Monday, September 13, 2010


I got this information about the Minang Kabau Culture from my friends, I have been read . So , I think this information are very important to us, while we are in the MinangKabau Area .
Because is nice information so I put this information in my blog..
Here the information of The Minang Kabau. :

The Minangkabau ethnic group (also known as Minang or Padang) is indigenous to the
highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal, with
property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and
political affairs are the province of men (although some women also play important
roles in these areas). Today 4 million Minangs live in West Sumatra, while about 3
million more are scattered throughout many Indonesian and Malay peninsula cities
and towns.

The Minangkabau are strongly Islamic, but also follow their ethnic traditions, or
adat. The Minangkabau adat was derived from animistic beliefs before the arrival
of Islam, and remnants of animistic beliefs still exist even among some practicing
Muslims. The present relationship between Islam and adat is described in the
saying "tradition [adat] founded upon Islamic law, Islamic law founded upon the
Qur'an" (adat basandi syara', syara' basandi Kitabullah).

Their West Sumatran homelands were the location of the Padri War from 1821 to 1837
Total population
circa 6 million
Regions with significant populations
Indonesia (2000 census) 5,475,000 [1]
West Sumatra 3,747,000
Riau 535,000
North Sumatra 307,000
Jakarta 265,000
West Java 169,000
Jambi 132,000
Malaysia (1981 est.) 300,000

The name Minangkabau is thought to be a conjunction of two words, minang
("victorious") and kabau ("buffalo"). There is a legend that the name is derived
from a territorial dispute between the Minangkabau and a neighbouring prince. To
avoid a battle, the local people proposed a fight to the death between two water
buffalo to settle the dispute. The prince agreed and produced the largest,
meanest, most aggressive buffalo. The Minangkabau produced a hungry baby buffalo
with its small horns ground to be as sharp as knives. Seeing the adult buffalo
across the field, the baby ran forward, hoping for milk. The big buffalo saw no
threat in the baby buffalo and paid no attention to it, looking around for a
worthy opponent. But when the baby thrust his head under the big bull's belly,
looking for an udder, the sharpened horns punctured and killed the bull, and the
Minangkabau won the contest and the dispute.
The roofline of traditional houses in West Sumatra, called Rumah Gadang
(Minangkabau, "big house"), curve upward from the middle and end in points, in
imitation of the water buffalo's upward-curving horns.
People who spoke Austronesian languages first arrived in Sumatra around 500 BCE,
as part of the Austronesian expansion from Taiwan to Southeast Asia. The
Minangkabau language is a member of the Austronesian language family, and is
closest to the Malay language, though when the two languages split from a common
ancestor and the precise historical relationship between Malay and Minangkabau
culture is not known. Until the 20th century the majority of the Sumatran
population lived in the highlands. The highlands are well suited for human
habitation, with plentiful fresh water, fertile soil, a cool climate, and valuable
commodities such as gold and ivory. It is probable that wet rice cultivation
evolved in the Minangkabau highlands long before it appeared in other parts of
Sumatra, and predates significant foreign contact.[4]

Adityawarman, a follower of Tantric Buddhism with ties to the Singhasari and
Majapahit kingdoms of Java, is believed to have founded a kingdom in the
Minangkabau highlands at Pagaruyung and ruled between 1347 and 1375, most likely
to control the local gold trade. The establishment of a royal system seems to have
involved conflict and violence, eventually leading to a division of villages into
one of two systems of tradition, Bodi Caniago and Koto Piliang, the later having
overt allegiances to royalty.[5] By the 16th century, the time of the next report
after the reign of Adityawarman, royal power had been split into three recognized
reigning kings. They were the King of the World (Raja Alam), the King of Adat
(Raja Adat), and the King of Religion (Raja Ibadat), and collectively they were
known as the Kings of the Three Seats (Rajo Tigo Selo).[6] The Minangkabau kings
were charismatic or magical figures who received a percentage of gold mining and
trading profits, but did not have much authority over the conduct of village

