Mamak, Talang in Indonesia

Mamak, Talang
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group location: Web research and IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Mamak, Talang
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 27,000
World Population: 27,000
Primary Language: Minangkabau
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Melayu of Sumatra
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The origin of the name Talang Mamak is as follows. The word Mamak means "a respected person," and is derived from the same word in the Minangkabau language. Formerly, the ancestors of the Mamak people would clear an area of jungle for a new settlement, which as called a Talang. The Talang Mamak have their own language by the same name.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Talang Mamak live a simple life. They are not attracted to technology or education. Their main foods are rice and cassava. Some Talang Mamak gain their livelihood through fishing, hunting, gathering rattan or tapping rubber trees. Most Talang Mamak live in settlements that are spread throughout rubber tree forests. Typically, the houses are located quite far apart. Their houses are generally built on raised platforms. Logs, bark, woven bamboo are used to build their homes, which are thatched with sago palm fronds. Usually, their houses have multiple levels, with each level containing only one room. The parents and small children live on the first floor; a married daughter and her family would stay on the second floor. Farming tools are stored on the third floor.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Talang Mamak people fuse animistic and Islamic beliefs. They believe in spirits that inhabit various places and things. Ancestral treasures such as a keris (a ceremonial knife), certain weapons and clothes are believed to have magical powers. They still worship Semambu Bauk (a cluster of bamboos with a huge snake) around Batin Sungai Limau. They also believe that a large tree called Kayu Puako has magical powers. The Talang Mamak also believe that God created Adam and Eve. They believe that this couple bore nine children who later intermarried and had many descendants. One descendant was an unmarried woman who bore Datuk Perpatih Nan Sebatang, the ancestor of the Talang Mamak.

What Are Their Needs?

Malaysia is trying to get tribal peoples to become Muslim, and Christian work among them is not welcome. They need to find ways to hear and respond to the life-saving gospel.

Prayer Points

Pray the movement taking place in Mamak would spread to the unreached Mamak people.
Ask God to send workers to make Mamak disciples who will make more disciples.
Pray the church in Indonesia would become a missionary church, sending evangelists to every part of that vast nation.

Text Source:   Joshua Project