lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Israelites in Insulindia 1

Indonesia: Enggano, Dayak, Batak-Toba, Nias, Belu, Talaud, Minang, Mentawai, Sangihe, Toraja, Minahasa, Dawan (Atoni), Sumba, Savu, Ndao, Rote, Manggarai, Riung, Ngada, Nagekeo, Lio-Ende, Sikka, Larantuka, Adonara, Alef'uru, Helong, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, Pura, Alor, Alas Bataks, Simalungun Bataks, Gayo Bataks, Angkola Bataks, Kluet Bataks, Karo Bataks, Pakpak Bataks, Sinkil Bataks, Mandailing Bataks, Balinese & Makiri Isars.


Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of ethnic groups predominantly found in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The term is used to include the Alas, Kluet, Singkil, Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing which are distinct but related groups with distinct, albeit related, languages and customs (adat).

In North Sumatra, Toba people typically assert their identity as 'Batak', while other 'Bataks' may explicitly reject that label, preferring instead to identify as specifically 'Simalungun', 'Karo', etc.

Linguistic and archaeological evidence indicates that Austronesian speakers first reached Sumatra from Taiwan and the Philippines through Borneo and/or Java about 2,500 years ago, and the Batak probably descended from these settlers.

It seems that the northern part of Sumatra was settled by agriculturalists at a considerably later stage.

The Bata were possibly documented in Zhao Rugua's 13th-century Description of the Barbarous People, which refers to a 'Ba-ta' dependency of Srivijaya. The Suma Oriental, of the 15th century, refers to the kingdom of Bata, bounded by Pasai and the Aru kingdom.

The Bataks were likely involved with trade with both of which were important commodities for trade with China, and grew in the Batak lands of northwest Sumatra, perhaps from the 8th or 9th centuriesband continuing for the next thousand years, Batak men carrying the products on their backs for sale at ports.

It is suggested that the important port of Barus in Tapanuli was populated primarily by Batak people. A Tamil inscription has been found in Barus dated 1088, while contact with Chinese and Tamil traders took place at Kota Cina, a trading town located in what is now northern Medan that was established in the 11th century, and comprising 10,000 people by the 12th century. Tamil remains have been found on key trade routes to the Batak lands.

The Karo marga or tribe Sembiring "black one" is believed to originate from their ties with Tamil traders, with specific Sembiring sub-marga, namely Brahmana (this Indian name is believed to originate from Abraham & it's believed that they were Israelites), Colia, Pandia, Depari, Meliala, Muham, Pelawi, and Tekan all of Indian origin. 

From the 16th century onwards, Aceh increased the production of pepper, an important export commodity, and in doing so needed to import rice, which grew well on the Batak wetlands. Batak people in different areas cultivated either sawah "wet rice fields" or ladang "dry rice", and the Toba Batak, most expert in agriculture, would have migrated to meet demand in new areas. The increasing importance of rice had religious significance, increasing the power of the Batak high priests, who had responsibility for ensuring agricultural success.

Batak speak a variety of closely related languages, all members of the Austronesian language family.

Traditional profession of Batak people was agriculture, animal hunting and farming. The great lake of Toba provides vast opportunity of freshwater aquaculture since ancient times. Interior rural Batak community rely heavily on rice farming, horticulture and other plant and commercial crops, and to some extent, acquiring forest products, such as hard wood, plant resin, and wild animals. The port of Barus in western coast of Batak lands has been famous as the source of kapur barus (camphor). 

In Indonesian modern history, Batak community has quite significantly contributed to the development of Republic of Indonesia. Batak people filled wide range of occupations, from running a modest tire service workshop to become a state minister. Batak people are widely known to run the profession as lawyer, bus and taxi driver, mechanic, engineer, singer and musician, writer or journalist, teacher, economist, scientist, security and military officer (they are remarkable as typical Israelites).

As minority in Indonesian population (3.58%; only 8-9 million Batak people to 236 million Indonesian population according 2010's census), there are numbers of notable Batak that rose to distinguished positions and career.

Batak societies are patriarchally organized along clans known as Marga (as in ancient Israel). Batak people have a strong focus on education (just as the Jews do) and a prominent position in the professions, particularly as teachers, engineers, doctors and lawyers. Toba Batak are known traditionally for their weaving, wood carving and especially ornate stone tombs.

Before they became subjects of the colonial Dutch East Indies government, the Batak had a reputation for being fierce warriors. Today the Batak are mostly Christian with a Muslim minority.

Marco Polo recorded stories of ritual cannibalism among the "Battas". Marco Polo's stay was restricted to the coastal areas, and he never ventured inland to directly verify such claims.

Theft, adultery, spying or treason are infringements of their (are they considered so bad after the Torah?).

Family tree or lineage is a very important thing for the Bataks. For those who do not know the lineage will be considered as a strayed (nalilu) Batak. Batak people are required to know their lineage or at least the ancestors of which the family name (Marga (Batak)) and the related clans (dongan tubu) came from (similarly to the Jews). 

The Batak lands consist of North Sumatra province, excluding Nias island and the historically Malay kingdoms of the East coast. In addition, part of the Karo lands extend into modern-day East Aceh Regency in Aceh province, while parts of the Mandailing lands lie in Rokan Hulu Regency in Riau. Significant numbers of Batak have migrated in recent years to prosperous neighbouring Riau province.

To the south of North Sumatra are the Muslim Minangkabau of West Sumatra, while to the north there are various Muslim Acehnese peoples.

The various Batak cultures differ in their pre-colonial religious ideas as they do in many other aspects of culture. Information about the old religious ideas of the Mandailing and Angkola in southern Batakland is incomplete, and very little is known about the religion of the Pakpak and Simalungun Batak. For the Toba and Karo on the other hand the evidence in the writings of missionaries and colonial administrators is relatively abundant. Information on the traditional forms of Batak religion is derived mainly from the writings of German and Dutch missionaries who became increasingly concerned with Batak beliefs.

Various influences affected the Batak through their contact with Tamil and Javanese traders and settlers in southern Batakland, and the east and west coast near Barus and Tapanuli, in particular the large Padang Lawas temple complex in Tapanuli. These contacts took place many centuries ago and it is impossible to reconstruct just how far the religious ideas of these foreigners were adopted and reworked by the Batak. It is suggested that the Bataks adopted aspects of these religions, specifically Mahayana Buddhist, Shaivist, and Tantrist practices within their own customs.

The modern Indonesian state is founded on the principles of pancasila, which requires the belief in 'one and only God', the practice of either Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism, one of which must be entered on an individual's KTP. Traditional religions are not officially recognised, and accordingly traditional religions are increasingly marginalised, although aspects of the traditional Batak religion are still practised alongside Christianity, and, to a lesser extent, Boop.

At the beginning of time there was only the sky with a great sea beneath it. In the sky lived the gods and the sea was the home of a mighty underworld dragon Naga Padoha. The earth did not yet exist and human beings, too, were as yet unknown. All the surviving myths record that at the beginning of creation stands the god Mula Jadi Na Bolon. His origin remains uncertain. A rough translation of the name is the "beginning of becoming". The creation of everything that exists can be traced back to him. Mula Jadi lives in the upper world which is usually thought of as divided into seven levels (the number 7 is considered as divine since the Old Testament times as it's the number 3 further in this story). His three sons, Batara Guru, Mangalabulan and Soripada were born from eggs laid by a hen fertilized by Mula Jadi. Two swallows act as messengers and helpers to Mula Jadi in his act of creation. Their functions vary in the different versions. Mula Jadi begets three daughters whom he gives as wives for his three sons. Mankind is the result of the union of the three couples (Shem, Ham & Japhet). Besides the three sons of Mula Jadi there is another god, Asiasi, whose place and function in the world of the gods remains largely unclear. There is some evidence that Asiasi can be seen as the balance and unity of the trinity of gods (Elohim, the Messiah & the Holy Ghost).

The ruler of the underworld, i. e. the primeval sea, is the serpent-dragon Naga Padoha (the serpent is also related to Stan in the Torah).

What all the six gods so far mentioned have in common is that they play a minor role in ritual. They do not receive any sacrificial offerings from the faithful and no places of sacrifice are built for them (are these sacrifices based on the Jewish Law or they were just performed down from Adam to that time).

The ancestor's corpse is carried a few times round the house, usually by women, and then to the cemetery with musical accompaniment from the gondang orchestra and the continual firing of guns (is the carrying of an ancestor's corpse in this way related to what the Israelites did by carrying Jacob back to Canaan?).

On the morning of the first day of the festival the graves in the cemetery are opened and the bones of the ancestors that are still there are removed. 

Traditional Batak beliefs hold that the dead occupy a hierarchical status similar to the social position they held in life.

In traditional Batak society datuk (animist priests) as well as gurus practiced traditional medicine, although the former were exclusively male (like the Levites).

Malim is the modern form of the Batak Toba religion. Practitioners of Malim are called Parmalim.

Non-Malim Batak peoples (those following Christian or Muslim faith) often continue to believe certain aspects of traditional Batak spiritual belief (the witchcraft & paganism practiced by this people resembles that of dissobedient Israel).

Sir Stamford Raffles perceived the Batak lands as a buffer between the Islamic Aceh and Minang kingdoms, and encouraged Christian missionary work to preserve this. This policy was continued by the Dutch, who deemed the non-Muslim lands the 'Bataklanden'.


Alef'URU: Alef is the first letter from the Hebrew alphabet. Alef means;-''God is One'': the absolute unity of God.-''There is none other besides Him;'' ''One, single and unique.''-''One nation in the land.'' -First of all countable numbers. Uru/Ur is origin a Hebrew word! Uru/Ur means: Awake, Arise, Stirs, foundation. Alef'URU means The first who will awake Alef'URU people are one of the 12 tribes of Israel! Alfur peopleAlfursAlfurosAlfuresAlifuru or Horaforas (Dutch = Alfoeren) is a broad term recorded at the time of the Portuguese seaborne empire to refer all the non-Muslim, non-Christian peoples living in inaccessible areas of the interior in the eastern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia.

It's remarkable that the non-Muslim peoples of Insulindia (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor...) are called Alefuru because, despite being a Malay word, it also has a Hebrew meaning, as pointed before. I suspected the Hebrew origin of Filipinos & after researching I found more people supporting it. If we apply the Hebrew vowelization the word Alefuru is very close to Ophir, Hebrew or Eburutu. I'm not the first to suggest that the celebrated Ophir of old could be the Philippines. Ophir could even apply to the whole of Insulindia. I suggest that there could have been several Ophirs in different areas of the world with Hebrew colonies, even if the peoples don't look Semitic due to intermingling with natives. Alefuru might be Hebrew after all. In this group are the Philippines, East Timor, both mainly Christian, the also Christian island of Molucas,  in Indonesia, Hindu island of Bali, in Indonesia too... There are also several "pagan" islands. I'm not absolutely convinced of applying the word pagan to these peoples. Not only several toponyms & ethnic groups are similar to Israelite names, but at least two important cities have in their name the word Kart, city in Hebrew: yaKARTA & yogyaKARTA.

The Batak Israelites 

Before getting to the Molucas the local Israelites went thru China & India. The Nestorian Christians arrived to these islands as well. It's believed that they were fellow Israelites, so that might be why the Nestorians got there. 

The Batak religion has quite many similitudes with Israelism. They celebrate the Sabbath on saturday. They immerse in water like the Jews do in the mikveh. The children immerse in water at 7 or 8 days of birth . Anciently they were circumcized. The subang is similar to kosher (they abstain of eating por & other animals). The Creator is called Father by them as well as Almighty... None of the Batak (Nias, Toba, Karo, Fak-Fak, Alas, Gayo Simelungun, Angkola, Mandailing...) ate pork in ancient times.

Af all the ethnicities of Indonesia, the Batak Toba is the most similar to the Jews in way of thinking, costums conduct... They don't eat blood. They have an entrepeneurial spirit. They believe in just one god almighty. They keep the shabbath without doing any work because it's forbidden. The sacrify cows & sheep to be redeemed & receive blessings. This is done by the priests over an altar outside the House of Prayer. On the seventh day of the birth of a boy the priest baths him & gives him name. The widoe gets married to the brother of the deceased. Visten ropa con flecos.

The religion is practiced by between 1500 & 7000 persons.

The Batak literature is similar to the Hebrew one. 

The Batak Toba people live in the island of Samosir inside the Toba lake in the north of Sumatra, Indonesia.

This people speaks Toba Batak ¬has a fame in Indonesia of having a great musical talent. The musical talent was characterostic of the Levites in ancient Israel. It is said that the Israelites of Indonesia come from the tribe of Gad though, the Minahasa are regarded as coming from Manasseh, but perhaps the Batak Toba are Levites.

The Batak Toba are a confident people, outgoing, & willing to question  authority, expressing their differencies publically to solve them be means of discussion contrary to the Javanese. They resemble other ethnicities with Hebrew origin, so they are more prone to supprt democratic systems.

Enggano island & people

The Enggano of Indonesia have a population of 1,600. They are part of the Batak-Nias of Sumatra people cluster. This people group is found only in Indonesia. Their primary language is Enggano -(eno). The primary religion practiced by the Enggano is Christianity. Enggano people used to be Animistic, fishers and agriculturists.

Enggano Island is about 100 km southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is about 35 km long from east to west and about 16 km wide from north to south. Its area is 402.6 km², the average elevation is about 100 m, and the highest point is 281 m.

Politically, it is a subdistrict (kecamatan) of the North Bengkulu Regency of the Indonesian province of Bengkulu. The three largest towns on the island are Barhau, Kabuwe and Kayaapu. According to the Indonesian Kantor Statistik for Bengkulu, the island had 1420 inhabitants in 1989. This number rises, according to the Pukesmas, to 1635 by 1994, with 64% of the population claiming descent from the Engganese people.

There are six villages on Enggano Island, which are all located on the island's only main road, which traverses the island's northeast coast.

Kahayapu (it might be the name of the Kahan priest with a suffix), Kaana (it has the same sounds, but different spelling than Cana, the town in the Holy Land where the Savior attended a wedding), Malakoni (it has the MLK root for king in Hebrew), Apoho, Meok, Banjarsari

Malakoni, Apoho, and Meok have more Enggano natives, and the other villages have larger immigrant populations. There are ferries to Bengkulu from Kahayapu and Malakoni

The name of the island suggests some early contact with Portuguese traders (engano means mistake), but the earliest published account is that of Cornelis de Houtman, dating from June 5, 1596, but he was unable to land a boat.

In 1771, Charles Miller succeeded in landing and meeting the indigenous population.

With great difficulty and danger we beat up the whole South-west side of it, without finding any place where we could attempt to land; and we lost two anchors and had very near suffered shipwreck before we found a secure place into which we might run the vessel. At last, however we discovered a spacious harbour at the South-east end of the island and I immediately went into it in the boat, and ordered the vessel to follow me as soon as possible, for it was then a dead calm. We rowed directly into this bay; and as soon as we had got round the point of an island which lay off the harbour, we discovered all the beach covered with naked savages who were all armed with lances and clubs; and twelve canoes all full of them who, till we had passed them, had lain concealed, immediately rushed out upon me, making a horrid noise: this, you may suppose, alarmed us greatly; and as I had only one European and four black soldiers, besides the four lascars that rowed the boat. I thought it best to turn, if possible under the guns of the vessel before I ventured to speak with them.

Eventually, he met these "noble savages" and learned something of their natural, feminist, atheist and property-sharing culture.

They are a tall, well-made people; the men in general are about five feet eight or ten inches high; the women are shorter and more clumsily built. They are of a red colour, and have straight, black hair, which the men cut short, but the women let grow long, and roll up in a circle on the top of their heads very neatly. The men go entirely naked, and the women wear nothing more than a very narrow slip of plantain leaf.

They seemed to look at every thing about the vessel very attentively; but more from the motive of pilfering than from curiosity, for they watched an opportunity and unshipped the rudder of the boat, and paddled away with it.

Italian explorer Elio Modigliani visited Enggano Island between April 25 and July 13, 1891. He detailed the apparently dominant role of women in Enggano culture in L'Isola delle Donne (The Island of Women), first published in 1894. The Rijksmuseum has an important collection of Enggano artifacts and their publication by Pieter J.ter Keurs reproduces Modigliani's drawings.

The population went into severe decline in the 1870s, possibly from disease. The Dutch sent medical officers to investigate. Since the island's highest point is only 281 m (922 ft) above sea level, it would have been severely affected by the tsunami associated with the Krakatoa eruption in 1883, as well as by the massive volcanic debris. The indigenous population never recovered and numbered only about 400 souls in the early 1960s. Therefore, the Indonesian government uses the island for rehabilitation of juvenile offenders from Java, who perform forced labor, clearing bush and constructing rice fields. As noted above, the population has recovered somewhat since that time.

The island may now serve as an isolated area for surfing and diving.

The Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) has proposed the island for use as a spaceport, citing its "low population and remoteness" as decisive criteria, as well as its closeness to the equator. The regional government immediately protested the plan as environmentally problematic.

