utara in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Malay, Sumatera Utara only in Indonesia

Population

2,139,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


The Sumatran Malays

Source Asia Harvest                                                Download

Profile Source: Indonesian Peoples Network, 2011


Introduction / History

Sumatera Utara (North Sumatra) is the homeland of both the Batak ethnic group who live in the mountains and the Melayu (Malay) people who live on the eastern coast. Other people groups also live there, including the Jawa, Nias, Mandailing and Tionghoa (Chinese Indonesians). The Malay people group in North Sumatra is not actually an ethnic group, but rather a culture influenced by Islam. The Malays in this area use clan names, called marga, to specify if they come from the Karo or Simalungun clan, which are Muslim. Many Malay clans therefore use Karo clan names. Even the ancient sultans of Langkat, Asahan and Labuhan Batu in the North Sumatra Malay area had Karo clan names.


What are Their Lives Like?

Most North Sumatra Malay live on the coast as fishermen. The waters in the area are known for their plentiful fish and oysters. Some also work as farmers producing rice, rubber and coconut oil. Others make a living by weaving cloth. Cloth from the Asahan clan, called songket, is a hand-woven with gold or silver threads. Songket is usually dark blue or green and is only used on special occasions. Unlike other Malay people, the North Sumatra Malay trace their ancestry through the mother's side (matrilineal). This is because of the strong influence from the Minangkabau people group. However, family names are still taken from the father's side (patrilineal). Bandar Ahmat is an example of a patrilineal clan name. After marriage, the new couple lives near the wife's family (matrilocal). But after they have children, they normally move to a new house near the husband's family (patrilocal) or to another new location (neolocal). In the family, the husband and wife share equal status. This is seen as consistent with the teachings of Islam. Because of this, both boys and girls have inheritance rights from their parents. The North Sumatra Malay often avoid speaking frankly for fear they will offend someone. They use signs, parables and traditional poetry instead. Another element of traditional North Sumatra Malay culture is traditional theater, makyong and traditional dance, main lukah menari. In the dance, they believe they get supernatural power by using incantations and occult puppets called lukah. Their art has been heavily influenced by Islamic elements and is similar to Malay art from Malaysia. There are two main social classes among the North Sumatra Malays: the nobility and the common people. Within the nobility, there are upper and lower classes. The upper class consists of the king's family while the lower class consists of the descendants of important officials from the area. Common people also show special respect to village leaders, religious leaders and wise men.


What are Their Beliefs?

Most North Sumatra Malay are Sufi Muslims. In fact, it is often said that all Malays are Muslim. However, they still hold to their old animistic beliefs. They believe that the teachings of Islam come from their own traditional values which give priority to orderly, harmonistic life together where each person respects the other. They also believe that spirits are everywhere and influence people's lives. Because of this, their traditional rituals and ceremonies are centered on acquiring supernatural protection by overpowering or controlling good and evil spirits.


What are Their Needs?

The North Sumatra Malay still need help in how to better use their land and sea. They need help to raise their standard of living through more efficient farming methods and fishing technology. Up to the present, they have had difficulty creating new jobs or obtain new skills.




Profile Source: Indonesian Peoples Network, 2011 Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission

People Name General Malay, Sumatera Utara
People Name in Country Malay, Sumatera Utara
Population in Indonesia 2,139,000
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Melayu of Sumatra
People Name General Malay, Sumatera Utara
Ethnic Code MSY44y
Country Indonesia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country Primarily coastal regions of central and north Sumatra and western Kalimantan
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malay (2,139,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malay 2,139,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video General Ministry Resources
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Malay
Film / Video Malay Language Film
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language
Scripture EasyBibles
Scripture EasyBibles
Scripture World Missionary Press Booklets

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
99.95 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
100.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: IPN - Indonesian People Network © Copyrighted Used with permission
Map Source: IPN - Indonesian People Network © Copyrighted
Video Source: Asia Harvest  
Profile Source:  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more  
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