In the mid-16th century, the Aceh Sultanate invaded the Minangkabau coast,
occupying port outlets in order to acquire gold. It was also around the 16th
century that Islam started to be adopted by the Minangkabau. The first contact
between the Minangkabau and western nations occurred with the 1529 voyage of Jean
Parmentier to Sumatra. The Dutch East India Company first acquired gold at
Pariaman in 1651, but later moved south to Padang to avoid interference from the
Acehnese occupiers. In 1663 the Dutch agreed to protect and liberate local
villages from the Acehnese in return for a trading monopoly, and as a result setup
trading posts at Painan and Padang. Until early in the 19th century the Dutch
remained content with their coastal trade of gold and produce, and made no attempt
to visit the Minangkabau highlands. As a result of conflict in Europe, the British
occupied Padang from 1781 to 1784 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, and again
from 1795 to 1819 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Late in the 18th century the gold supply which provided the economic base for
Minangkabau royalty began to be exhausted. Around the same time other parts of the
Minangkabau economy had a period of unparalleled expansion as new opportunities
for the export of agricultural commodities arose, particularly with coffee which
was in very high demand. A civil war started in 1803 with the Padri fundamentalist
Islamic group in conflict with the traditional syncretic groups, elite families
and Pagaruyung royals. A large part of the Minangkabau royal family were killed by
the Padri in 1815. As a result of a treaty with a number of penghulu and
representatives of the murdered Minangkabau royal family, Dutch forces made their
first attack on a Padri village in April 1821.[5] The first phase of the war ended
in 1825 when the Dutch signed an agreement with the Padri leader Tuanku Imam
Bonjol to halt hostilities, allowing them to redeploy their forces to fight the

Java War. When fighting resumed in 1832, the reinforced Dutch troops were able to
more effectively attack the Padri. The main center of resistance was captured in
1837, Tuanku Imam Bonjol was captured and exiled soon after, and by the end of the
next year the war was effectively over.

With the Minangkabau territories now under the control of the Dutch,
transportation systems were improved and economic exploitation was intensified.
New forms of education were introduced, allowing some Minangkabau to take
advantage of a modern education system. The 20th century marked a rise and
cultural and political nationalism, culminating in the demand for Indonesian
independence. Later rebellions against the Dutch occupation occurred such as the
1908 Anti-Tax Rebellion and the 1927 Communist Uprising. During World War II the

Minangkabau territories were occupied by the Japanese, and when the Japanese
surrendered in August 1945 Indonesia proclaimed independence. The Dutch attempts
to regain control of the area were ultimately unsuccessful and in 1949 the
Minangkabau territories became part of Indonesia as the province of Central

In February 1958, dissatisfaction with the centralist and communist-leaning
policies of the Sukarno administration triggered a revolt which was centered in
the Minangkabau region of Sumatra, with rebels proclaiming the Revolutionary
Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI) in Bukittinggi. The Indonesian
military invaded West Sumatra in April 1958 and had recaptured major towns within
the next month. A period of guerrilla warfare ensued, but most rebels had
surrendered by August 1961. In the years following, West Sumatra was like an
occupied territory with Javanese officials occupying most senior civilian,
military and police positions.[8] The policies of centralization continued under
the Suharto regime. The national government legislated to apply the Javanese desa
village system throughout Indonesia, and in 1983 the traditional Minangkabau
nagari village units were split into smaller jorong units, thereby destroying the
traditional village social and cultural institutions.[9] In the years following
the downfall of the Suharo regime decentralization policies were implemented,
giving more autonomy to provinces, thereby allowing West Sumatra to reinstitute
the nagari system.[10]