The Enggano language, also known as Engganese, is either a lexically highly divergent Austronesian (specifically Malayo-Polynesian) language not closely related to any other, or alternatively may be a language isolate with Austronesian loans.

Belunese people

The Tetun (Belu) people, the other major ethnic group, migrated to Timor in the 14th century, settling the fertile central regions and pushing the Dawan westward.

Both Atoni Meto and Belunese in Timor practice of male circumcision. After my first research on Traditional Circumcision of Atoni Meto in 1997, I worked with Plan Indonesia to campaign a healthy circumcision program in 33 Atoni Meto villages. In 1999 and 2004, I did research on traditional circumcision of Belunese people, also in Timor. I am working with IHPCP (AusAID), promoting healthy circumcision to the people of 101 villages in Belu Regency on the border of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste.

The majority of people in West Timor, Indonesia, are the native, Atoni Pah Meto, hence referred to as Atoni. The number residing in the region is 803,394 or 61% of the population (2002). These indigenous people are Christian (both Catholic and Protestant) with low education, and depend upon dry land agriculture. Up to present, the Atoni Meto has extensively practiced the traditional circumcision heritage from their ancestors.

On average, two large animals (cattle) and four small animals (pigs and goats) were slaughtered for a party. Parties would last more than two days with people eating, drinking, dancing and singing merrily.

Bishop Pain Ratu first faced strong resistance from village leaders who feared they would lose influence and authority over the local communities due to the bishop´s program.

Talaud people

When conditions in the southern Philippines deteriorated in the 1970s due to radical Islamic activities in the region, Sangihe-Talaud people undertook permanent migration to Indonesia, particularly to North Maluku. However, when ethnic conflict occurred in Maluku and North Maluku, the Sangihe-Talaud people became internally displaced persons in Manado and several places became internally displaced persons in Manado and several places in North Sulawesi, such as in Minahasa & Bitung.

Isle of Miangas of Talaud archipelago

Miangas or Palmas is North Sulawesi's northernmost island of Indonesia.

According to Ganesan and Amer, the word miangas means "open for the sea pirates", because the pirates from Mindanao used to visit the island. In the 16th century, the island is named Islas de las Palmas in Spanish, while in Portuguese named Ilha de Palmeiras. In sasahara language the island is called Tinonda or Poilaten, which means "people who live separated from the main archipelago" and "our island" respectively.

In October 1526, Garcia de Loaisa, Spanish sailor and researcher, discovered the island.

The island had been used as a defense site by Talaud people while Sulu Sultanate attacked them.

The island was affected by the outbreak of cholera in 1885, causing hundreds of the inhabitants to move to Karakelang Island.

In 1895, E. J. Jellesma, a Manado resident, visited Miangas to praise Miangas residents and kapiten laut after rejecting the Spanish flag. Jellesma gave them a medal and Dutch flag. Along with Jellesma, were Pastor Kroll. 254 residents were baptized by Kroll into Protestant. After Jellesma's visit, a Tahuna assistant resident and Pastor Pannings visited the island in April and October 1909.

According to Treaty of Paris, the Philippines area was all area inside a large geographic box. Miangas lay inside southern boundary of the box. On 21 January 1906, General Leonard Wood, Governor General of Moro, officially visited the island for the first time. However, he found the Dutch flag already flew there so that the island was claimed to be part of Dutch East Indies. As Wood returned to Zamboanga, he reported it to United States Military Secretary on 26 January 1906. The United States government asked this matter to the Netherlands through the embassy in Den Haag on 31 March 1906. On 17 October 1906 The Netherlands Foreign Ministry replied consisting several reasons why the island was included to Dutch East Indies. After that, The Netherlands and the United States brought the case to Permanent Court of Arbitration on Special Agreement led by Max Huber, a Swiss arbitrator, on 23 January 1925. On 4 April 1928, Huber decided that the island "forms in entirety a part of Netherlands territory".

On 4 July 1956, Indonesia, represented by Ambassador Soehardjo Wirjopranoto, and the Philippines, represented by Ambassador Jose Fuentebella, signed Agreement on Immigration Between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Indonesia, which allowed border residents in Sangihe, Talaud, Nunukan, Balut, and Sarangani, who had passing card to cross the border to trade, visit family, worship, and travel. On 16 September 1965, Jusuf Ronodipuro of Indonesia and Leon T. Garcia of the Philippines signed a Directives and Guidelines on the Implementation of the Immigration Agreement on Repatriation and Border Crossing Arrangement Between Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines, which clarify the first agreement, making Marore, Miangas, Mabila, and Balut as the checkpoints.

Miangas is located 324 miles from Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi and 78 miles from Davao City. It also lays 50 miles southeast of Mindanao.> Its length and width are 2 miles and 0.75 miles respectively, which make the island covering 3.15 km2. Miangas belongs to Nanusa district, Talaud Islands Regency. The island mostly is lowland, which is about 1.5 meters above the sea level. The highest point is 111 meters called Gunung Batu, located in northeast part of the island. This area is covered with coconut palm. In the northeast corner of the island, there is a cliff 46 meters high. Northeast shore is surrounded by 0.2 mile reef.

Miangas inhabitants derive their main income from fishing. For the women, they weave mats from pandan leaves.

As at the 2010 Census, the island's population was 728 people. Some of Miangas inhabitants speak Indonesian, Bisaya, and English; the elder usually speak Tagalog.

Sangihe people

Although Bitung is a modern city with Internet Cafés and money machines, you still can find much of the traditional Indonesian life and culture if you look for it. Daily at the local markets and the nightly foodstalls and during events such as Tulude, the yearly traditional thanksgiving day of the Sangihe people and the yearly celebration of the Minahasa tribes and other events with some luck you can witness the traditional war dances Kabasaran, Cakalele, Maengket, Gunde and dances related to fishing and harvesting. Often at the same events you can listen to the unique traditional bamboo music.

In Bitung and on Lembeh Island you can see many Churches, Mosques, and a beautiful Chinese Temple. Historical events are honored by several monuments such as the monument Trikora Mandala Sakti and the Japanese monument.

Distance from Bitung (Bitung is an excellent base for your holiday on North Sulawesi), Manado International Airport 32 Km, Manado City 40 Km, Bunaken Island 50 Km, Minahasa highland 40 Km, Tomohon 50 Km, Waruga the ancient Sarcophagi 25 Km

Sangihe people are the only tribe in the northern Indonesian sailors. Sangihe ancestors had sailed the ocean to the east to the Halmahera and Papua, keselatan get to the island of Java and to the outer archipelago of the china.

These islands have been since the invention of Ferdinand Magelhaes in the year 1512, has been associated with the western world, also by whalers from America. Ancient Arabs began trading with the population and mating with native women.

 Long before the formation of the first empire, the tribe has embraced Sangihe belief system. Sangihe tribal beliefs held in the past can not be ascertained as to what. D. Brillman in his book explained that until the century - 16 there is a belief system called "Where the trust". Where is the power that stands out, which deviates from the usual power, this power comes a supernatural everywhere (sakti). Public opinion, said that tribal trust Sangihe classified as animism. Animism is a belief to know the existence of spirits and the spirits that inhabit the entire universe. In addition to the above opinion, rates Sangihe past also embracing the cult of fetishes or objects of natural or man-made filled with supernatural powers, if true fetishes, is also homage to the ancient religion Sangihe dynamism (Dr. Aaron Hadiwijono, Religion proletarian tribe in Indonesia, 2006).

Lio people of Flores

Kasao or dedication of house

The festive Lio people live in the Ende district of Central Flores, where they make up the ethnic majority. The Lionese people use a fascinating range of artwork – architecture, carving, ikat weaving, jewellery, and more – which bursts with symbols that tell about their history, social life, and cultural values. Some of the most prominent motifs in Lionese culture are boats, snakes, horses, and humans. With natural attractions like the world-famous Kelimutu crater lakes, the Lio area is a hiker’s paradise and worth at least a couple of days of exploring.

                                                                 Kasao or dedication of house

The influence of adat belief systems is still quite strong in the Lio area. This may be explained by the fact that most of the Lionese people settled in mountainous terrain, therefore never gave up dry-rice farming. Consequently, many ritual and ceremonial activities related to the agricultural cycle of dry rice are still considered important, be it at the time of starting a new dry-rice field, the planting, or harvesting.

A characteristic of many Florinese cultures, the traditional Lionese belief system, is also centered around the notion of a highest divine being that unites opposites, called du’a gheta lulu wula, nggae ghale wena tana – the old one up on the Moon, the ruler on Earth. The Lionese people believe in an afterlife. Therefore, the dead are buried with gifts to take to their afterlife. Good and bad spirits, as well as magic practices, are other important elements of the traditional belief system. Many of these ideas and practices live on, quite smoothly paralleled by Catholicism and Islam.

The Lionese people used to have and still have a distinct political system dominated by the mosalaki – leadership personalities with different responsibilities (anything to do with Moses? Moses is Moshe in Hebrew & Musa in Arabic. Moses was the leader that gave the Law to the Israelites as the mosalaki are leaders of the Lio people). At the very top of the hierarchy stands the ria bewa, or the ‘great long one’. As he has an all- encompassing decisive power, he may be called the highest authority of a Lionese village. The ria bewa is followed by the mosalaki pu’u, the ‘first mosalaki’, who takes the role of the ria bewa’s executive and assistant in ritual matters. If, for example, the ria bewa decides that measures have to be taken to bring rain, the mosalaki pu’u will ensure that the necessary rituals will be arranged and performed properly. Depending on the size of a community, there is a number of additional mosalaki, each with his own specific responsibilities.

To celebrate the finished rehabilitation of one traditional house in the Flores’ highlighted attraction, Bena village, Dheru Lalulewa; one of the available clan inside the village, has just held Ka Sao house initiation ceremony. The namely Sao Liko Zia, the adat house is a supporting house or locally called Sao Kaka for the main house next to it called Sao Pu’u. The idea to rehab the house was already discussed in Reba; an annual celebration of traditional New Year, around six years ago then began to conduct the rehabilitation starting from replacing old wooden materials to the new ones until finished around September last year, and the discussion to hold this ceremony was discussed and agreed by the members of the clan during last year’s Reba. One house is considered totally finished when the thatch roofing is done, therefore an initiation ceremony should be held. The initial process of the ceremony is conducted from the August 7th in the evening where they had to conduct Tau Tibo, a sacred ritual done by the elder who dwells the house to define the right people within the clan to be distributed in several responsibilities such as those who will have to kill the offerings (buffalos or pigs) which should be done in an honorable order-the first buffalo to kill until the last ones, looking after the rice and the meat from the offerings to be distributed. Ka Sao house initiation ceremony is a Housewarming party. It is also one of indigenous rituals in Flores to celebrate the finished rehabilitation of one traditional house in Flores.


August 14th is marked sacred for the Lio people of Flores. It is the time to celebrate and honor their ancestors. Lio people believe Kelimutu Crater Lake is the soul’s final resting place, a place where we all return once our lives’ journeys come to an end. Pati Ka Du’a Bapu Ata Mata is an event where the Lionese sacrifice various type of food offering to the ancestors, known as Konde and Ratu. It is to show their gratitude for the past year and hold prayers for blessings in favor of prosperity, health, and good life for the upcoming year.

Annually, hundreds of people hold a pilgrimage journey up to Kelimutu. Since the last five years, the customary ritual was officially hosted and organised under the coordination of Kelimutu National Park, local community and Ende’s Culture and Tourism Department.

It was 8 am in the morning, when the parking area of Kelimutu National Park started to get packed with local communities and visitors interested to experience this solemn rite. There were at least 15 ethnic groups who attended the event. They all gathered on behalf of their families and communities to feed the ancestors with offerings.

The procession starts with a communal preparation and gathering, followed by putting on traditional Ende costume to the head of Kelimutu sub-district and the head of Kelimutu National Park. The next was to trek up the mountain to Tiwu Ata Polo crater lake where a stone altar (Mesbah) is placed. The altar is where all the food offerings are presented and it becomes the centre for the whole ritual performances throughout the day. At this stage, all the elderly leaders of each tribe, well-known as Mosalaki, circled the Mesbah and present a bowl of rice and a plate of foodstuff along with chants and prayers. Once the customary ritual is finished, people flock back down to the starting point where a series of cultural performances, such as Gawi - an exciting communal traditional dance were held.

This year’s Pati Ka Du'a Bapu Ata Mata commemoration was solemn and meaningful. Also, it has attracted more tourists to attend the ceremony. The head of Ende House of Legislative, Marcel W. Petu, hoped that Pati Ka Du'a Bapu Ata Mata continued in the next years. He believed that such an event would attract more visitors to come to the park. He also added his wishes for a better participation and coordination between the government and the elderly leaders of the ethnic groups.

Island of Java

Is Java an Israelite form of Jehovah?

Despite its large population and in contrast to the other larger islands of Indonesia, Java is comparatively homogeneous in ethnic composition. Only two ethnic groups are native to the island—the Javanese and Sundanese. A third group is the Madurese, who inhabit the island of Madura off the north east coast of Java, and have immigrated to East Java in large numbers since the 18th century. The Javanese comprise about two-thirds of the island's population, while the Sundanese and Madurese account for 20% and 10% respectively. The fourth group is the Betawi people that speak a dialect of Malay, they are the descendants of the people living around Batavia from around the 17th century. Betawis are creole people, mostly descended from various Indonesian archipelago ethnic groups such as Malay, Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese, Minang, Bugis, Makassar, Ambonese, mixed with foreign ethnic groups such as Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Chinese and Indian brought to or attracted to Batavia to meet labour needs. They have a culture and language distinct from the surrounding Sundanese and Javanese.

In the southwestern part of Central Java, which is usually named the Banyumasan region, a cultural mingling occurred; bringing together Javanese culture and Sundanese culture to create the Banyumasan culture. In the central Javanese court cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, contemporary kings trace their lineages back to the pre-colonial Islamic kingdoms that ruled the region, making those places especially strong repositories of classical Javanese culture. Classic arts of Java include gamelan music and wayang puppet shows.

The three major languages spoken on Java are Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese. Other languages spoken include Betawi (a Malay dialect local to the Jakarta region), Osing, Banyumasan, and Tenggerese (closely related to Javanese), Baduy (closely related to Sundanese), Kangeanese (closely related to Madurese), and Balinese. The vast majority of the population also speaks Indonesian, often as a second language.

Other Javas in the world:

United States
Java, Alabama, an unincorporated community in Coffee County, Alabama. Java, New York, a town in Wyoming County, New York. Java, Ohio, an establishment in Lucas County, Ohio. Java, South Dakota, a town in Walworth County, South Dakota. Java, Virginia, a village in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Java-eiland, a neighborhood in Amsterdam, Holland

Java (town), a town in Georgia/South Ossetia. Java District, district around this town in Georgia

Java, São Tomé and Príncipe, a village in São Tomé and Príncipe

Java Road, in North Point, Hong Kong Island

Dayak or Dyak

Kayan longhouse on the Balui River, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak,   Kuching: Iban girls in Gawai Dayak parade the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. At the turn of the 21st century the Dayak population of Borneo could be estimated roughly at 2.2 million.

Kuching: Iban girls in Gawai Dayak parade

Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.

Sumba island

Sumba (Indonesian: Pulau Sumba) is an island in eastern Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, and is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Sumba has an area of 11,153 km², and the population was 656,259 at the 2010 Census. To the northwest of Sumba is Sumbawa, to the northeast, across the Sumba Strait (Selat Sumba), is Flores, to the east, across the Savu Sea, is Timor, and to the south, across part of the Indian Ocean, is Australia.

Historically, this island exported sandalwood and was known as Sandalwood Island.

Traditional Sumbanese houses near Bondokodi, West-Sumba

Before colonization by western Europeans in the 1500s, Sumba was inhabited by Australian and Polynesian people. In 1522 the first ships from Europe arrived, and by 1866 Sumba belonged to the Dutch East Indies, although the island did not come under real Dutch administration until the twentieth century. Jesuits opened a mission in Laura, West Sumba in 1866.

Despite contact with western cultures, Sumba is one of the few places in the world in which megalithic burials, are used as a 'living tradition' to inter prominent individuals when they die. Burial in megaliths is a practice that was used in many parts of the world during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but has survived to this day in Sumba, and has raised significant interest from scholars. At Anakalang, for instance, quadrangular adzes have been unearthed.Another long-lasting tradition is the sometimes lethal game of pasola, in which teams of often several hundred horse-riders fight with spears.

On August 19, 1977, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale occurred which also caused a tsunami. 316 people were killed on the island and islands off the West coast.

Sumba has a highly stratified society based on castes. This is especially true of East Sumba, whereas West Sumba is more ethnically and linguistically diverse. The Sumbanese people speak a variety of closely related Austronesian languages, and have a mixture of Austronesian and Melanesian ancestry. The largest language group is the Kambera language, spoken by a quarter of a million people in the eastern half of Sumba. Twenty-five to thirty percent of the population practices the animist Marapu religion. The remainder are Christian, a majority being Dutch Calvinist, but a substantial minority being Roman Catholic. A small number of Sunni Muslims can be found along the coastal areas.

