Penihing, Aoheng in Indonesia

Penihing, Aoheng
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Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Penihing, Aoheng
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,800
World Population: 4,800
Primary Language: Aoheng
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 3.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Borneo-Kalimantan
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aoheng Penihing are a small indigenous tribe. The ancestors of the Aoheng may have come from other parts of Southeast Asia hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago. The Aoheng language is endangered with less than 5000 native speakers. Some of the Aoheng men know enough of the Bahasa (Indonesian language) to communicate with outsiders.

Where Are they Located?

The Aoheng live in the north central Indonesian section of the island of Borneo near the Malaysian border. They live villages in the tropical rain forest near streams or rivers.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Penihing live semi-nomadic lives. When the soil of a particular area becomes exhausted, they move to another area. The slash and burn method of agriculture is destructive to plants and animals of the region. Penihing men also hunt and fish to add to their food supply. Women farm small plot of vegetables and gather forest products for food and for sale. Sweet potatoes, coconuts, and palm sago are their staple foods.

Most Aoheng live in villages governed by an elder or group of elders. The shaman is their main source of medical and spiritual help.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of the Aoheng practice folk religion or animism. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, rocks, rivers, animals, and mountains. The Aoheng live in fear of offending the spirits and their ancestors. A village shaman intercedes between the Aoheng with the spirit world. The shaman and the Aoheng hope to appease the evil spirits through rituals, charms and offerings. A tiny group of the Aoheng are believers.

What Are Their Needs?

According to, no Scripture currently exists in the endangered language of the Aoheng, either in recorded or written form. The Aoheng would benefit by medical teams coming to treat their physical problems. Solar panels could give the Aoheng access to electricity to run small appliances. Most of all, the Aoheng need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can free them from their fear of evil spirits and offer them an abundant life.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Aoheng Penihing people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.

Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Aoheng Penihing families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.

Pray for the spiritual lives of the Aoheng Penihing people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.

Pray for the lives and culture of the Aoheng Penihing people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Keith Carey