Bunak in Indonesia


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The island of Timor is about 280 miles long and up to 65 miles wide. The Portuguese settled on Timor in the early 1500s, and Dutch traders first landed on the island in 1613. The Portuguese and Dutch competed for influence until a series of agreements established boundaries between their holdings. Dutch Timor, centered in the west, became part of the Republic of Indonesia in 1950. Portuguese Timor, centered in the east, was forcibly annexed by Indonesia in late 1975. One of the tribes in this small island is the Bunak. They are one of the major people groups on the island. The Bunak are located in the central interior of Timor Island in the province of Nusa Tenggara. They are also located in East Timor. Their language, which is also called Bunak, is not closely related to any other language.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The economy of the peoples of Timor like the Bunak is dominated by agriculture. Cultivation is by traditional methods, and the chief products are maize, rice, coffee, mangoes, candlenuts, and copra (dried coconut meat yielding oil). The coastal inhabitants of Timor are largely of Indonesian-Malay descent. They have driven the predominantly Melanesian aborigines (such as the Bunak) to the mountains. Bunak villages often consist of individual settlements. In the mountains, the people live on swiddens (land that has been cleared by "slash and burn" agriculture) for part of the year. After harvesting the crops, however, they return to their home villages. Each village has a sacred house, with a custodian priest and a surrounding taboo area. Because of former coastal warfare, villages and isolated houses are surrounded by stockades. Bunak descent is traced through both the males and females, and the circle of kinship is divided into various sub-groups. The center, however, is the nuclear family, composed of a man, woman, and their children. The Bunak people have an oral tradition of stories involving deception, treachery and brutality that are told in a special way. The Bunak people are noted for being fierce, and their folklore reinforces this. They are often socially isolated from other nearby tribes.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Animistic religions (belief that non-human objects have spirits) are still followed by tribes in remote areas, such as the Bunak. The Bunak also practice ancestor worship (praying to deceased relatives for guidance, blessing and protection). A minority of the Bunak people are Christian believers.


What Are Their Needs?

The Bunak people need dependable electricity, running water, good schools, and medical clinics.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Bunak, Mare in Indonesia.

Pray for an abundant harvest for the Bunak people as a testimony of God’s love and power. Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Bunak people. Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among the Bunak people that will spread to the other tribes on the island.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Bunak
People Name in Country Bunak, Mare
Natural Name Bunak
Population this Country 24,000
Population all Countries 90,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Buna'; Bunake; Bunaq; Mare
People ID 11015
ROP3 Code 101744
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Ainaro district: Zumalai subdistrict; Bobonaro district: Maliana south; Cova Lima district: on Timor island central interior, south coast, north of Suai town.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Ainaro district: Zumalai subdistrict; Bobonaro district: Maliana south; Cova Lima district: on Timor island central interior, south coast, north of Suai town..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Bunak (24,000 speakers)
Language Code bfn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bunak (24,000 speakers)
Language Code bfn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bunak

Primary Language:  Bunak

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
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
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
70.0 %
Photo Source David Palazón - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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