Sumba is famous for the ikat textiles, particularly very detailed hand-woven ikat, which is prepared on the island. The process of dying and weaving ikat is labor-intensive and one piece can take months to prepare.

Dayak people

The Dayak or Dyak or Dayuh /ˈdaɪ.ək/ are the native people of Borneo. It is a loose term for over 200 riverine and hill-dwelling ethnic subgroups, located principally in the interior of Borneo, each with its own dialect, customs, laws, territory and culture, although common distinguishing traits are readily identifiable. Dayak languages are categorised as part of the Austronesian languages in Asia. The Dayak were animist in belief; however many converted to Christianity, and some to Islam more recently. Estimates for the Dayak population range from 18 to 20 million.

The main ethnic groups of Dayaks are the Bakumpai and Dayak Bukit of South Kalimantan, The Ngajus, Baritos, Benuaqs of East Kalimantan, the Kayan and Kenyah groups and their sub-tribes in Central Borneo and the Ibans, Embaloh (Maloh), Kayan (They are considered to be related to the Kayan of Myanmar, former Burma, people also known as Karen. The Karen are regarded as Israelites by remarkable scholars), Kenyah, Penan, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and Taman populations in the Kapuas and Sarawak regions. Other populations include the Ahe, Jagoi, Selakau, Bidayuh, and Kutai.

The Dayak people of Borneo (This island has several tribes related to the Karen Israelites of Myanmar & Thailand) possess an indigenous account of their history, partly in writing in papan turai (wooden records), partly in common cultural customary practices and partly in oral literature. In addition, colonial accounts and reports of Dayak activity in Borneo detail carefully cultivated economic and political relationships with other communities as well as an ample body of research and study considering historical Dayak migrations. In particular, the Iban or the Sea Dayak exploits in the South China Seas are documented, owing to their ferocity and aggressive culture of war against sea dwelling groups and emerging Western trade interests in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1838, British adventurer James Brooke arrived to find the Sultan of Brunei fending off rebellion from warlike inland tribes. Sarawak was in chaos. Brooke put down the rebellion, and was made Governor of Sarawak in 1841, with the title of Rajah. Brooke pacified the natives, including the Dayaks, who became some of his most loyal followers. He suppressed headhunting and piracy. Brooke's most famous Iban enemy was Libau "Rentap"; Brooke led three expeditions against him and finally defeated him at Sadok (A very celebrated Jewish name) Hill. Brooke had many Dayaks in his forces at this battle, and famously said "Only Dayaks can kill Dayaks." Sharif Mashor, a Melanau from Mukah, was another enemy of Brooke.

During World War II, Japanese forces occupied Borneo and treated all of the indigenous peoples poorly - massacres of the Malay and Dayak peoples were common, especially among the Dayaks of the Kapit Division. In response, the Dayaks formed a special force to assist the Allied forces. Eleven U.S. airmen and a few dozen Australian special operatives trained a thousand Dayaks from the Kapit Division in guerrilla warfare. This army of tribesmen killed or captured some 1,500 Japanese soldiers and provided the Allies with vital intelligence about Japanese-held oil fields.

Coastal populations in Borneo are largely Muslim in belief, however these groups (Tidung, Bulungan, Paser, Melanau, Kadayan, Bakumpai, Bisayah) are generally considered to be Islamized Dayaks, native to Borneo, and heavily influenced by the Javanese Majapahit Kingdoms and Islamic Malay Sultanates. I suggest that Dayak could be a deformation of the hebrew word Dayan or Dan, meaning "judge" & indicating the Danite origin of the Dayaks. Interestingly the Dayakite clan "Kadayan" has the word Dayan present in its name. The prefix "ka" is close to "kha" or "ha" & "ha" means "the" in Hebrew. So the "Kadayan" would be "haDayan", "haDan" or "the Danite".

Other groups in coastal areas of Sabah, Sarawak, and northern Kalimantan; namely the Illanun, Tausüg, Sama and Bajau, although inhabiting and (in the case of the Tausug group) ruling the northern tip of Borneo for centuries, have their origins from the southern Philippines. These groups are not Dayak, but instead are grouped under the separate umbrella term of Moro.

There were various reasons for headhunting as listed below:

For soil fertility (similar as done in Incan, Mesoamerican & ancient Middle Eastern empires) so Dayaks hunted fresh heads before paddy harvesting seasons after which head festival would be held in honor of the new heads. To add supernatural strength which Dayaks believed to be centred in the soul and head of humans. Fresh heads can give magical powers for communinal protection, bountiful paddy harvesting and disease curing. To avenge revenge for murders based on "blood credit" (similar to the Israelite concept of an eye for an eye) principle unless "adat pati nyawa" (customary compensation token) is paid. To pay dowry for marriages e.g. "derian palit mata" (eye blocking dowry) for Ibans once blood has been splashed prior to agreeing to marriage and of course, new fresh heads show prowess, bravery, ability and capability to protect his family, community and land. For foundation of new buildings to be stronger and meaningful than the normal practice of not putting in human heads. For protection against enemy attacks according to the principle of "attack first before being attacked". As a symbol of power and social status ranking where the more heads someone has, the respect and glory due to him. The warleader is called tuai serang (warleader) or raja berani (king of the brave) while kayau anak (small raid) leader is only called tuai kayau (raid leader) whereby adat tebalu (widower rule) after their death would be paid according to their ranking status in the community. For territorial expansion where some brave Dayaks intentionally migrated into new areas such as Mujah "Buah Raya" migrated from Skrang to Paku to Kanowit while infighting among Ibans themselves in Batang Ai caused the Ulu Ai Ibans to migrate to Batang Kanyau River in Kapuas, Kalimantan and then proceeded to Katibas (Kati is a name of different Israelite groups) and later on Ulu Rajang in Sarawak. The earlier migrations from Kapuas to Batang Ai, Batang Lupar, Batang Saribas and Batang Krian rivers were also made possible by fighting the local tribes like Bukitan.

Reasons for abandoning headhunting are:

Peacemaking agreements at Tumbang Anoi, Kalimantan in 1894 and Kapit, Sarawak in 1924. Coming of Christianity, with education where Dayaks are taught that headhunting is murder and against the Christian Bible's teachings. Dayaks' own realization that headhunting was more to lose than to gain. After mass conversions to Christianity and Islam, and anti-headhunting legislation by the colonial powers was passed, the practice was banned and appeared to have disappeared. However, the headhunting began to surface again in the mid-1940s, when the Allied Powers encouraged the practice against the Japanese. It also slightly surged in the late 1960s when the Indonesian government encouraged Dayaks to purge Chinese from interior Kalimantan who were suspected of supporting communism in mainland China and also in late 90s when the Dayak started to attack Madurese emigrants in an explosion of ethnic violence.

It should be noted headhunting or human sacrifice was also practiced by other tribes such as follows:

Toraja community in Sulawesi (Celebes) used adat Ma’ Barata (human sacrifice) in Rambu Solo’ ritual which is still held until the arrival of the Hindi Dutch which is a custom to honour someone with a symbol of a great warrior and bravery in a war.

In Gomo, Sumatra, there ware megalithic artifacts where one of them is "batu pancung" (beheading stone) on which to tie any captive or convicted criminals for beheading.

One distinction was their ritual practice of head hunting, once prevalent among tribal warriors in Nagaland and among the Naga tribes in Myanmar. They used to take the heads of enemies to take on their power.

Traditionally, Dayak agriculture was based on swidden rice cultivation. Iban Dayaks tend to plant paddy on hill slopes while Maloh Dayaks prefer flat lands as discussed by King. Agricultural Land in this sense was used and defined primarily in terms of hill rice farming, ladang (garden), and hutan (forest). Iban Dayaks used to practice 27 stages of hill rice farming once a year. Dayaks organised their labour in terms of traditionally based land holding groups which determined who owned rights to land and how it was to be used. The Iban Dayaks practice a rotational and reciprocal labour exchange called "bedurok" to complete works on their farms own by all families within each longhouse. The "green revolution" in the 1950s, spurred on the planting of new varieties of wetland rice amongst Dayak tribes.

The Dayak indigenous religion has been given the name Kaharingan, and may be said to be a form of animism. For official purposes, it is categorized as a form of Hinduism in Indonesia. Nevertheless, these generalizations fail to convey the distinctiveness, meaningfulness, richness and depth of Dayak religion, myth and teachings.

Underlying the world-view is an account of the creation and re-creation of this middle-earth where the Dayak dwell, arising out of a cosmic battle in the beginning of time between a primal couple, a male and female bird/dragon (serpent). Similar to the account of the creation, Adam & Eve & the dragon-snake-Lucipher. If this is not received from the Christians as it's the case, then it might be taken from Israelites. Representations of this primal couple are amongst the most pervasive motifs of Dayak art. The primal mythic conflict ended in a mutual, procreative murder, from the body parts of which the present universe arose stage by stage. This primal sacrificial creation of the universe in all its levels is the paradigm for, and is re-experienced and ultimately harmoniously brought together (according to Dayak beliefs) in the seasons of the year, the interdependence of river (up-stream and down-stream) and land, the tilling of the earth and fall of the rain, the union of male and female, the distinctions between and cooperation of social classes, the wars and trade with foreigners, indeed in all aspects of life, even including tattoos on the body, the lay-out of dwellings and the annual cycle of renewal ceremonies, funeral rites, etc.

The Iban Dayak religion can be simply referred to as the Iban religion which has been written by Benedict Sandin and others extensively. It is characterized by a supreme being in the name of Bunsu (Kree) Petara who has no parents and creates everything in this world and other worlds. Under Bunsu Petara are the seven gods whose names are: Sengalang Burong as the god of war and healing, Biku Bunsu Petara as the high priest (High Priest like in ancient Israel) and second in command, Menjaya as the first shaman (manang) and god of medicine, Selampandai as the god of creation, Sempulang Gana as the god of agriculture and land along with Semarugah, Ini Inda/Inee/Andan as the naturally born doctor and god of justice and Anda Mara as the god of wealth.

The praying and propitiation to certain gods are held via four main categories of rituals and festivals (gawai). The first category is the agricultural-related festivals which are dedicated to paddy farming to honour Sempulang Gana and include Gawai Batu (Whetstone Festival), Gawai Ngalihka Tanah (Soil Reactivation Festival), Gawai Benih (Padi Seed Festival), Gawai Ngemali Umai (Farm Curing Festival), Gawai Matah (Harvest Initiation Festival) and Gawai Bersimpan (Paddy Storing Festival). The second category is the headhunting-related festivals to honour Sengalang Burong comprises Gawai Burung (Bird Festival) and Gawai Kenyalang (Hornbill Festival) which are held after other smaller rituals like bedara matak (first offering inside the family room), bedara mansau (second-in-scale offering inside the family room), sandau ari (mid-day celebration) and enchaboh arong (head-welcoming ceremony) are performed. The third category is the sickness-healing festivals to ask for curing from Menjaya or Ini Andan such as Gawai Sakit (Sickness Festival) which is held after other smaller attempts have failed to cure the sicked persons such as begama (touching), belian (various manang rituals), Besugi Sakit (to ask Keling for curing via magical power) and Berenong Sakit (to ask for curing by Sengalang Burong) in the ascending order. Gawai Burung can also be used for healing certain difficult-to-cure sickness via magical power by Sengalang Burong especially nowadays after headhunting has been stopped. Two more festivals that are related to wellness and longevity are Gawai Betambah Bulu (Hair Adding Festival) and Gawai Nanga Langit (Sky Staircasing Festival). The fourth category is the fortune-related festivals which consist of Gawai Pangkong Tiang (Post Banging Festival) after trasfering to a new longhouse, Gawai Tuah (Luck Festival) with three ascending stages to seek and to welcome lucks and Gawai Tajau (Jar Festival) to welcome newly acquired jars. The fifth category is the Soul Festival (Gawai Antu) for the souls of the deads. The seven and last category is the Gawai Mimpi (Dream Festival) which is held for any dreams experienced during sleep where good meaning dreams are purposely sought.

At the end of these festivals except Gawai Antu, the divination of the pig liver will be interpreted to forecast the outcome of the future or the luck of the individual who holds the festival.

                                                                       Dayak chief

The prayers to gods and/or other spirits are made by giving offerings ("piring") and animal sacrifices ("genselan"). The number (leka or turun) of each piring offering item is based on ascending odd numbers which have meanings and purposes as below:

piring 3 for piring ampun (forgiveness seeking) or seluwak (wastefulness spirit)
piring 5 for piring minta (reguest offering) or bejalai (journey)
piring 7 for piring begawai (festival) or bujang berani (brave warrior)
piring 9 for sangkong (including others) or turu (leftover included)

The shaman (a deviation from the Israelite priest?), manang in the local language, of the Iban Dayaks have various types of pelian (ritual healing ceremony) to be held in accordance with the types of sickness determined by him through his glassy stone to see the whereabouts of the soul of the sick person.

The best and still unsurpassed study of a traditional Dayak religion in Kalimantan is that of Hans Scharer, Ngaju Religion: The Conception of God among a South Borneo People; translated by Rodney Needham (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963). The practice of Kaharingan differs from group to group, but shamans, specialists in ecstatic flight to other spheres, are central to Dayak religion, and serve to bring together the various realms of Heaven (Upper-world) and earth, and even Under-world, for example healing the sick by retrieving their souls which are journeying on their way to the Upper-world land of the dead, accompanying and protecting the soul of a dead person on the way to their proper place in the Upper-world, presiding over annual renewal and agricultural regeneration festivals, etc. Death rituals are most elaborate when a noble (kamang) dies. On particular religious occasions, the spirit is believed to descend to partake in celebration, a mark of honour and respect to past ancestors and blessings for a prosperous future.

Over the last two centuries, some Dayaks converted to Christianity and Islam, abandoning certain cultural rites and practices. Christianity was introduced by European missionaries in Borneo. Religious differences between Muslim and Christian natives of Borneo has led, at various times, to communal tensions. Relations, however between all religious groups are generally good.

Muslim Dayaks have however retained their original identity and kept various customary practices consistent with their religion. However many Christian Dayak has changed their name to European name but some minority still maintain their ancestors traditional name.

An example of common identity, over and above religious belief, is the Melanau group. Despite the small population, to the casual observer, the coastal dwelling Melanau of Sarawak (Has the name Sarawak anything to do with Sarah, the Matriarch of the Israelites?), generally do not identify with one religion, as a number of them have Islamized and Christianised over a period of time. A few practise a distinct Dayak form of Kaharingan, known as Liko. Liko is the earliest surviving form of religious belief for the Melanau, predating the arrival of Islam and Christianity to Sarawak. The somewhat patchy religious divisions remain, however the common identity of the Melanau is held politically and socially. Social cohesion amongst the Melanau, despite religious differences, is markedly tight within their small community.

Kinship in Dayak society is traced in both lines of genealogy (tusut). Although, in Dayak Iban society, men and women possess equal rights in status and property ownership, political office has strictly been the occupation of the traditional Iban patriarch. There is a council of elders (as in ancient Israel) in each longhouse.

Overall, Dayak leadership in any given region, is marked by titles, a Penghulu for instance would have invested authority on behalf of a network of Tuai Rumah's and so on to a Pemancha, Pengarah to Temenggung in the ascending order while Panglima or Orang Kaya (Rekaya) are titles given by Malays to some Dayaks.

Individual Dayak groups have their social and hierarchy systems defined internally, and these differ widely from Ibans to Ngajus and Benuaqs to Kayans.

In Sarawak, Temenggong Koh Anak Jubang was the first paramount chief of Dayaks in Sarawak and followed by Tun Temenggong Jugah Anak Barieng who was one of the main signatories for the formation of Federation of Malaysia between Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak with Singapore expelled later on.

Singaporean women in air hostess uniform

He was said to be the "bridge between Malaya and East Malaysia". The latter was fondly called "Apai" by others, which means father. Unfortunately, he had no western or formal education at all.

The most salient feature of Dayak social organisation is the practice of Longhouse domicile. This is a structure supported by hardwood posts that can be hundreds of metres long, usually located along a terraced river bank. At one side is a long communal platform, from which the individual households can be reached.

The Iban of the Kapuas and Sarawak have organized their Longhouse settlements in response to their migratory patterns. Iban longhouses vary in size, from those slightly over 100 metres in length to large settlements over 500 metres in length. Longhouses have a door and apartment for every family living in the longhouse. For example, a longhouse of 200 doors is equivalent to a settlement of 200 families.

The tuai rumah (long house chief) can be aided by a tuai burong (bird leader), tuai umai (farming leader) and a manang (shaman). Nowadays, each long house will have a Security and Development Committee and ad hoc committee will be formed as and when necessary for example during festivals such as Gawai Dayak.