The traditional historiography or tambo of the Minangkabau tells of the
development of the Minangkabau World (alam Minangkabau) and its adat. These
stories are derived from an oral history which was transmitted between generations
before the Minangkabau had a written language. The first Minangkabau are said to
have arrived by ship and landed on Mount Marapi when it was no bigger than the
size of an egg, which protruded from a surrounding body of water. After the waters
receded the Minangkabau proliferated and dispersed to the slopes and valleys
surrounding the volcano, a region called the darek. The darek is comprised of
three luhak - Limapuluh Koto, Tanah Datar and Agam. The tambo claims the ship was
sailed by a descendant of Alexander the Great (Iskandar Zulkarnain).[11]

A division in Minangkabau adat into two systems is said to be the result of
conflict between two half-brothers Datuk Ketemanggungan and Datuk Perpatih nan
Sabatang, who were the leaders who formulated the foundations of Minangkabau adat.
The former accepted Adityawarman, a prince from Majapahit, as a king while the
latter considered him a minister, and a civil war ensued. The Bodi Caniago system
formulated by Datuk Perpatih nan Sabatang is based upon egalitarian principles
with all panghulu (clan chiefs) being equal while the Koto Piliang system is more
autocratic with there being a hierarchy of panghulu. Each village (nagari) in the
darek was an autonomous "republic", and governed independently of the Minangkabau
kings using one of the two adat systems. After the darek was settled, new outside
settlements were created and ruled using the Koto Piliang system by rajas who were
representatives of the king

The Minangs are the world's largest matrilineal society, in which properties such
as land and houses are inherited through female lineage. Some scholars argue that
this might have caused the diaspora (Minangkabau, "merantau") of Minangkabau males
throughout the Malay archipelago to become scholars or to seek fortune as
merchants. As early as the age of 7, boys traditionally leave their homes and live
in a surau (a prayer house & community centre) to learn religious and cultural
(adat) teachings. When they are teenagers, they are encouraged to leave their
hometown to learn from schools or from experiences out of their hometown so that
when they are adults they can return home wise and 'useful' for the society and
can contribute their thinking and experience to run the family or nagari
(hometown) when they sit as the member of 'council of uncles'.

This tradition has created Minang communities in many Indonesian cities and towns,
which nevertheless are still tied closely to their homeland; a state in Malaysia
named Negeri Sembilan is heavily influenced by Minang culture.

Due to their culture that stresses the importance of learning, Minang people are
over-represented in the educated professions in Indonesia, with many ministers
from Minang. The first female minister was a Minang scholar.

In addition to being renowned as merchants, the Minangs have also produced some of
Indonesia's most influential poets, writers, statesmen, scholars, and religious
scholars. Being fervent Muslims, many of them embraced the idea of incorporating
Islamic ideals into modern society. Furthermore, the presence of these
intellectuals combined with the people's basically proud character, made the
Minangkabau homeland (the province of West Sumatra) one of the powerhouses in the
Indonesian struggle for independence.
Today both natural and cultural tourism have become considerable economic
activities in West Sumatra

Minangkabau ceremonies and festivals include:
Turun mandi - baby blessing ceremony
Sunat rasul - circumcision ceremony
Baralek - wedding ceremony
Batagak pangulu - clan leader inauguration ceremony. Other clan leaders, all
relatives in the same clan and all villagers in the region are invited. The
ceremony will last for 7 days or more.

Turun ka sawah - community work ceremony
Manyabik - harvesting ceremony
Hari Rayo - Islamic festivals
Adoption ceremony
Adat ceremony
Funeral cer
Wild boar hunt ceremon

