Introduction / History
The Enrekang are sometimes known as the Endekan or the East Endekan people. They live in the foothills around the regencies of Enrekang and Pinrang in the province of South Sulawesi.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The culture of the Enrekang has been influenced by its more populous and more powerful neighbors, the Toraja and Bugis people. The languages of Toraja and Bugis have influenced the Enrekang language and there are many similarities and a high degree of mutual intelligibility.
The Enrekang primarily make their living by farming. Their main crops are rice, fruits and gula aren (sap from the sugar palm tree that is made into a brown sugar). Rice is their staple food. They also raise domesticated livestock such as water buffalo, goats and chickens to meet their needs. Small scale farmers work the land using a share-cropping system.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Many Enrekang marriages are still arranged by the parents and family elders. For several years after their marriage, a new couple lives with the wife's family. Once established, the new family may move into their own house. The traditional Enrekang house is raised on stilts that are three meters high to protect from wild animal attacks. Both the walls and floors of the house are made from wooden planks. The enclosure below the house can also be used as a stall for livestock or as a storehouse.
The Enrekang are 100% Muslim. They believe that they will be judged according to their knowledge of the Koran (Islamic Holy Book) and the sum of their good deeds.
What Are Their Needs?
Despite their professed loyalty to Islam, many Enrekang are still influenced by traditional animistic beliefs and superstitions, combining the laws of traditional culture with Islamic law. They seek protection through magic, by either appeasing or controlling both good and bad spirits.
Burial ceremonies are still performed inside caves in the mountain slopes. Those accompanying the body must climb tall, steep mountainsides. They believe this ceremony frees the spirit of the deceased and gives it power to move to the next world.
Several of the farmers in South Sulawesi do not have sufficient farmland. They work the land of rich landowners, who then take a large percentage of the crop. Farming in the Enrekang area is not lucrative and as a result many Enrekang people leave the area to work as laborers in the cities and towns throughout Sulawesi and other parts of Indonesia. A greater range of jobs would help alleviate unemployment problems.
Portions of scripture are available in the Enrekang language, as well as the JESUS Film. Someone needs to get these resources into Enrekang families.
Ask God to free the Enrekang from fear of the spirit world.
Pray for a hunger for a God who knows and loves them.
Ask God to send loving workers to the Enrekang to share the gospel with them and to help them develop businesses and diversify their economy.
Pray for opportunities to show the JESUS Film and for openness to its message.
Ask God to create a Church Planting Movement among the Enrekang to plant multiplying churches in each of their villages.
Scripture Prayers for the Enrekang in Indonesia.