The Dayaks are peace loving people who live based on customary rules or adat asal which govern each of their main activities. The adat is administered by the tuai rumah aided by the Council of Elders in the longhouse so that any dispute can be settled amicably among the dwellers themselves via berandau (discussion). If no settlement can be reached at the longhouse chief level, then the dispute will escalate to a pengulu level and so on.

Among the main sections of customary adat of the Iban Dayaks are as follows:

Adat berumah (House building rule)
Adat melah pinang, butang ngau sarak (Marriage, adultery and divorce rule)
Adat beranak (Child bearing and raising rule)
Adat bumai and beguna tanah (Agricultural and land use rule)
Adat ngayau (Headhunting rule)
Adat ngasu, berikan, ngembuah and napang (Hunting, fishing, fruit and honey collection rule)
Adat tebalu, ngetas ulit ngau beserarak bungai(Widow/widower, mourning and soul separation rule)
Adat begawai (festival rule)
Adat idup di rumah panjai (Order of life in the longhouse rule)
Adat betenun, main lama, kajat ngau taboh (Weaving, past times, dance and music rule)
Adat beburong, bemimpi ngau becenaga ati babi (Bird and animal omen, dream and pig liver rule)
Adat belelang (Journey rule)

The Ibans' journey along the coastal regions using a large boat called "bandong" with sail made of leaves or cloths may have given rise to the term, Sea Dayak, although, throughout the 19th Century, Sarawak Government raids and independent expeditions appeared to have been carried out as far as Brunei, Mindanao, East coast Malaya, Jawa and Celebes.

Metal-working is elaborately developed in making mandaus (machetes - parang in Malay and Indonesian). The blade is made of a softer iron, to prevent breakage, with a narrow strip of a harder iron wedged into a slot in the cutting edge for sharpness in a process called ngamboh (iron-smithing).

The ceremonial mandaus used for dances are as beautifully adorned with feathers, as are the costumes. There are various terms to describe different types of Dayak blades. The Nyabor is the traditional Iban Scimitar, Parang Ilang is common to Kayan and Kenyah Swordsmiths, pedang is a sword with a metallic handle and Duku is a multipurpose farm tool and machete of sorts.

Normally, the sword is accompanied by a wooden shield called terabai which is decorated with a demon face to scare off the enemy. Another weapons are sangkoh (spear) and sumpit (blowpipe) with lethal poison at the tip of its laja. To protect the upper body during combat, a gagong (armour) which is made of animal hard skin such as leopards is worn over the shoulders via a hole made for the head to enter.

Dayaks normally build their longhouses on high posts on high ground where possible for protection. They also may build kuta (fencing) and kubau (fort) where necessary to defend against enemy attacks. Dayaks also possess some brass and cast iron weaponry such as brass cannon (bedil) and iron cast cannon meriam. Furthermore, Dayaks are experienced in setting up animal traps (peti) which can be used for attacking enemy as well. The agility and stamina of Dayaks in jungles give them advantages. However, at the end, Dayaks were defeated by handguns and disunity among themselves against the colonialists.

Most importantly, Dayaks will seek divine helps to grant them protection in the forms of good dreams or curses by spirits, charms such as pengaroh (normally ponsonous), empelias (weapon straying away) and engkerabun (hidden from normal human eyes), animal omens, bird omens, good divination in the pig liver or by purposely seeking supernatural powers via nampok or betapa or menuntut ilmu (learning knowledge) especially kebal (weapon-proof).

The traditional Iban Dayak male attire consists of a sirat (loincloth) attached with a small mat for sitting), lelanjang (headgear with colourful bird feathers) or a turban (a long piece of cloth wrapped around the head), marik (chain) around the neck, engkerimok (ring on thigh) and simpai (ring on the upper arms). The Iban Dayak female traditional attire comprises a short "kain tenun betating" (a woven cloth attached with coins and bells at the bottom end), a rattan or brass ring corset, selampai (long scarf) or marik empang (beaded top cover), sugu tinggi (high comb made of silver), simpai (bracelets on upper arms), tumpa (bracelets on lower arms) and buah pauh (fruits on hand).

Dayaks being accustomed to living in jungles and hard terrains, and knowing the plants and animals are extremely good at following animals trails while hunting and of course tracking humans or enemies, thus some Dayaks became very good trackers in jungles in the military e.g. some Iban Dayaks were engaged as trackers during the anti-confrontation by Indonesia against the formation of Federation of Malaysia and anti-communism in Malaysia itself. No doubt, these survival skills are obtained while doing activities in the jungles, which are then utilized for headhunting in the old days.

Malaysia’s most decorated war hero is Kanang Anak Langkau due to his military services helping to liberate Malaya (and later Malaysia) from the communists.

Organised Dayak political representation in the Indonesian State first appeared during the Dutch administration, in the form of the Dayak Unity Party (Parti Persatuan Dayak) in the 30s and 40s. The feudal Sultanates of Kutai, Banjar and Pontianak figured prominently prior to the rise of the Dutch colonial rule.

Dayaks in Sarawak in this respect, compare very poorly with their organised brethren in the Indonesian side of Borneo, partly due to the personal fiefdom that was the Brooke Rajah dominion, and possibly to the pattern of their historical migrations from the Indonesian part to the then pristine Rajang Basin. Political circumstances aside, the Dayaks in the Indonesian side actively organised under various associations beginning with the Sarekat Dayak established in 1919, to the Parti Dayak in the 40s, and to the present day, where Dayaks occupy key positions in government.

Under Indonesia, Kalimantan is now divided into four self-autonomous provinces i.e. West, East, South and Middle Kalimantan.

In 2001 the Indonesian government ended the transmigration of Javanese settlement of Indonesian Borneo that began under Dutch rule in 1905.

From 1996 to 2003 there were violent attacks on Indonesian Madurese settlers, including executions of Madurese transmigrant communities. The violence included the Sampit conflict in 2001 in which more than 500 were killed in that year. Order was restored by the Indonesian Military.

Batak Toba

Of all the tribes in Indonesia the Batak Toba is the closest to the Jews, starting with the paterns of thought, conduct, costums. Batak Toba are the soul of comerce (entreneurial spirit) like the Jews. The Batak Toba People, they have a religion is similarly with Ancient Israelite Religion. Their Religion is PARMALIM or Ugamo Malim. This religion means Holy Faith.They believe in one God, Mulajadi Nabolon, The First of the Migthy or the God Almighty. They always worship on Saturday (Samisara), and they will not do any activities because it’s forbbiden, they sacrifice animals for redemption and Blessings. They have a priesthood with Altar, they do the sacrifice outside of the House of Worship, they sacrifice goat, and cows. On the sevent day, when every boy-child was born, the child will bring to the priest to bath with water and name him.They also married with their realtives, if the elder died, the wife of the elder sholud marry with the brother of the elder, and so on.But many things in Ancinet Isralite Customs in Batak Toba Customs too. In Batak Toba Land, there are much incenses, they are the best incenses for ritual in the holy temple.Barus is the Great Harbour in Tapanuli, The Northen Sumatera. In the past, may people from Middle Eastern including the Nestorian Christians came to Barus.

The Batak Toba People with their religion Parmalim has a rule, namely, they will not eat pork (pig), Dog, Blood, and the other animals, because it’s not holy.They believe those things are not suggested and forbidden before God. they have a clothes with fringes in their customs, today the follower of the Parmalim just over 1500 till 7000. In the religion, They call God as Father of Batak Toba Tribe. Even though many Batak Toba People are Christians, many Batak Christian hated their Forefather’s religion because they believe Jesus more than their legacy. There's a similarity between Batak literature and israel too.

Sorne cultural elements were regarded as "strange" or "unsound", but difficult to abolish quickly. The bride priece, for instance, was regarded as contradictory to Christian marriage ideals. But the importance of this tradition meant that it was practised also after the conversion to Christianity. In this context, Warneck again points out that after all the Toba shared the custom with the ancient Israelites.

                                                          Typical Batak-Toba house

The Batak Toba people, also called Toba people or often simply 'Batak', are the most numerous of the Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia, and often considered the classical 'Batak', most likely to willingly self-identify as Batak. The Batak Toba people speak in the Toba Batak language and are centered around Lake Toba and Samosir Island within the lake. Batak Toba people frequently build in traditional Batak architecture styles which are common on Samosir. Cultural demonstrations, performances and festivities such as Sigale Gale are often held for tourists.

The Batak Toba are known throughout Indonesia as capable musicians, and are perceived as confident, outspoken and willing to question authority, expressing differences in order to resolve them through discussion. This outlook on life is contrasted to Javanese people, Indonesia's largest ethnic group, who are more culturally conciliatory and less willing to air differences publicly.

The People of Timor

Timor island is divided into 2 areas, the west part is Indonesian territory with total area around 13.753 square kilo meters, and east part is the Timor L'ester which has just freed themselves from Indonesia in 1999 after hundreds of years under Portugal colonization and become part of Indonesia in 1976. In general the condition of Timor island is consist of wide savannah and steppas, with great difference of temperature between rainy and dry season. Many mountains and hill from where various rivers runs through savannah and steppas. Indonesia Timor itself consists of various ethnics indicates also by their different dialects as described in short below.

    Roti and Belu People; Roti people is the resident of Roti island, while Belu inhabit the land of Timor. They have similarity in physical and cultural elements. Their physical characteristics showing the mixture between Malay and Melanesian, only the Rotinese showing preponderant Malay characteristic, while Belu showing more Melanesian characteristic such as curling hairs, dark brown to black skin color, shorter body size. The language the spoke have much in common, although they are not understand each other.

    Helon People; they live around the city of Kupang and have their own language, physical characteristics showing much closer to Melanesian.

    Atoni People; live neighboring to Helon people, and in Kupang they are called "Mountain People" or aborigines, since their Melanesian characteristics is strong, such as short body size, dark brown skin color, curling hairs, and brachepal head. The name Atoni was coming from themselves which means " human ". They also have their own language which is not understood by other ethnics.

    Kemak People and Marae People; There are 2 groups have some similarities in their language and physical characteristics. Their physical characteristics are dark brown to black skin color, dolichepal head and curling hairs, body size is higher than average Timorese. Marae people speak their own language called " Huna ".

    Kupang People; In Kupang city live a mixed people between local, Chinese, Arabian, and other parts of Indonesia. So there is a great variation in physical characteristics but showing no group affinity. Their communication is Indonesian language with strongly Timorese intonation.

There is no record for Timor and its culture before 17th century until the area was colonized by Dutch V.O.C. A report about Timor was written by Jl. Kruseman in 1756, and the colonial Verslag 1860. From the writing is known that the number of population was small around 70,000 and the town of Kupang had only 3.000 at that time. It is said also about the epidemic such as frambusia and leprosy which killed so many people before vaccines was introduced to the people in 18th century by government of V.O.C. Progressive population growth is recorded between 1930 through 1952 which shows 345.668 (1930), 440.957 (1949), 522.500 (1952). There were found 4 kingdoms when Dutch colonist arrived on the island such as kingdom of Central North Timor, the kingdom of Central South Timor, the kingdom of Kupang, and Belu kingdom. Belu has the biggest number of population, although it is recorded that many people of Timor by the Dutch with the Chinese traders transport the people to Batavia ( now Jakarta ) for slaves with transit in Bali.

Two kingdoms, Kupang and Belu showing tremendous population growth after Dutch colonization. Before Dutch colonization on the island the situation of settlements were said spreaded over with long distance between one to other units of settlements. Most of the unit consist of 50 to 60 persons of the same family, and built on a difficult location to reach. Their choice to build such a settlement was to give difficulty to attacker, as it was often between different groups were attaching each other. Only on southern Belu the defend was built on number of people, so it was found villages with population more then 300 persons. By Dutch government those spreaded settlements were forced to relocate and united in a complex of villages along the main road, which facilitate the V.O.C military control to the people and give them new way of life.

The original house of Timor is like nest of bee, roof almost touching land, its room is divided into 2, outer room or Sulak, where guests are received, inner room called nanan a place to sleep, cook, work, and sleep for married daughters. Here is also traditional ritual concluded according to their original tradition. Today most of them have followed Christianity. By government the shape of their house was changed into quadrangular constructed parallel with main road to facilitate better air circulation and healthy.

The people live on farming product such as corn, cassava, rice, yam, taro, orange, coffee, bean, onion and tobacco. Yet their technique of cultivating land until lately still not permanent, by cutting forest, burn and cultivate once then leave to open new forest. With the introduction of cows by Dutch in 1912, a large parts of the people growing cows and up today Timor is known as the biggest supplier of cows, beside traditional farming is still continued. Before he coming of Dutch they had known growing buffalos and pigs, but was no economic value, only for need of ritual, and social status. With the growth of cows in Timor the image of the island increase parallel with the fame of sandal woods production which is very expensive wood. Together with the island of Sumbawa, Sumba, and flores are known as sandal wood islands.

The Timorese whatever their group is can be said in general that their kinship is based on patrilineal relation, beside matrilineal relation can be found also at the area of Wehali, Suai and south Belu. This family relation forms certain clan that preserve clan heritages. This heritages are considered sacred and connected to the origin of their clan. For example Atoni people name the heritage " nono " The member of the clan regularly conduct a ritual in honor of the heritage. A Boy will be member of this father's clan if doory has been fully paid to the family of his mother. A child who enter his/her mother's clan is called "Feto" and his/her brothers/sisters are called "Mone" Feto is considered having lower status. Among the Atoni and people at Amarasi still consider woman has lower status. In the past there were like a social layer consist of 3 strata the Usif or noble, the Tob or common people, Ate or the slave. During the era of kingdoms this social layer guided various aspects of life, especially the tradition of marriage. A king can only marry woman from their same clan, but some women from Usif can marry man from Tob whose family has an influence on the society such as head of villages, and Chinese merchants. Beside the layer based on genetic also exist based on place, such as the group of Kwantif is the member that first to build the village, who have big power in their village, the group of Atoin Asaot are those people come later and Atoin anaot are those wanderers. The ideal couple for marriage is between a man with the daughter of his mother's brother, not with daughter of mother's sister. Marriage tradition in Timor still involving costly doory both from family of man and woman.

Traditional organization of people in Timor was divided into some kingdoms such as the kingdom of Kupang, belu, north central Timor, and south central Timor. Each kingdom was divided into some smaller units called " Kafettoran" probably derived from clan system of "Feto" as mentioned above, under Kafettoran there are units of Desa headed by Kepala Desa. After independence the kingdom become Kapupaten and Kafeetoran become Kecamatan. Under Kecamatan is Desa. Still the power between Desas of new Desa system constructed after independence and traditional Desa based on Kwantif, sometime still having difficult coordination.

The original belief of Timor is homage to the god controlling the sky called Uis Neno, and Goddess of the Earth called Uis Afu. Beside that they also belive on the existence of invisible spirits and ancestors spirit. Invisible spirits control rivers, forests, water sources and others which is a true concept of modern world in the effort of preserving the nature. Rituals are conducted at their homes. Although Timorese majority Christian, their old tradition is still being practiced.


Isolated yet worldly, the Nias Island chain has been trading since prehistory with other cultures, other islands, and even mainland Asia. Some historians and archaeologists have cited the local culture as one of the few remaining Megalithic cultures in existence today. While this point of view is hotly debated, there is no doubt that Nias' relative geographic isolation has created a unique culture. As a culture of traders, the people of Nias find tourists to be a welcome – and historically familiar – phenomenon.

Nias is best known for its diversity of festivals and celebration. The most well-known events are War Dances, performed regularly for tourists, and Stone Jumping, a manhood ritual that sees young men leaping over two meter stone towers to their fate. In the past the top of the stone board is covered with spikes and sharp pointed bamboo. The music of Nias, performed mostly by women, is noted worldwide for its haunting beauty.

Gunungsitoli is home to Nias's only museum, the Museum Pusaka Nias (Nias Heritage Foundation), which houses over 6000 objects related to Nias's cultural heritage. The museum had recently built a new building and had improved their storage and exhibitions when the 2004 earthquake and tsunami occurred. The museum suffered some damage to the grounds and collections, but museum staff are working to recover from this devastating event.

                                                    Altar or place of sacrifice of the Nias

The predominant religion is Protestant Christianity. Six out of seven Niasans are Protestant; the remainder are about evenly divided between Muslim (mostly immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia) and Catholic. However adherence to either Christian or Muslim religions is still largely symbolic; Nias continues into current day celebrating its own indigenous culture and traditions as the primary form of spiritual expression.

The people of Nias build omo sebua houses on massive ironwood pillars with towering roofs. Not only were they almost impregnable to attack in former tribal warfare, their flexible nail-less construction provide proven earthquake durability.

Nias is home not only to a unique human culture but also endemic fauna which differ from other areas of North Sumatra because of the island's remote location separate from Sumatra.


Administratively Flores is under East Nusa Tenggara Province separated from Bali around 1950s, and now has the center of administration is at Kupang city on West Timor island. There are 8 sub-ethnic group live on the island including it's small island ; (1) The Manggarai, (2) The Riung, (3) Ngada, (4) Nage-Keo, (5) The Ende, (6) The Lio, (7) The Sikka, (8) Larantuka. Sub no 2,3,4 and 5 culturally shows slight difference, yet compare to Manggaraian shows significant difference including physical traits. The Manggarai people has the marked physical characteristic of Mongoloid-Malay, but some small characteristic showing the other group above.