Maanta pabukoan - sending food to mother-in-law for Ramadhan
Tabuik - Muslim celebration in the coastal village of Pariaman
Tanah Ta Sirah, inaugurate a new clan leader (Datuk) when the old one died in the
few hours (no need to proceed batagak pangulu, but the clan must invite all clan
leader in the region).
Mambangkik Batang Tarandam, inaugurate a new leader (Datuk) when the old one
in the pass 10 or 50 years and even more, must do the Batagak PanguluTraditional Minangkabau music includes saluang jo dendang which consists of
singing to the accompaniment of a saluang bamboo flute, and talempong gong-chime
music. Dances include the tari piring (plate dance), tari payung (umbrella dance)
and tari indang. Demonstrations of the silat martial art are performed. Pidato
adat are ceremonial orations performed at formal occasions.
Randai is a folk theater tradition which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama
and the silat martial art. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies
and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights.[12] It is
performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between
audience members and the performers.[13] Randai performances are a synthesis of
alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by
both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and
folktales.[12] Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local
martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions.[14] Men originally
played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women
have also participated
Particular Minangkabau villages specialize in cottage industries producing
handicrafts such as woven sugarcane and reed purses, gold and silver jewellery
using filigree and granulation techniques, woven songket textiles, wood carving,
embroidery, pottery, and metallurgy
The staple ingredients of the Minangkabau diet are rice, fish, coconut, green
leafy vegetables and chili. The usage of meat is mainly limited to special
occasions, and beef and chicken are most commonly used. Pork is not halal and
therefore not consumed, while lamb, goat and game are rarely consumed for reasons
of taste and availability. Spiciness is a characteristic of Minangkabau food, and
the most commonly used herbs and spices are chili, turmeric, ginger and galangal.
Vegetables are consumed two or three times a day. Fruits are mainly seasonal,
although fruits such as banana, papaya and citrus are continually available.[15]
Three meals a day are typical with lunch being the most important meal, except
during the fasting month of Ramadan where lunch is not eaten. Meals commonly
consist of steamed rice, a hot fried dish and a coconut milk dish, with a little
variation from breakfast to dinner.[15] Meals are generally eaten from a plate
using the fingers of the right hand.[citation needed] Snacks are more frequently
eaten by people in urban areas than in villages. Western food has had little
impact upon Minangkabau consumption and preference to date.[15]
Rendang is a dish which is considered to be a characteristic of Minangkabau
culture, and is cooked 4-5 times a year.[15] Other characteristic dishes include
Asem Padeh, Soto Padang, Sate Padang, Dendeng Balado (beef with chili sauce).
Food has a central role in the Minangkabau ceremonies which honor religious and
life cycle rites.
Minangkabau food is popular among Indonesians and restaurants are present
throughout Indonesia. Nasi Padang restaurants, named after the capital of West
Sumatra, are known for placing a variety of Minangkabau dishes on a customer's
table along with rice and billing only for what is taken.[16] Nasi Kapau is
another restaurant variant which specializes in dishes using offal and the use of
tamarind to add a sourness to the spicy flavor
Rumah gadang (Minangkabau: 'big house') are the traditional homes (Indonesian:
rumah adat) of the Minangkabau. The architecture, construction, internal and
external decoration, and the functions of the house reflect the culture and values
of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang serves as a residence, a hall for family
meetings, and for ceremonial activities. With the Minangkabau society being
matrilineal, the rumah gadang is owned by the women of the family who live there -
ownership is passed from mother to daughter.
The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, upswept gables.
Shuttered windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted floral
carvings. The term rumah gadang usually refers to the larger communal homes,
however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural elements
Minangkabau culture has a long history of oral traditions. One oral tradition is
the pidato adat (ceremonial orations) which are performed by panghulu (clan
chiefs) at formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, adoption ceremonies, and
panghulu inaugurations. These ceremonial orations consist of many forms including
pantun, aphorisms (papatah-patiti), proverbs (pameo), religious advice (petuah),
parables (tamsia), two-line aphorisms (gurindam), and similes (ibarat).

