Punan Aput in Indonesia

Punan Aput
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Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Punan Aput
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 700
World Population: 700
Primary Language: Punan Aput
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Borneo-Kalimantan
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aput are one of the indigenous Punan peoples of Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the large island of Borneo. There are about 20 Punan tribes, and they are not always related by culture or language. The Aput Punan make their living through growing crops, fishing and hunting. Since the 1980s some of their youths have migrated to urban centers in Indonesia and Malaysia in search of a better life. The Aput Punan are in danger of disappearing as a people. Less than one thousand Aput Punan people remain in their homeland.

Indonesia gained its freedom from the Netherlands in 1949. It is the largest Muslim majority country in the world as well as the fourth largest nation by population. Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands of which 10,000 are inhabited. Indonesia has oil, natural gas and mineral assets but the average Indonesian does not benefit from the nation's wealth.

Only gospel recording are available in the Aput Punan language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Tribal groups like the Aput Punan tend to be looked down upon by other Indonesian peoples. As more Indonesians move into the area where the Aput Punan live, the Aput Punan culture is slowly vanishing.

The Punan cultivate rice, maize, peanuts, fruits, and vegetables. They trade their surplus rice, fish and peanuts to buy things they cannot make for themselves such a cell phones and appliances. The Punan live in villages with elders making the important decisions.

The Punan people tend to marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. The Punan families often have many children. Many children die before their 10th birthday due to the lack of access to modern medicine. It is the sons' responsibility to take care of their elderly parents.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Each village has a shaman who connects the Punan to the spirit world. The Aput Punan people believe their way of life is being threatened by the outside world. Those within their community are likely to see anyone who embraced another "religion" as a traitor, which is why we need to take Christ to them, not religion.

What Are Their Needs?

Gospel Recording Network (GRN) has produced short gospel messages in their language. These can be distributed to the Aput people by those willing serve them. The Aputs who have moved to urban areas are looking for new answers. Believers can reach out to them. Believers can bring modern medicine and solar panels to the Punan. The Punan need to see the love of Christ shown to them in practical ways.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Aput believers to have the willingness to put their faith in the God of the Bible instead of traditional gods of their folk religion.

Pray that God will honor the faith of the few Puan believers, answer their prayers, and use them to spread Christian faith to others.

Pray for the Aput Punan people to have the chance to hear and respond to the good news.

Pray for many Aput want to be discipled in God's ways.

Pray for a disciple making movement to spread throughout the Punan communities this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project