Indonesian girl

The skin color of the Manggaraian is brighter like other Western Indonesian people with more people have straight hairs. The other ethnic groups shows great similarity of Malanesian people, although their skin color is not as dark as the people of West Papua. At the east tip of Flores there is a sub-ethnic living at Larantuka town showing great mix of people. this probably has been caused by the fact that Larantuka has become the center of Christian missionary from 17th century. So inter marriage have been taking place.

The number of people recorded in 1930 around 250.000 people, and more better census in 1964 recorded 1.582.200 people. With this figure Flores and it's island showing small density of population which is 41 person per square km. Their village for Manggaraian are constructed on the highland or foot of mountain, and each village formed circular, divided into 3, front, center and back.

In the past at each part of this settlement had special holy place which was considered the place of the guardian of the village. This holy places are assemblages of natural stones with stepped pyramid with flat on top. At the front is banyan tree and the village meeting hall. In the past this meeting hall also place to preserve a drum (like the Lemba's Holy Drum), a music instrument which is considered a holy tool. This type of stone is also known as altar by people of Ngada at central Flores. In the past the villages were fenced with strong bamboo, and the outer part still protected by plants having sharp stings, yet today this type of villages are left already, but traces can still be seen at some places.

The people of Ngada has started to cultivate the land with irrigation system since 60 years ago where they could manage more stable life. But some people are still moving from one place to another clearing and burn forest. The main crops they grow are corn and rice. Besides cultivating land for crops the Floresian also grow buffaloes, but it is not for their economic value, only for feast, religion, status symbols, gift of marriage is also important beside horses. Horse also use for transporting people and goods.

Marriage tradition of Floresian, especially among Mangarai, happened naturally as a result of the relation between youth and girl, but this type of marriage required big amount of gift to be given to girl's parent. So the ideal marriage to avoid this high requirement is marriage between a youth with the daughter of his mother's brother, and also marriage by fledging from home with the approval of both sides. Like other ethnics of Indonesia the procedure of marriage is almost the same, initiated by youth's parents and relatives will come to girl's parent to request their girl for their son. It is often that a man has married a woman but still can not give the gift to woman's parents, so he has to work for some days or months to pay this at wife's parents. Other type of marriage in Mangarai or Floresian is general is monogamy very rare of case polygamy like in Java, furthermore Floresian are already Christian observer. Kinship system of the Manggarai and Ngada is a big family base on patrilineal lineage, living virilically, called a "Kilo" some kilos form a small clan or minimal leanage called "Panga" which traces their generation up to 5 to 6 generations. Today the relation within the Panga is not clear anymore except for the name tradition. In the past the unit of Panga will be bound by the traditional ceremony such as death ceremony, building public places and others. The bigger group of Panga is called "wa'u" who has a complex of same traditional elements, folklore, totem, and common ancestors, and ceremonies which all have been forgotten today.

In 1761 the kingdom of Bima in Sumbawa was taken over by Makassar from Karangasem kingdom of Bali with the help of Dutch on the area of Manggarai, but this was not long, as Bima was shocked by great explosion of Mt. Tambora in 1815. From the report of Bima kingdom staff at Manggarai it is known that the center of Manggarai kindom was at Cibal. The original structure of Manggarai kingdom can still be seen until today. The kingdom was consist of units called "Dalu". It were 39 Dalu, each Dalu consist of some Glarang, and each Glarang consist of some villages or "beo". Every Dalu usually controlled by a clan or by a wa'u. The head of a Dalu is called a "Kraeng Adak", while the most important Dalus such as Todo and Bayo, their head is called "Sangaji". Important officers in Manggarai are "tu'a tana" a person who expert in land ownership, and "raja bicara" a diplomat. These officers were present at head level of kingdom, Dalu and Glarang. 5 social layers is also introduces based on originality of their place on the society or in more clear tense is seniority. The Kraeng in Manggarai, and Gae Meze in Ngada are the borjouise, while "Ata Leke" in Manggarai and "Gae Kisa" in Ngada is common people, and the group of slaves which is not exist anymore. The traditional belief of Floresian is general by concept is the same as other ethnic groups of Indonesia, basically they respect the ancestors, plus holy souls of nature. In Manggarai and Ngada they have highest god called "Mori Karaeng", while Ngada called "Deva".

The Minangkau (Manancabbe) Lost Israelites 

Alexander the Great expanded his empire to the Punjab. Alejander's army was not   exclusively Helenic. Diferent historians mention that part of this army became Hebrew with the incorporation of soldiers of the Lost Tribes of Israel. These soldiers married local native women. Aparently, throughout generations, their descendence ended up in China &, going thru Nepal & India some of them arrived in Indonesia giving birth to the Minangkaus.

The Sumatrese mount Merapi is so high that cab be seen from several kilometers away once you leave the island of Sumatra. Merapi comes from the Aramean word "Marave" meaning "The Place of the Highest".

In the Minang language there are several words of Aramaic origin like: taruko, boendo, kendon...

The Minangkaus own a book that describes the costums of their people. Nowadaysthe Minang people still trust in the book  to solve problems & complexities that happen in their comunities. The book is called "Aturan", a name similar to the Torah. It has very strict codes of conduct. 

As the Jews, the Minangs have a great entrepeneurial spirit & are están scattered trhoughout the country

The system of ascendence is matrilineal as the Hebrew.

The Minang

Some people say that the Minangkabau nation comes from the 10 lost tribes of Israel, that came from the kingdom of the north or Israel, from the conquest of the Assyrians. An alleged reason for considering them of Israelite origin is their matrilineality in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors. Some Minang say they are proud to have Israelite origin. The Dutch affirmed that there was indication that the Minang's had Jewish genes.

The Minangkabau ethnic group, also known as Minang (Urang Minang in Minangkabau language), is indigenous to the Minangkabau 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 responsibility 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 peninsular cities and towns.

The Minangkabau are strongly Islamic, but also follow their ethnic traditions, or adat. The Minangkabau adat was derived from animist and hindu beliefs before the arrival of Islam, and remnants of animist 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).

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.

The first mention of the name Minangkabau as Minangkabwa, is in the 1365 Majapahit court poem, the Desawarnana (or Nagarakrtagama) composed by Mpu Prapanca.

People who spoke Austronesian languages first arrived in Sumatra around 500 BC, 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. 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.

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. 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. 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). The Minangkabau kings were charismatic or magical figures, but did not have much authority over the conduct of village affairs.

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 composed 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).

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.

Minangkabau have large corporate descent groups, but they traditionally reckon descent matrilineally. A young boy, for instance, has his primary responsibility to his mother's and sisters' clans. It is considered "customary" and ideal for married sisters to remain in their parental home, with their husbands having a sort of visiting status. Not everyone lives up to this ideal, however. In the 1990s, anthropologist Evelyn Blackwood studied a relatively conservative village in Sumatera Barat where only about 22 percent of the households were "matrihouses", consisting of a mother and a married daughter or daughters. Nonetheless, there is a shared ideal among Minangkabau in which sisters and unmarried lineage members try to live close to one another or even in the same house.

Landholding is one of the crucial functions of the suku (female lineage unit). Because Minangkabau men, like Acehnese men, often migrate to seek experience, wealth, and commercial success, the women's kin group is responsible for maintaining the continuity of the family and the distribution and cultivation of the land. These family groups, however, are typically led by a penghulu (headman), elected by groups of lineage leaders. With the agrarian base of the Minangkabau economy in decline, the suku—as a landholding unit—has also been declining somewhat in importance, especially in urban areas. Indeed, the position of penghulu is not always filled after the death of the incumbent, particularly if lineage members are not willing to bear the expense of the ceremony required to install a new penghulu.

The Minangs are the world's largest matrilineal society; 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 Maritime Southeast Asia to become scholars or to seek fortune as merchants. However, the native Minangkabaus agreed that this matrilineal culture is indeed the result of (not the reason for) diaspora. With their men travelling out of the country for unspecified time (with possibility of some of them not returning home), it is only logical to hand the land and property to those who do not have to leave it: The women. This also ensures the women's (meaning: mothers of the future generations') welfare and hence ensuring their offsprings welfare. Besides, native MinangKabaus argue that "Men can live anywhere and hence they do not need a house like women do". The concept of matrilineal can be seen from the naming of important museums such as "The house where Buya HAMKA was born" by Maninjau Lake. It has never been and never will be Buya HAMKA's house because it was his mother's house and passed down only to his sisters. Another museum in Bukit Tinggi was called by the locals: "Muhammad Hatta's Mom's house" where you will see that Muhammad Hatta (the Indonesia's Independence Proclamator) only had a room outside of the house, albeit attached to it.

As early as the age of 7, boys traditionally leave their homes and live in a surau (a prayer house and 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 because Negeri Sembilan was originally Minangkabau's territory.

The traditions of sharia—in which inheritance laws favor males— and indigenous female-oriented adat are often depicted as conflicting forces in Minangkabau society. The male-oriented sharia appears to offer young men something of a balance against the dominance of law in local villages, which forces a young man to wait passively for a marriage proposal from some young woman's family. By acquiring property and education through merantau experience, a young man can attempt to influence his own destiny in positive ways. Increasingly, married couples go off on merantau; in such situations, the woman's role tends to change. When married couples reside in urban areas or outside the Minangkabau region, women lose some of their social and economic rights in property. One apparent consequence is an increased likelihood of divorce.

Minangkabau were prominent among the intellectual figures in the Indonesian independence movement. Not only were they strongly Islamic (meaning: Their religious belief is different from the occupying Protestant Dutch), and like every other Sumatran: They are culturally and naturally proud people, they also have traditional belief of egalitarianism of "Standing as tall, sitting as low" (that no body stand or sit on an increased stage), they speak a language closely related to Bahasa Indonesia, which was considerably freer of hierarchical connotations than Javanese. Partly because of their tradition of merantau, Minangkabau developed a cosmopolitan bourgeoisie that readily adopted and promoted the ideas of an emerging nation-state.

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.

In addition to being renowned as merchants, the Minangs have 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.

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 lasts for seven days or more. Turun ka sawah - community work ceremony, Manyabik - harvesting ceremony, 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 died in the pass 10 or 50 years and even more, must do the Batagak Pangulu.

Mentawai people

Mentawai (also known as Mentawei and Mentawi) people are the native people of the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra province, Indonesia. They live a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the coastal and rainforest environments of the islands. The Mentawai population is estimated to be about 64,000. The Mentawai language belongs to the Austronesian language family. The people are characterised by their heavy spirituality, body art and their tendency to sharpen their teeth, a practice they feel makes one beautiful.

The Mentawai live in the traditional dwelling called the uma which is a longhouse (any relation with the Iroquois ones?) and is made by weaving bamboo strips together to make walls and thatching the roofs with grass, the floor is raised on stilts and is made of wood planks.

An Uma, the traditional communal house of the Mentawai

The main clothing for men is a loin cloth (like the Iroquois & other north Amerindians) and they are adorned with necklaces and flowers in their hair and ears. Women wear the same thing except they wear a piece of cloth wound around the waist. Women wear small sleeveless vests and they sharpen their teeth with a chisel for aesthetic reasons to make their teeth look like a shark's.

Tattooing (tatooing, sacrifying, sharpening of teeth... has been done has been done against the Israelite Law by paganized Israelites like the Igbos, Maoris... Other groups regarded by some as Israelites have put make up on their faces, resembling the marks forbidden in Exodus 32:1-6, Numbers 25:1-3, etc...: north American Indians & their war paintings, the Picts in Scotland...) is done with a needle and wood which is hammered on the needle by a shaman called sikerei. Tattooing on the island was an identity and a personal or communal reflection of the people's relationship to nature, called arat subulungan, although there are motivational and design differences from region to region and among clans. During the pre-independance era, cultural influence of foreign colonials and other islanders had systematically displaced or obliterated indigenous customs and religions. In postcolonial times, the Indonesian government supported this process of deletion with a decress in 1954 that prohibited indigenous religions, effectively abolishing tattooing and other customs.

The traditional knife of the Mentawai people is called Palitai, while their traditional shield is called Kurabit.

Men hunt wild pigs, deer and primates. Women and children gather wild yams and other wild food. Small animals are hunted by women. The Mentawai people keep pigs, dogs, monkeys and sometimes chickens as pets.

Surfaid is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of Mentawaian people.


Subdivisions of the Torajas, with brackets an explanation of their possible Israelite origin:

Kaili, Rampi, Kantewu, Sidondo (Sidon), Banagua (Ban, similar to Ben, "son of" in Hebrew), Pakuli, Parigi (Phares, son of Judah. The Parisi Celts had pretty much the same name), Ganti, Lindu, Bada, Palu, Dolago, Dongala (Dan's diaspora), Kulawy, Leboni (Lebanon, Levi), Pipikoro, Napu, Lage, Laiwonu (Levi), Peana, Pakagua, Sausu, Rato, Banasu (Ben "son of" in Hebrew), Besoa, Gimpu, Lampu, Mohapi, Koro, Baku (Like the Azeri capital, a people, the Azeris, considered as Israelites too), Lalaeo, Lembo (Lemba), Lamusa

The Toraja (does the name Toraja have any relation with the Torah) are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 1,100,000, of whom 450,000 live in the regency of Tana Toraja ("Land of Toraja"). Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk ("the way"). The Indonesian government has recognized this animist belief as Aluk To Dolo ("Way of the Ancestors").

The word toraja comes from the Bugis Buginese language term to riaja, meaning "people of the uplands". The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days.

Before the 20th century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja (Tana is the very name of a lake in Ethiopia where the Israelite Abyssim lived & some still do. It might derive from Dan) regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had changed significantly, from an agrarian model — in which social life and customs were outgrowths of the Aluk To Dolo—to a largely Christian society. Today, tourism and remittances from migrant Torajans have made for major changes in the Toraja highland, giving the Toraja a celebrity status within Indonesia and enhancing Toraja ethnic group pride.

It's interesting that they speak the Toraja-Sa’dan language, which again includes the name of Dan, but clearer than in Tana.

The Torajan people had little notion of themselves as a distinct ethnic group before the 20th century. Before Dutch colonization and Christianization, Torajans, who lived in highland areas, identified with their villages and did not share a broad sense of identity. Although complexes of rituals created linkages between highland villages, there were variations in dialects, differences in social hierarchies, and an array of ritual practices in the Sulawesi highland region. "Toraja" (from the coastal languages' to, meaning people; and riaja, uplands) was first used as a lowlander expression for highlanders. As a result, "Toraja" initially had more currency with outsiders—such as the Bugis and Makassarese, who constitute a majority of the lowland of Sulawesi—than with insiders. The Dutch missionaries' presence in the highlands gave rise to the Toraja ethnic consciousness in the Sa'dan Toraja region, and this shared identity grew with the rise of tourism in the Tana Toraja Regency. Since then, South Sulawesi has four main ethnic groups—the Bugis (the majority, including shipbuilders and seafarers), the Makassarese (lowland traders and seafarers), the Mandarese (traders and fishermen), and the Toraja (highland rice cultivators).

From the 17th century, the Dutch established trade and political control on Sulawesi through the Dutch East Indies Company. Over two centuries, they ignored the mountainous area in the central Sulawesi, where Torajans lived, because access was difficult and it had little productive agricultural land. In the late 19th century, the Dutch became increasingly concerned about the spread of Islam in the south of Sulawesi, especially among the Makassarese and Bugis peoples. The Dutch saw the animist highlanders as potential Christians. In the 1920s, the Reformed Missionary Alliance of the Dutch Reformed Church began missionary work aided by the Dutch colonial government. In addition to introducing Christianity, the Dutch abolished slavery and imposed local taxes. A line was drawn around the Sa'dan area and called Tana Toraja ("the land of Toraja"). Tana Toraja was first a subdivision of the Luwu kingdom that had claimed the area. In 1946, the Dutch granted Tana Toraja a regentschap, and it was recognized in 1957 as one of the regencies of Indonesia.

Early Dutch missionaries faced strong opposition among Torajans, especially among the elite, because the abolition of their profitable slave trade had angered them. Some Torajans were forcibly relocated to the lowlands by the Dutch, where they could be more easily controlled (perhaps they were Zebulonites rejoining their fellow Zebulonite Dutchmen). Taxes were kept high, undermining the wealth of the elites. Ultimately, the Dutch influence did not subdue Torajan culture, and only a few Torajans were converted. In 1950, only 10% of the population had converted to Christianity.

In the 1930s, Muslim lowlanders attacked the Torajans, resulting in widespread Christian conversion among those who sought to align themselves with the Dutch for political protection and to form a movement against the Bugis and Makassarese Muslims. Between 1951 and 1965 (following Indonesian independence), southern Sulawesi faced a turbulent period as the Darul Islam separatist movement fought for an Islamic state in Sulawesi. The 15 years of guerrilla warfare led to massive conversions to Christianity.