Minangkabau traditional folktales (kaba) consist of narratives which present the
social and personal consequences of either ignoring or observing the ethical
teachings and the norms embedded in the adat. The storyteller (tukang kaba)
recites the story in poetic or lyrical prose while accompanying himself on a

A theme in Minangkabau folktales is the central role mothers and motherhood has in
Minangkabau society, with the folktales Rancak diLabueh and Malin Kundang being
two examples. Rancak diLabueh is about a mother who acts as teacher and adviser to
her two growing children. Initially her son is vain and headstrong and only after
her perseverance does he become a good son who listens to his mother.[18] Malin

Kundang is about the dangers of treating your mother badly. A sailor from a poor
family voyages to seek his fortune, becoming rich and marrying. After refusing to
recognize his elderly mother on his return home, being ashamed of his humble
origins, he is cursed and dies when his ship is flung against rocks by a

Other popular folktales also relate to the important role of the woman in
Minangkabau society. In the Cindua Mato epic the woman is the source of wisdom,
while in whereas in the Sabai nan Aluih she is more a doer than a thinker. Cindua
Mato (Staring Eye) is about the traditions of Minangkabau royalty. The story
involves a mythical Minangkabau queen, Bundo Kanduang, who embodies the behaviors
prescribed by adat. Cindua Mato, a servant of the queen, uses magic to defeat
hostile outside forces and save the kingdom.[19] Sabai nan Aluih (The genteel
Sabai) is about a young girl named Sabai, the hero of the story, who avenges he
murder of her father by a powerful and evil ruler from a neighboring village.

After her father's murder her cowardly elder brother refuses to confront the
murderer and so Sabai decides to take matters into her own hands. She seeks out
the murderer and shoots him in revenge

The Minangkabau language (Baso Minangkabau) is an Austronesian language belonging
to the Malayic linguistic subgroup, which in turns belongs to the Malayo-
Polynesian branch. The Minangkabau language is closely related to the Negeri

Sembilan Malay language used by the people of Negeri Sembilan, many of which are
descendants of Minangkabau immigrants. The language has a number of dialects and
sub-dialects, but native Minangkabau speakers generally have no difficultly
understanding the variety of dialects. The differences between dialects are mainly
at the phonological level, though some lexical differences also exist. Minangkabau
dialects are regional, consisting of one or more villages (nagari), and usually
correspond to differences in customs and traditions. Each sub-village (jorong) has
its own sub-dialect consisting of subtle differences which can be detected by
native speakers.[20] The Padang dialect has become the lingua franca for people of
different language regions.[21]

The Minangkabau society has a diglossia situation, whereby they use their native
language for everyday conversations, while the Indonesian language is used for
most formal occasions, in education, and in writing, even to relatives and
friends.[20] The Minangkabau language was originally written using the Jawi
script, an adapted Arabic alphabet. Romanization of the language dates from the
19th century, and a standardized official orthography of the language was
published in 1976

Denominations ISO 639-3 Population (as of) Dialects
Minangkabau min 6,500,000 (1981) Agam, Pajokumbuh, Tanah, Si Junjung, Batu
Sangkar-Pariangan, Singkarak, Orang Mamak, Ulu, Kerinci-Minangkabau, Aneuk Jamee
(Jamee), Penghulu
Despite widespread use of Indonesian, they have their own mother tongue. The
Minangkabau language shares many similar words with Malay, yet it has a
distinctive pronunciation and some grammatical differences rendering it
unintelligible to Malay speakers

Animism has been an important component of Minangkabau culture. Even after the
penetration of Islam into Minangkabau society in the 16th century, animistic
beliefs were not extinguished. In this belief system, people were said to have two
souls, a real soul and a soul which can disappear called the semangat. Semangat
represents the vitality of life and it is said to be possessed by all animals and
plants. An illness may be explained as the capture of the semangat by an evil
spirit, and a shaman (pawang) may be consulted to conjure invisible forces and
bring comfort to the family. Sacrificial offerings can be made to placate the
spirits, and certain objects such as amulets are used as protection.[23]

Until the rise of the Padri movement late in the 18th century, Islamic practices
such as prayers, fasting and attendance at mosques had been weakly observed in the
Minangkabau highlands. The Padri were inspired by the Wahhabi movement in Mecca,
and sought to eliminate societal problems such tobacco and opium smoking, gambling
and general anarchy by ensuring the tenets of the Koran were strictly observed.