Alignment with the Indonesian government, however, did not guarantee safety for the Torajans. In 1965, a presidential decree required every Indonesian citizen to belong to one of five officially recognized religions: Islam, Christianity (Protestantism and Catholicism), Hinduism, or Buddhism. The Torajan religious belief (aluk) was not legally recognized, and the Torajans raised their voices against the law. To make aluk accord with the law, it had to be accepted as part of one of the official religions. In 1969, Aluk To Dolo ("the way of ancestors") was legalized as a sect of Agama Hindu Dharma, the official name of Hinduism in Indonesia.

There are three main types of affiliation in Toraja society: family, class and religion.

Family is the primary social and political grouping in Torajan society. Each village is one extended family, the seat of which is the tongkonan, a traditional Torajan house. Each tongkonan has a name, which becomes the name of the village. The familial dons maintain village unity. Marriage between distant cousins (fourth cousins and beyond) is a common practice that strengthens kinship (a type of endogammy as practiced by ancient Israel). Toraja society prohibits marriage between close cousins (up to and including the third cousin)—except for nobles, to prevent the dispersal of property. Kinship is actively reciprocal, meaning that the extended family helps each other farm, share buffalo rituals, and pay off debts.

Each person belongs to both the mother's and the father's families, the only bilateral family line in Indonesia. Children, therefore, inherit household affiliation from both mother and father, including land and even family debts. Children's names are given on the basis of kinship, and are usually chosen after dead relatives (as we can see the Jews did in the story of John the Baptist). Names of aunts, uncles and cousins are commonly referred to in the names of mothers, fathers and siblings.

Before the start of the formal administration of Toraja villages by the Tana Toraja Regency, each Toraja village was autonomous. In a more complex situation, in which one Toraja family could not handle their problems alone, several villages formed a group; sometimes, villages would unite against other villages. Relationship between families was expressed through blood, marriage, and shared ancestral houses (tongkonan), practically signed by the exchange of buffalo and pigs on ritual occasions (performing rituals with pig reminds of apostate Israelites, but the sacrifice of buffalo is correct). Such exchanges not only built political and cultural ties between families but defined each person's place in a social hierarchy: who poured palm wine, who wrapped a corpse and prepared offerings, where each person could or could not sit, what dishes should be used or avoided, and even what piece of meat constituted one's share (the tradition of pouring wine, but even more so, the tradition of allowed & forbidden food is a clear Israelite tradition).

In early Toraja society, family relationships were tied closely to social class. There were three strata: nobles, commoners, and slaves (slavery was abolished in 1909 by the Dutch East Indies government). Class was inherited through the mother. It was taboo, therefore, to marry "down" with a woman of lower class (this costum probably came from India). On the other hand, marrying a woman of higher class could improve the status of the next generation. The nobility's condescending attitude toward the commoners is still maintained today for reasons of family prestige.

Nobles, who were believed to be direct descendants of the descended person from heaven, lived in tongkonans, while commoners lived in less lavish houses (bamboo shacks called banua). Slaves lived in small huts, which had to be built around their owner's tongkonan. Commoners might marry anyone, but nobles preferred to marry in-family to maintain their status. Sometimes nobles married Bugis or Makassarese nobles. Commoners and slaves were prohibited from having death feasts. Despite close kinship and status inheritance, there was some social mobility, as marriage or change in wealth could affect an individuals status. Wealth was counted by the ownership of water buffaloes.

Slaves in Toraja society were family property. Sometimes Torajans decided to become slaves when they incurred a debt (slavery for debt is clearly an Israelite tradition), pledging to work as payment. Slaves could be taken during wars, and slave trading was common. Slaves could buy their freedom (as in olden Israel), but their children still inherited slave status. Slaves were prohibited from wearing bronze or gold, carving their houses, eating from the same dishes as their owners, or having sex with free women—a crime punishable by death (capital punishment for sexual missbehavior was an Israelite costum & this one treated here could be just a deviated rule for the original rule against sexual immorality).

Toraja's indigenous belief system is polytheistic animism, called aluk, or "the way" (sometimes translated as "the law"). The Law is the very name for which Israelite religion was called. In the Toraja myth, the ancestors of Torajan people came down from heaven using stairs (just as making aliyah, which is going to Erez Israel is considered by Israelis an ascension, then going abroad would be descension, as the Torajas tell of their forefathers. The stairs connected to Heavens resemble strikingly Jacob's dream which he passed it obviously to his children), which were then used by the Torajans as a communication medium with Puang Matua, the Creator (this creator god seems to be the main god & to have been the only god before when mingling with apostate beliefs). The cosmos, according to aluk (this religion points to have been monotheistic once), is divided into the upper world (heaven), the world of man (earth), and the underworld (this three world clearly point to have biblical roots). At first, heaven and earth were married, then there was a darkness, a separation, and finally the light. Animals live in the underworld, which is represented by rectangular space enclosed by pillars (the two pillars resemble the celebrated pillars of Jachin & Boaz of the Temple of Solomon. The two Columns of Hercules, Ceuta & Gibraltar, are probably based in the same Israelite ones), the earth is for mankind, and the heaven world is located above, covered with a saddle-shaped roof. Other Toraja gods include Pong Banggai di Rante (god of Earth), Indo' Ongon-Ongon (a goddess who can cause earthquakes), Pong Lalondong (god of death), and Indo' Belo Tumbang (goddess of medicine); there are many more.

The earthly authority, whose words and actions should be cleaved to both in life (agriculture) and death (funerals), is called to minaa (an aluk priest). Aluk is not just a belief system; it is a combination of law, religion, and habit. Aluk governs social life, agricultural practices, and ancestral rituals (just as the Israelite Law ruled everything, agriculture included). The details of aluk may vary from one village to another. One common law is the requirement that death and life rituals be separated. Torajans believe that performing death rituals might ruin their corpses if combined with life rituals. The two rituals are equally important. During the time of the Dutch missionaries, Christian Torajans were prohibited from attending or performing life rituals, but were allowed to perform death rituals. Consequently, Toraja's death rituals are still practised today, while life rituals have diminished.

Tongkonan are the traditional Torajan ancestral houses. They stand high on wooden piles, topped with a layered split-bamboo roof shaped in a sweeping curved arc, and they are incised with red, black, and yellow detailed wood carvings on the exterior walls. The word "tongkonan" comes from the Torajan tongkon ("to sit").

Tongkonan are the center of Torajan social life. The rituals associated with the tongkonan are important expressions of Torajan spiritual life, and therefore all family members are impelled to participate, because symbolically the tongkonan represents links to their ancestors and to living and future kin. According to Torajan myth, the first tongkonan was built in heaven on four poles, with a roof made of Indian cloth. When the first Torajan ancestor descended to earth, he imitated the house and held a large ceremony.

The construction of a tongkonan is laborious work and is usually done with the help of the extended family. There are three types of tongkonan. The tongkonan layuk is the house of the highest authority, used as the "center of government". The tongkonan pekamberan belongs to the family members who have some authority in local traditions. Ordinary family members reside in the tongkonan batu. The exclusivity to the nobility of the tongkonan is diminishing as many Torajan commoners find lucrative employment in other parts of Indonesia. As they send back money to their families, they enable the construction of larger tongkonan.

To express social and religious concepts, Torajans carve wood, calling it Pa'ssura (or "the writing"). Wood carvings are therefore Toraja's cultural manifestation.

Each carving receives a special name, and common motifs are animals and plants that symbolize some virtue. For example, water plants and animals, such as crabs, tadpoles and water weeds, are commonly found to symbolize fertility. In some areas noble elders claim these symbols refer to strength of noble family, but not everyone agrees. The overall meaning of groups of carved motifs on houses remains debated and tourism has further complicated these debates because some feel a uniform explanation must be presented to tourists.

The buffalo represents wealth (in the same way, the Israelites worshipped the Golden Calf & it represented wealth as well), a wish for many buffaloes for the family. A knot and a box is a hope that all of the family's offspring will be happy and live in harmony, like goods kept safe in a box. An aquatic animal, indicate the need for fast (fasting is a Middle Eastern tradition, but is found in other areas too) and hard work, just like moving on the surface of water. It also represents the need for a certain skill to produce good results.

Regularity and order are common features in Toraja wood carving, as well as abstracts and geometrical designs. Nature is frequently used as the basis of Toraja's ornaments, because nature is full of abstractions and geometries with regularities and ordering. Toraja's ornaments have been studied in ethnomathematics to reveal their mathematical structure, but Torajans base this art only on approximations. To create an ornament, bamboo sticks are used as a geometrical tool.

It's interesting that the number of rays of this sun, 14, is the same number of tribes, 13 (if we count the tribe of Levi & the 2 Josephite tribes: Ephraim & Manassah) plus Moses guniding the tribes. The Union Jack, believed to be an Israelite symbol by Two-Housers is in the center prominently.

The four stars sum 16 rays as the Middle Eastern 16 Petaled Flower-16 Spoked Wheel. The mentioned wheel or flower is regarded as an Israelite symbol, although some say it was just common all over the Middeast.

In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast. The death feast of a nobleman is usually attended by thousands and lasts for several days. A ceremonial site, called rante, is usually prepared in a large, grassy field where shelters for audiences, rice barns, and other ceremonial funeral structures are specially made by the deceased family. Flute music, funeral chants, songs and poems, and crying and wailing (a typical tradition in the Middle East too) are traditional Toraja expressions of grief with the exceptions of funerals for young children, and poor, low-status adults.

The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased's family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya, the land of souls, or afterlife. During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept under the tongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.

Another component of the ritual is the slaughter of water buffalo. The more powerful the person who died, the more buffalo are slaughtered at the death feast. Buffalo carcasses, including their heads, are usually lined up on a field waiting for their owner, who is in the "sleeping stage". Torajans believe that the deceased will need the buffalo to make the journey and that they will be quicker to arrive at Puya if they have many buffalo. Slaughtering tens of water buffalo and hundreds of pigs using a machete is the climax of the elaborate death feast, with dancing and music and young boys who catch spurting blood in long bamboo tubes. Some of the slaughtered animals are given by guests as "gifts", which are carefully noted because they will be considered debts of the deceased's family. However, a cockfight, known as bulangan londong, is an integral part of the ceremony. As with the sacrifice of the buffalo and the pigs, the cockfight is considered sacred because it involves the spilling of blood on the earth. In particular, the tradition requires the sacrifice of at least three chickens. However, it is common for at least 25 pairs of chickens to be set against each other in the context of the ceremony.

There are three methods of burial: the coffin may be laid in a cave or in a carved stone grave, or hung on a cliff. It contains any possessions that the deceased will need in the afterlife. The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. The grave is usually expensive and takes a few months to complete. In some areas, a stone cave may be found that is large enough to accommodate a whole family. A wood-carved effigy, called Tau tau, is usually placed in the cave looking out over the land. The coffin of a baby or child may be hung from ropes on a cliff face or from a tree. This hanging grave usually lasts for years, until the ropes rot and the coffin falls to the ground.

In the ritual called Ma'Nene, that takes place each year in August, the bodies of the deceased are exhumed to be washed, groomed and dressed in new clothes. The mummies are then walked around the village.

Torajans perform dances on several occasions, most often during their elaborate funeral ceremonies. They dance to express their grief, and to honour and even cheer the deceased person because he is going to have a long journey in the afterlife. First, a group of men form a circle and sing a monotonous chant throughout the night to honour the deceased (a ritual called Ma'badong). This is considered by many Torajans to be the most important component of the funeral ceremony (The recital of psalms in the home preceded the burial act in ancient Israel). On the second funeral day, the Ma'randing warrior dance is performed to praise the courage of the deceased during life. Several men perform the dance with a sword, a large shield made from buffalo skin, a helmet with a buffalo horn, and other ornamentation. The Ma'randing dance precedes a procession in which the deceased is carried from a rice barn to the rante, the site of the funeral ceremony. During the funeral, elder women perform the Ma'katia dance while singing a poetic song and wearing a long feathered costume. The Ma'akatia dance is performed to remind the audience of the generosity and loyalty of the deceased person. After the bloody ceremony of buffalo and pig slaughter, a group of boys and girls clap their hands while performing a cheerful dance called Ma'dondan.

As in other agricultural societies, Torajans dance and sing during harvest time. The Ma'bugi dance celebrates the thanksgiving (The births of Samuel and Jesus were miraculous, and both were accompanied by great thanksgivings. Thanksgiving comes from the Old Testament) event, and the Ma'gandangi dance is performed while Torajans are pounding rice. There are several war dances, such as the Manimbong dance performed by men, followed by the Ma'dandan dance performed by women. The aluk religion governs when and how Torajans dance. A dance called Ma'bua can be performed only once every 12 years. Ma'bua is a major Toraja ceremony in which priests wear a buffalo head and dance around a sacred tree (ancient Israelites often worshipped next to trees).

A traditional musical instrument of the Toraja is a bamboo flute called a Pa'suling (suling is an Indonesian word for flute). This six-holed flute (not unique to the Toraja) is played at many dances, such as the thanksgiving dance Ma'bondensan, where the flute accompanies a group of shirtless, dancing men with long fingernails. The Toraja have indigenous musical instruments, such as the Pa'pelle (made from palm leaves) and the Pa'karombi (the Torajan version of a jaw harp). The harp was king David's favorite instrument. The Pa'pelle is played during harvest time and at house inauguration ceremonies.

The ethnic Toraja language is dominant in Tana Toraja with the main language as the Sa'dan Toraja. Although the national Indonesian language is the official language and is spoken in the community, all elementary schools in Tana Toraja teach Toraja language.

Language varieties of Toraja, including Kalumpang, Mamasa (if Manmasi is a corrupted way of Manassah for the Kukish Israelites, Mamasa could be another corrupted way of Manassah for the Torajas, indicating some Manassahite presence among them), Tae' , Talondo' , Toala' , and Toraja-Sa'dan, belong to the Malayo-Polynesian language from the Austronesian family. At the outset, the isolated geographical nature of Tana Toraja formed many dialects between the Toraja languages themselves. After the formal administration of Tana Toraja, some Toraja dialects have been influenced by other languages through the transmigration program, introduced since the colonialism period, and it has been a major factor in the linguistic variety of Toraja languages.

The name of the dialect Pattae' or Patta' Binuang resembles the name of their Israelite fellow men, the Pathans. Pattani is another name for Pathan, so the end might have been lost.

A prominent attribute of Toraja language is the notion of grief. The importance of death ceremony in Toraja culture has characterized their languages to express intricate degrees of grief and mourning. The Toraja language contains many terms referring to sadness, longing, depression, and mental pain. Giving a clear expression of the psychological and physical effect of loss is a catharsis and sometimes lessens the pain of grief itself.

Prior to Suharto's "New Order" administration, the Torajan economy was based on agriculture, with cultivated wet rice in terraced fields on mountain slopes, and supplemental cassava and maize crops. Much time and energy were devoted to raising water buffalo, pigs, and chickens, primarily for ceremonial sacrifices and consumption. The only agricultural industry in Toraja was a Japanese coffee factory, Kopi Toraja.

With the commencement of the New Order in 1965, Indonesia's economy developed and opened to foreign investment. Multinational oil (the oil blessing & coastal area may indicate the presence of Zebulonites among the Torajas as well. I already suggested that some Torajas could be Zebulonites that went to Holland to rejoin their Zebulonite Hollandese fellow men. This & other places made the Dutch Zebulonites be remarkable in the suction of oil & in having an international & celebrated oil company) and mining companies opened new operations in Indonesia. Torajans, particularly younger ones, relocated to work for the foreign companies—to Kalimantan for timber and oil, to Papua for mining, and to the cities of Sulawesi and Java. The out-migration of Torajans was steady until 1985.

The Torajan economy gradually shifted to tourism beginning in 1984. Between 1984 and 1997, many Torajans obtained their incomes from tourism, working in hotels, as tour guides, or selling souvenirs. With the rise of political and economic instability in Indonesia in the late 1990s—including religious conflicts elsewhere on Sulawesi—tourism in Tana Toraja has declined dramatically. Toraja continues to be a well known origin for Indonesian coffee. This Arabica coffee is primarily grown by small-holders.

Before the 1970s, Toraja was almost unknown to Western tourism. In 1971, about 50 Europeans visited Tana Toraja. In 1972, at least 400 visitors attended the funeral ritual of Puang of Sangalla (Galu is diaspora in Hebrew & very often appears in the form "Gala"), the highest-ranking nobleman in Tana Toraja and the so-called "last pure-blooded Toraja noble." The event was documented by National Geographic and broadcast in several European countries. In 1976, about 12,000 tourists visited the regency and in 1981, Torajan sculpture was exhibited in major North American museums. "The land of the heavenly kings of Tana Toraja", as written in the exhibition brochure, embraced the outside world.