All Minangkabau customs allegedly in conflict with the Koran were to be abolished.
Although the Padri were eventually defeated by the Dutch, during this period the
relationship between adat and religion was reformulated. Previously adat was said
to be based upon appropriateness and propriety, but this was changed so adat was
more strongly based upon Islamic precepts.[24][3]
With the Minangkabau highlands being the heartland of their culture, and with

Islam likely entering the region from coast it is said that ‘custom descended,
religion ascended’ (adat manurun, syarak mandaki).[
The Minangkabau people activities and achievement is very diverse, many are
politician, writers, ulama, journalist, scientist, film producer, and businessmen.

They are represented success community out of proportion with their small numbers
in Indonesia. Based on Tempo magazine (new year of 2000th special edition), six of
top ten of Indonesian people who had influence in 20th century consists of
Minangkabau people.

Though Minangkabau people had settled outside West Sumatra since 14th century.
They spread out to Java, Sulawesi, Malay peninsula, Thailand, Brunei, and the
Philippines. Raja Bagindo migration to south Philippines and founded the Sultanate
of Sulu in 1390. The Minangkabaus were moved to the state of Negeri Sembilan in
the 14th century and began to control local politics. In 1773 Raja Melewar was
appointed the first head of state of Negeri Sembilan. Late of 16th century, Dato
Ri Bandang and Dato Ri Tiro, taught Islam in Sulawesi, Borneo, and Nusa Tenggara.
They was converted kings of Gowa and Tallo to be moslem.

Moslem reformist from Middle East (Mecca and Cairo) influence the education system
in Minangkabau hinterland. Sumatera Thawalib, Adabiah and Diniyah Putri, borned of
hundreds activist for modern Indonesia, such as Djamaluddin Tamin, A.R Sutan
Mansyur, and Siradjuddin Abbas.

Many Minangkabau people had prominent positions in the Indonesian and Malay
nationalism movement. In 1920-1960, the political leader in Indonesian dominated
by Minangkabau people, such as Mohammad Hatta, a former Indonesian government
prime minister and vice president, Muhammad Yamin, a former Indonesian government
minister, Tan Malaka, international communist leader and founder of PARI and

Murba, Sutan Sjahrir, a former Indonesian government prime minister and founder of
Socialist Party of Indonesia, Muhammad Natsir, a former Indonesian government
prime minister and founder of Masyumi, Assat, a former Indonesian president. While
liberal democracy era, Minangkabau politician had dominated of parliament and
Indonesian cabinet. They were affiliated to all of faction, islamist, nationalist,
socialist and communist.

Minangkabau writers and journalist made significant contributions to modern
Indonesian literature. They are Marah Roesli, Abdul Muis, Sutan Takdir
Alisjahbana, Idrus, Hamka, as authors, Muhammad Yamin, Chairil Anwar, Taufik
Ismail as poets, and Djamaluddin Adinegoro, Rosihan Anwar as journalist. Most of
the prominent Indonesian novels wrote by Minangkabau writer and its influenced
development of modern Indonesian language.

Nowadays, beside Chinese Indonesian, Minangkabau people have significant
contributions in economic activities. Most of Minangkabau businessmen success in
hospitality, media, healthcare, and textile trader. Minangkabau businessmen also
prominent in traditional restaurant chain that settled in many cities of
Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. In medieval century, Minangkabau traders made
large contributions in Malays kingdom, connected among Aceh, Kedah, Siak, Johor,
and Malacca.

People of Minangkabau descent who made significant contributions outside of
Indonesia include Yusof bin Ishak, who was the first President of Singapore, Zubir
Said, who composed the national anthem of Singapore Majulah Singapura, Tan Sri
Abdul Samad Idris, a former Malaysian minister of sports and culture in the 1970s
who was active in the Malaysian independence movement and also a historian who
researched about Minang culture, and Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi who became a hero
in World War II

by Minangkabau group from FB

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