In 1984, the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism declared Tana Toraja Regency the prima donna of South Sulawesi. Tana Toraja was heralded as "the second stop after Bali". Tourism was increasing dramatically: by 1985, a total number of 150,000 foreigners had visited the Regency (in addition to 80,000 domestic tourists), and the annual number of foreign visitors was recorded at 40,000 in 1989. Souvenir stands appeared in Rantepao, the cultural center of Toraja, roads were sealed at the most-visited tourist sites, new hotels and tourist-oriented restaurants were opened, and an airstrip was opened in the Regency in 1981.

Tourism developers have marketed Tana Toraja as an exotic adventure—an area rich in culture and off the beaten track. Western tourists expected to see stone-age villages and pagan funerals. Toraja is for tourists who have gone as far as Bali and are willing to see more of the wild, "untouched" islands. However, they were more likely to see a Torajan wearing a hat and denim, living in a Christian society. Tourists felt that the tongkonan and other Torajan rituals had been preconceived to make profits, and complained that the destination was too commercialized. This has resulted in several clashes between Torajans and tourism developers, whom Torajans see as outsiders.

A clash between local Torajan leaders and the South Sulawesi provincial government (as a tourist developer) broke out in 1985. The government designated 18 Toraja villages and burial sites as traditional tourist attractions. Consequently, zoning restrictions were applied to these areas, such that Torajans themselves were barred from changing their tongkonans and burial sites. The plan was opposed by some Torajan leaders, as they felt that their rituals and traditions were being determined by outsiders. As a result, in 1987, the Torajan village of Kété Kesú and several other designated tourist attractions closed their doors to tourists. This closure lasted only a few days, as the villagers found it too difficult to survive without the income from selling souvenirs.

Tourism has also transformed Toraja society. Originally, there was a ritual which allowed commoners to marry nobles (puang) and thereby gain nobility for their children. However, the image of Torajan society created for the tourists, often by "lower-ranking" guides, has eroded its traditional strict hierarchy. High status is not as esteemed in Tana Toraja as it once was. Many low-ranking men can declare themselves and their children nobles by gaining enough wealth through work outside the region and then marrying a noble woman.

Minahasa people

The Minahasa (alternative spelling: Minahassa or Mina hasa) are an ethnic group located in the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia, formerly known as North Celebes. They are actually a nation with oldest democracy and federal nation in the middle of the other Indonesian Tribes, even in Asia, because of their old tribal united government (declared in Watu Pinawetengan). They are the most populous ethnic group in the Minahassa Peninsula. They have the big majority Christian among the country (Indonesia) with Muslim majority. The Minahasans speak Minahasan languages as sub-tribal language for every sub-tribe of Minahasa and Manado Malay (also known as Minahasa Malay), a language closely related to the Malay language as national language in the local area.

Minahasa Raya is the area covering Bitung City, Manado City, Tomohon City, Minahasa Regency, North Minahasa Regency, South Minahasa Regency and Southeast Minahasa Regency, which are altogether seven of the fifteen regional administrations in the province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Originally inhabited by Philippine languages-speaking peoples, the region was colonized in the 16th century by the Portuguese and Spanish, then in the 17th century by the Dutch.

In the Dutch East Indies the Minahasa people identified strongly with the Dutch language, culture and the Protestant faith — so strongly, in fact, that when Indonesia became independent in 1945 certain factions of political elites of the region even pleaded with the Dutch to let it become a province of the Netherlands. The centuries old strong bond between the Minahasa and the Netherlands has recently been studied and explained using the Stranger King concept.

There is a considerable number of people from the Minahasa (Manassah?) living in the Netherlands, as part of the Indo (Eurasian) community.

The name of the land of Minahasa has been changed several times: Batacina-Malesung-Minaesa and then finally the current name Minahasa, meaning "becoming one united". This name dates from the war against the southern Kingdom of Bolaang Mangondow. However, other sources cite that the original name of Minahasa was Malesung, meaning "paddy rotary", then changed to Se Mahasa, meaning "they that unite," and finally Minahasa, meaning "becoming one united."

North Sulawesi never developed any large empire. In 670, the leaders of the different tribes, who all spoke different languages, met by a stone known as Watu Pinawetengan. There they founded a community of independent states, who would form one unit and stay together and would fight any outside enemies if they were attacked.

Until well into the 19th century the Minahasa was made up of rivaling warrior societies that practiced headhunting. Only during 'Pax Neerlandica' of the formal colonisation of the Dutch East Indies did the state of permanent internal warfare and the practice of headhunting subside.

                               Minahasan tribesman in a parade in Surabaya, East Java.

The Minahasa region of north Sulawesi is thought to have first been inhabited by humans in the late third and second millennia BC. The Austronesian people originally inhabited southern China before moving and colonising areas in Taiwan, the northern Philippines, the southern Philippines, and on to Borneo, Sulawesi, and the Moluccas.

According to Minahasa mythology the Minahasans are descendants of Toar and Lumimuut. Initially, the descendants of Toar-Lumimuut were divided into 3 groups: Makatelu-pitu (three times seven), Makarua-siouw (two times nine) and Pasiowan-Telu (nine times three). They multiplied quickly. But soon there were disputes among these people. Their leaders named Tona'as then decided to meet and talk about this. They met in Awuan (north of the current Tonderukan hill). That meeting was called Pinawetengan u-nuwu (dividing of language) or Pinawetengan um-posan (dividing of ritual). At that meeting the descendants were divided into three groups named Tonsea, Tombulu, and Tontemboan corresponding to the groups mentioned above. At the place where this meeting took place a memorial stone called Watu Pinabetengan (Stone of Dividing) was then built. It is a favourite tourist destination.

The groups Tonsea, Tombulu, and Tontemboan then established their main territories which were Maiesu, Niaranan, and Tumaratas respectively. Soon several villages were established outside these territories. These new villages then became a ruling center of a group of villages called puak, later walak, comparable to the present-day district.

Subsequently a new group of people arrived in Pulisan peninsula. Due to numerous conflicts in this area, they then moved inland and established villages surrounding a large lake. These people were therefore called Tondano, Toudano or Toulour (meaning water people). This lake is now the Tondano lake.

Minahasa Warriors.

In the following years, more groups came to Minahasa. There were people from the islands of Maju and Tidore who landed in Atep. These people were the ancestors of the subethnic Tonsawang.
people from Tomori Bay. These were the ancestors of the subethnic Pasam-bangko (Ratahan dan Pasan) people from Bolaang Mangondow who were the ancestors of Ponosakan (Belang). people from the Bacan archipelago and Sangi, who then occupied Lembeh, Talisei Island, Manado Tua, Bunaken and Mantehage. These were the subethnic Bobentehu (Bajo). They landed in the place now called Sindulang. They then established a kingdom called Manado which ended in 1670 and became walak Manado.
people from Toli-toli, who in the early 18th century landed first in Panimburan and then went to Bolaang-Mangondow
and finally to the place where Malalayang is now located. These people were the ancestors of the subethnic Bantik.

These are the nine sub-ethnic groups in Minahasa, which explains the number 9 in Manguni Maka-siouw: Tonsea, Tombulu, Tontemboan, Tondano, Tonsawang, Pasan Ratahan (Bentenan), Ponosakan (Saka of iSaaC), Babontehu, Bantik.

In the second half of the 16th century, both Portuguese and the Spanish arrived in North Sulawesi. Half-way though the 17th century there was a rapprochement between the Minahasan chiefs and the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), which was given concrete form in the treaty of 1679 (which can be found in the Corpus Diplomaticus Neerlando-Indicum 1934, vol. III, no 425). From 1801-1816, the Netherlands were occupied by the French imperial forces of Napoleon and the Minahasa came under English control. In 1817 Dutch rule was re-established until 1949.

At the time of the first contact with Europeans the sultanate of Ternate held some sway over North Sulawesi, and the area was often visited by seafaring Bugis traders from South Sulawesi. The Spanish and the Portuguese, the first Europeans to arrive, landed in Minahasa via the port of Makasar, but also landed at Sulu Island (off the north coast of Borneo) and at the port of Manado. The abundance of natural resources in Minahasa made Manado a strategic port for European traders sailing to and from the spice island of Maluku. Although they had sporadic contacts with Minahasa, the Spanish and Portuguese influence was limited by the power of the Ternate sultanate.

The Portuguese and Spaniards left reminders of their presence in the north in subtle ways. Portuguese surnames and various Portuguese words not found elsewhere in Indonesia, like garrida for an enticing woman and buraco for a bad man, can still be found in Minahasa. In the 1560s the Portuguese Franciscan missionaries made some converts in Minahasa.

The Spanish had already set themselves up in the Philippines and Minahasa was used to plant coffee that came from South America because of its rich soil. Manado was further developed by Spain to become the center of commerce for the Chinese traders who traded the coffee in China. With the help of native allies the Spanish took over the Portuguese fortress in Amurang in the 1550s, and Spanish settlers also established a fort at Manado, so that eventually Spain controlled all of the Minahasa. It was in Manado where one of the first Indo-Eurasian (Mestizo) communities in the archipelago developed during the 16th century. The first King of Manado (1630) named Muntu Untu was in fact the son of a Spanish Mestizo.

Spain renounced to her possessions in Minahasa by means of a treaty with the Portuguese in return for a payment of 350,000 ducats. Minahasan rulers sent Supit, Pa'at dan Lontoh (their statues are located in Kauditan, about 30 km to Bitung) where they made an alliance treaty with the Dutch. Together eventually gained the upper hand in 1655, built their own fortress in 1658 and expelled the last of the Portuguese a few years later.

By the early 17th century the Dutch had toppled the Ternate sultanate, and then set about eclipsing the Spanish and Portuguese. As was the usual case in the 1640s and 50s, the Dutch colluded with local powers to throw out their European competitors. In 1677 the Dutch occupied Pulau Sangir and, two years later, the Dutch governor of Maluku, Robert Padtbrugge, visited Manado. Out of this visit came a treaty with the local Minahasan chiefs, which led to domination by the Dutch for the next 300 years although indirect government only commenced in 1870.

The Dutch helped unite the linguistically diverse Minahasa confederacy, and in 1693 the Minahasa scored a decisive military victory against the Bolaang to the south. The Dutch influence flourished as the Minahasans embraced European culture and Christian religion. Missionary schools in Manado in 1881 were among the first attempts at mass education in Indonesia, giving their graduates a considerable edge in gaining civil service, military and other positions of influence.

Relations with the Dutch were often less than cordial (a war was fought around Tondano between 1807 and 1809) and the region did not actually come under direct Dutch rule until 1870. The Dutch and the Minahasans eventually became so close that the north was often referred to as the 12th province of the Netherlands. A Manado - based political movement called Twaalfde Provincie even campaigned for Minahasa's integration into the Dutch state in 1947.

Portuguese activity apart, Christianity became a force in the early 1820s when a Calvinist group, the Netherlands Missionary Society, turned from an almost exclusive interest in Maluku to the Minahasa area. The wholesale conversion of the Minahasans was almost complete by 1860. With the missionaries came mission schools, which meant that, as in Ambon and Roti, Western education in Minahasa started much earlier than in other parts of Indonesia. The Dutch government eventually took over some of these schools and also set up others. Because the schools taught in Dutch, the Minahasans had an early advantage in the competition for government jobs and places in the colonial army. Minahasans remain among the educated elite today.

A relatively large number of Minahasans pursued professional military careers in the colonial army (KNIL). Next to the South Moluccan Ambonese, the Minahasa Menadonese were also considered a martial race and therefore particularly competent and trustworthy as soldiers. As KNIL soldiers the Minahasans fought alongside the Dutch to subdue rebellions in other parts of the archipelago, such as for instance the Java War of 1825-30.

As a large percentage of Minahasans was formally equalised to the European legal class, young men were also obliged to serve as conscripts when mandatory military service for Europeans was introduced in 1917. Older men (as off 32) were obliged to join the Home guard (Dutch: Landstorm).

Minahasa reserve troops, Tondano Landstorm, 1948. The guy on the left doesn't have such Asian features.

They seemed to gain a special role in the Dutch scheme of things and their loyalty to the Dutch as soldiers, their Christian religion and their geographic isolation from the rest of Indonesia all led to a sense of being 'different' from the other ethnic groups of the archipelago.

The Japanese occupation of 1942-45 was a period of deprivation, and the Allies bombed Manado heavily in 1945. During the Revolution for independence that followed, there was bitter division between pro-Indonesian Unitarians and those favoring Dutch-sponsored federalism. The appointment of a Manadonese Christian, Sam Ratulangi, as the first republican governor of eastern Indonesia, was decisive in winning Minahasan support for the republic. A contra-revolution such as the Republik Maluku Selatan one in the Moluccas was averted.

As the young republic lurched from crisis to crisis, Jakarta's monopoly over the copra trade seriously weakened Minahasa's economy. As in Sumatra, there was a general feeling that the central government was inefficient, development was stagnating and money was being plugged into Java. Circumstances favored the spread of communism.

Illegal exports flourished and in June 1956 Jakarta ordered the closure of Manado port, the busiest smuggling port in the republic. Local leaders refused and Jakarta backed down. Soon Permesta rebels confronted the central government with demands for political, economic and regional reform. Jakarta responded by bombing Menado city in February 1958, and then invading the Minahasa in June 1958, but were only able to end the Permesta revolt in 1961.

In March 1957, the military leaders of both southern and northern Sulawesi launched a confrontation with the central government, with demands for greater regional autonomy. They demanded more local development, a fairer share of revenue, help in suppressing the Kahar Muzakar rebellion in Southern Sulawesi, and a cabinet of the central government led jointly by Soekarno and Hatta. At least initially the 'Permesta' (Piagam Perjuangan Semesta Alam) rebellion was a reformist rather than a separatist movement.

Negotiations between the central government and the Sulawesi military leaders prevented violence in southern Sulawesi, but the Minahasan leaders were dissatisfied with the agreements and the movement split. Inspired, perhaps, by fears of domination by the south, the Minahasan leaders declared their own autonomous state of North Sulawesi in June 1957. By this time the central government had the situation in southern Sulawesi pretty much under control but in the north they had no strong local figure to rely upon and there were rumors that the USA, suspected of supplying arms to rebels in Sumatra, was also in contact with the Minahasan leaders.

The possibility of foreign intervention finally drove the central government to seek military support from southern Sulawesi. Permesta forces were driven out of central Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Sangir island and from Morotai in Maluku (from whose airfield the rebels had hoped to fly bombing raids on Jakarta). The rebels' few planes (supplied by the USA and flown by Filipino, Taiwanese and US pilots) were destroyed. US policy shifted, favoring Jakarta, and in June 1958 central government troops landed in Minahasa. The Permesta rebellion was finally put down in mid-1961.

The effect of both the Sumatran and Sulawesi rebellions was to strengthen exactly those trends the rebels had hoped to weaken. Central authority was enhanced at the expense of local autonomy, radical nationalism gained over pragmatic moderation, the power of the communists and Soekarno increased while that of Hatta waned, and Soekarno was able to establish guided democracy in 1959.

Recently, the Indonesian government has adopted policies to strengthen local autonomy, the very idea that Permesta fought for.

Ancient Minahasa society was both competitive and egalitarian. Important Walian (religious shaman) were often female and Minahasa culture does not show any particular discrimination against women. Important decisions concerning the community were made in a democratic manner. Due to the virtual equality in birth a persons rise in status was mainly dependent on personal achievements and the expression of personal virtues.

Leadership positions and higher status were acquired via two main mechanisms: the deployment of wealth and the show of bravery. The first was achieved via 'Status selematans', ceremonial feasts called Foso and the latter originally via successful headhunting.

At 93% of the population, the Minahasa Regency has one of highest proportions of Christianity in Indonesia. It has the highest density of church buildings in Indonesia, with approximately one church for every 100m road. This is due to a successful missionary campaign by European Christians in Northern Sulawesi.

In 1907, Firma P.W.M Trap, Leiden, Holland published a Bible in the Tontemboan language, a language of Minahasa. It was edited by M. Adriani-Gunning and J. Regar.

Minahasan cuisine is very spicy, and can feature ingredients not typically found in other parts of Indonesia. For example, dog (RW, short for rintek wuuk, or "fine hair" in Tontemboan), cat (tusa', also known as eveready because of the cat logo used by the battery), forest rat, and fruit bat (paniki) are commonly eaten. Other than these exotic meats, seafoods are abundant in Manado and other port cities in North Sulawesi. Popular fish such as cakalang (skipjack tuna), tuna, red snapper, and tude (mackerel). Cakalang fufu, the smoked skipjack tuna is popular dish of Bitung fishing town. The provincial capital Manado is often referred to as Kota Tinutuan, in reference to a popular local dish: a rice porridge made with corn, smoked fish, greens, and chilies. Known outside the province as Bubur Manado, tinutuan is supposed to improve health and vitality.

Another popular minahasan cuisine is rica-rica and dabu-dabu. Rica-rica is dishes usually fish or meat, cooked in spicy red chili, shallots, garlic, and tomato, while dabu-badu is a type of condiment similar to sambal, made of chopped chilli, shallots, and green tomato mixed with a little vinegar or lime juice. Another vegetables is sayur bunga papaya, papaya flower buds sauteed with shallots, chilli and green tomato.

Kabasaran is the fierce and famous Minahasan wardance (like the Maoris & Amerindians) which reminds of the old Minahasa warrior societies. The dancers wear red garments which in the old times was a color exclusive for the accomplished headhunter. This dance is similar to the Moluccan Cakalele wardance. 

A Kabasaran war dance, performed at a parade, 2006.

Influences of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch can be found in the Indonesian dialect of the Minahasa (Manado Malay or Minahasa Malay):

Chair in Indonesian is kursi, in the Minahasa its called kadera (cadeira - Portuguese word for chair).

Horse in Indonesian is kuda, a word of Sanscrit origin. In the town of Tomohon, a horse is called kafalio ('cavalo - Portuguese', "caballo - Spanish, ).

Surik (sword)

Interestingly this very name is the smae of a village in Chaybasar-e Shomali Rural District, Bazargan District, Maku County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 278, in 47 families. I said interestingly because this is one of the areas where the Israelites were first put in their captivity proving further the Israelite origin of many Insulindians that use this sword.

It is believed that the ancient Israelites had a great culture & love for swords & that the Japanese have this sword culture taken from them, probably from the Hata clan, one section of the Japanese regarded as as Israelite. The Rajputs, Bataks, Belus... may have received it from them too.

                                                      A Surik from Maubisse, East Timor.

Some of the most celebrated swords worldwide are the ones from Toledo, Spain. Toledo is one of the cities in Spain with more relation with the Jewish people. It is considered by some that the name Toledo has Hebrew origin. A noteworthy fact is that the Jews have been good smiths & often the only ones, so much that is believed that many with the last name Smith, Herrero, Ferrer, Ferrero have Jewish ancestry.

Place of origin: Timor (Timor-Leste, West Timor, Indonesia), Indonesia (Jambi, North Sumatra, West Sumatra). Service history: Used by  Timorese, Batak.

The Surik has a single edge blade. The width of the blade narrows from the base down to the tip. Most of the handle is made from horn, and is decorated with tassels to look tough. Goat's hair or horse's hair is attached to the handle. Carving of eye at the center of the handle is meant to strengthen its supernatural power. The sheath of this sword is made of wood.

For the Belu people of Nusa Tenggara, the Surik is considered as a sacred sword. It's supernatural abilities depend on the person who wield the sword. Therefore it is believed by the people that no commoner could touch the Surik, or the else the sword would turn against that person. Because of that, the community will take counsel to determine who should wield the Surik before going to war. The Surik is also used in traditional dance in Timor called, Tari Surik Laleok, which is meant to portray the local warrior's customs. Suriks were also worn by the Meos, the foremost fighters, and usually also the most successful head-hunters of the village.

Surik also refers to another sword used by the Batak people of North Sumatra, as well in other provinces such as West Sumatra and Jambi in Indonesia.

Atoni or Dawan

The Atoni (also known as the Atoin Meto or the Dawan) are an ethnic group on Timor, in Indonesian West Timor and the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno. They number around 600,000. Their language is Uab Meto.

The Atoni live in villages consisting of 50 to 60 people, each village is surrounded with stone fence or shrubs, with fields and cattle cages on the periphery. The houses usually form a circular cluster, or following the road after the introduction of a road.

According to ethnographer Clarke Cunningham, their culture is notable for its spatial symbolism, associated with a gender dichotomy. Male-female principle is important, as with the duality of sun-earth, light-dark, open-close, dry season-wet season, outer-inner, central-periphery, secular-sacral, right-left, and so on. This in turn affects the spatial configuration of an Atoni house.

The right side of the house (facing the door) is always male, whereas the left is female. The center of the house (and the attic) is male, while the periphery of the house is female. The interior of the house is female, the terrace is male. The house is female and the yard is male. This principle conceived the Atoni house as a microcosmos. The house also expresses social order.

A more elaborate house is called Ume Atoni (Atoni means "male"). The house is dominantly male in quality. The Atoni entertains their guest in a communal house called Lopo. A Lopo is always located in front of a house and is oriented to the road.

Furthermore, each cardinal direction is associated with a gender, as are different parts of a house.

Sumba people

Sumba Island is inhabited by the Sumba (or Sumbanese) people, and is divided by two regencies, namely West Sumba Regency and East Sumba Regency. They refer to themselves as Tau Humba. The Sumbanese have been able to retain much of their culture despite foreign influences that arrived long ago on the Lesser Sunda Islands. The traditional religion of the Marapu region, which includes both ancestral worship and deity worship is still very much alive among the Sumbanese society. Marapu is the philosophical center of Sumbanese cultural expression and includes customary ceremonies, traditional places of worship (umaratu), traditional housing and architecture, decorative carvings and textiles with its fashion styles such as hinggi and lau fabric, as well as its jewelry and weapons.

The protestant missionary minister Wiebe van Dijk, sitting on a Sumbanese tomb, preaching the Gospel to the people of Sumba, circa 1925-1929.

There are genealogical bonds between the Sumbanese and those of the Sawu Island. According to a myth of origin, they come from two ancestors, Hawu Meha and Humba Meha. Hawu Meha gave birth to the Sawunese who initially lived in Sumba Island but later migrated to the small Sawu Island. The offspring of Humba Meha remained in Sumba.

The social strata in East Sumba Regency among the nobles (maramba), priests (kabisu) and the common folk (ata) still exists although it is not observed as strictly as in the past and outwardly it is no longer obviously seen in the physical appearance and the dress of a person. Today differences in attire indicate different levels of importance during events such as traditional celebrations, weddings and death ceremonies, where components of the attire that is used are newly made, while old or worn out clothing is usually used at home or for daily work. It's noteworthy that the Sumbanese priest, kabisu, starts with "ka" like Kahen, the Israelite priest. Bisu could have been added as a type of suffix after many centuries.

The most important part of the traditional attire of Sumba is located on the body cover in the form of large sheets of hinggi fabric for men and lau fabric for women. From the hinggi and lau fabrics which is made by weaving techniques and its application of muti and hada are revealed as various symbols in the social and economic context.

Pasola is the cultural feast of the Sumba people and is considered as one of Indonesia's cultural richness, which is very rare and unique to the Sumba people. In West Sumba Regency, people come from far away just to watch the pasola, a competition whereby two teams compete in throwing blunted spears at each other.

Kambera language

Kambera, also known as (East) Sumbanese, is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Kambera is a member of Bima-Sumba subgrouping within Central Malayo-Polynesian inside Malayo-Polynesian. The island of Sumba, located in the Eastern Indonesia, has an area of 12,297 km2. The name Kambera comes from a traditional region which is close to a town in Waingapu. Because of export trades which concentrated in Waingapu in the 19th century, the language of the Kambera region has become the bridging language in eastern Sumba. It's interesting that one of the languages of the Sumba people, the KaMbeRa, has the consonants of KhuMRi, one of the name for which the Israelites were known.

Savuans or Hawuans

The Sabu of Indonesia have a population of 135,000. They are part of the Flores-Sumba-Alor people cluster. This people group is found only in Indonesia. Their primary language is Sabu - (hvn). The primary religion practiced by the Sabu is ethnic religion. Ethnic religion is deeply rooted in a peoples ethnic identity and conversion essentially equates to cultural assimilation.

Sabu people were bound to the Sabu custom even before they got married.The straight-haired Belu people of the south coast represent a later migration of a Malay type.

Hawu language

The Hawu (If sabu is another way for Hawu & Seba is a local dialect, then Hawaii might be Sabai. Saba or Sheba was nacient Yemen & then part of Ethiopia. Saba was a kingdom with very ancient contact with Israel & had huge and old Israelite colony. The Israelites had the tradition to name new colonies after their cities in the Land of Israel, but also as the places they dwelled out of their original land as might have been the case with hawu & Hawaii.) AKA Havu language, historically Sawu and known to outsiders as Savu or Sabu (thus Havunese, Savunese, Sawunese), is the language of Savu Island in Indonesia and of Raijua Island off the western tip of Savu. Traditionally classified as a Sumba language in the Austronesian family, it may actually be a non-Austronesian (Papuan) language. (See Savu languages for details.) Dhao, once considered a dialect, is not mutually intelligible with Hawu.

Seba dialect is dominant, covering most of Savu Island and the main city of Seba. Timu is spoken on the eastern, Mesara on the western, and Liae on the southern tip of the island. Raijua is spoken on the island of the same name (Rai Jua 'Jua Island') just off-shore to the west.

Raja of Liae with his tribe, 1900s.

Savu people

There's another Savu in Fiji & in Romania another one. The Fijian Savu is easy to be related because in ancient times people traveled a lot by sea.

The Savu (also known as Sabu, Sawu or Hawu) people are the people of Savu and smaller neighbouring Raijua in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Savu had little to interest traders from Europe, or neighbouring kingdoms, and it remained largely insular until the late-20th century.

Savu originally had six independent domains, Teriwu, Liae, Dimu, Menia, Seba (interestingly Seba has the same name of the kingdom of southern Arabia that had relations with Solomon's empire. This kingdom had a constant flow of Israelites & became officially religiously Jewish. This attracted many Jews. Currently is called Yemen, but despite its majority Muslim population most people are still genetically priestly Cohens) and Mesara. Menia was defeated by Seba in the 19th century, while Teriwu disappeared much earlier.

A raja and fetor of each domain were appointed by the Dutch during colonial times.

After independence Savu was split into two kecamatan, East Savu (Liae and Dimu) and West Savu (Seba and Mesara plus Raijua).

In the 2000s, the political structure of Savu has been reorganised to more closely reflect traditional lines, which retained local significance over and above the arbitrary divisions imposed by the Indonesian government. The kecamatan now are Hawu Mehara, West Savu, Central Savu, East Savu, Liae, and Raijua.

The Savu people practise bilateral descent (equally in ancient Israel priesthood was inherited through the male ancestry, whereas the belonging to the Jewish people is today inherited through female ancestry), with descendants of one the udu (patrilineal groups) termed kerogo, as well as a matrilineal descendance that is traced to in Savu mythology to one of two sisters. The moiety of the two sisters is termed hubi; the hubi are divided into wini.

Marriage is between a man and a woman of the same wini as his mother, or at a minimum within the same hubi. There is non-reciprocal gift-giving from the groom's family to that of the bride. Wini and hubu play a role in ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Savu ikat (traditional weaving) reflect many aspects of Savu genealogy, including specific motifs and colours representing the weaver's hubu and wini.

Savu people place importance on genealogy, tracking both hubi and kerogo back through many generations.

The Savu measure time in units that range from six to 49 years (similar to the 50 years & 7 Sabbath & Jubilee years of ancient Israel when bondmen were set free, debts were cancelled...), depending on the domain.

Savu people place great importance on their genealogy (as Jews do too), with names chosen to avoid repetition, and genealogies recited during ritual performances such as at funerals, where the connection of the departed to his or her ancestors is memorialised. The memorising of genealogies has also been observed in neighbouring cultures, in Roti and Kedang.

As with many others parts of Indonesia, betel nut is popular, as indeed is tuak, wine made from the sugar palm, as well as the sap, drunk fresh from the tree. The palm tree is treated with great respect, and the apu lodo priest, descendant of the sun supervises the palm tapping season.

The Savu house is built on poles, and is designed to resemble a proa boat, with the front beams resembling its bow. There are also anthropomorphic elements in the terminology used to refer to parts of the house (the Temple of Solomon has been compared with the human body too).

The traditional religion of Savu is called Jingi Tiu. Each of the domains of Savu was led by a Jingi Tiu Council of Priests. Jingi Tiu is a polytheistic religion, with gods of earth, sea and sky, as well as many more minor spirits.

Savu music is based on the gong, and normally accompanies traditional dance. The Padoa dance is performed in a circle, holding hands (this dance resembles Jewish dances), with dancers rotating their legs clockwise, wearing pedue (beans wrapped in palm leaf to create a rattle). The Ledo Hua dance is performed by mixed pairs, with the men wearing bells.

Evangelism began in 1854, and increased its impetus after 1861, when Esser, Dutch resident of Kupang, called for schools and a Christian teacher from Ambon in Savu. Since the 1970s, when the Indonesian encouraged people throughout Indonesia to adopt Islam or Christianity, Protestantism has been in the ascendancy, with 80% of Savu people now Protestant, and Jingi Tiu on the decline. Despite this, many aspects of Jingi Tiu belief still influence Christian worship in Savu.


The nDaos might be Danites. It's a simple matter of consonant permutation & it's not the only ocasion happening.

The men of Ndao are gold-and- silver smiths (like many Jews did) who travel throughout the Timor Archipelago." Most are multilingual.

The languages of the Sumba, Sawu, Raijua and Ndao people belong to the Sumba-Bima language group, while the languages of Roti, Semau, and Timor are part of the Timor-Ambon language group. The three main ones were the Catholic, protestant (subdivided in many more) and socialist pillar.

The Ndao people claim that their ancestors came from Sawu, that for a long period of time there was extensive trade between the two, and that the Ndao were able to resist the cutural influences of neighboring Roti. Some 80 years ago (1976) the Ndao people, as they said, could prove their independence from Roti by pointing to the lack of this "Roti bird" on their islands.

They used to use the lunar calendar like the Israelites.

The name-surname "Daou" in its different versions is originally from the Levant. The tribes of Israel held territories encompassing not only the current State of Israel but parts of Lebanon, Syria & Jordan. Because of different scatterings of these tribes they expanded to other areas of these countries & the world. David in Arabic is Daoud, so perhaps the name Daou is a local deformation of David. Ndao is an Indonesian deformation of Dao. Interestingly there Ndaos in Africa too. Ndao might come from the Hebrew name David after all. The Druzes & other peoples from the area have Israelite origins & the origin of this last name is found among Druzes & other people of the area. In the Middle East & Islam there's a concept called taqyyah or disimulation. , or concealing one's real identity because in Islamdom one could risk his or her life for not being "normal". That's why so many peoples of the area are Muslim, but they are not really. They are Armenian, Druze, Alawi, Alevi... That's also why you can find an "official meaning" for one word like "Dao", but real hidden meaning. It's interesting that this name comes from the very area of the world from which the Israelites sojourned anyway.

Daou Family (Levant) الجينية لفروععائلة ضو مشروع السلالات

Origin of the Surname "Daou" The surname "Daou" in the Levant is held by families who descend from a number of ancestors who carried the first name of "Daou". Also, the surname historically was adopted by some individuals who joined any of the established "Daou" families in their respective towns (normally this happened via the bond of marriage). Ancestors of all of these people; i.e. those who descend from an ancestor named "Daou", or the descendants of a male ancestor who joined any of the "Daou" families, all carry the surname "Daou" or any of its variants in the Levant.

The "Daou" surname has been present in the Levant since at least the 16th c. CE; people who carried it belonged to different religious affiliations, Christian (Syriac, Orthodox & Maronite) & Muslim (Druze, Sunnite & Shiite). In Lebanon the largest number of "Daou" family members is found primarily in the Maronite sect (followed by the Druze sect in terms of the number of family members).

As for the common male ancestors of the “Daou” family in the Levant; so far, we can roughly identify 2 ancestors of the same name: • A person who lived in the Qalamoun Mountains in Syria, either in Nabk النبك or Sadadصدد. His descendants moved to Yanouhيانوح (Jbeil District); later a branch of them went to Lehfedلحفد (Jbeil District); from there the “Daou” family spread to Chnaniirشننعير (Keserwan District), Deir el-Qamarدير القمر (Chouf District) & other towns. This branch was Syriac Christian in origin (المطران ديوسقوروس عيسى ضو of the Syriac Orthodox Church 1445- 1477 CE). Starting late 15th c. CE, many of the “Daou” family members started converting to the Maronite church (اللحفدي المطران جبرائيل القلاعي of the Maronite Syriac Church 1507-1516 CE). Later, a smaller group of the “Daou” family members converted to the Greek Orthodox church (يوياقيم الخامس ضو البطريرك of the Antiochian Orthodox Church 1581-1592 CE). • A person who lived in S. Mount Lebanon; probably in Zaroun زرعون (Matn District). This person is assumed to be the ancestor of the Druze “Daou” family, whose members early inhabited the towns of Qrayehالقريّة (Baabda District); Bchatfine بشتفين /Deir Kouche دير كوشة (Chouf District) & later spread to other towns in the Levant. Some members of the Druze "Daou" family could have also converted to Christianity in the 18th-19th c. CE.

Branches of the Daou Family
Christian Branches In Lebanon, these branches are assumed to have spread from its original hometown of Lehfed (Jbeil District); many of these branches became independent families: • Saad and his branches: al-Labaki, Lahoud and al-khoury Nakour. • Aalam and his branches: Abu Hatoum, Jebran, Shaaya, Maatouk, Shoubat, Dakhoul, Andraous, al-Afeera, Hankash, al-Fahl, Mandour, Saadallah and al-Sabagh. • Nehme and his branches: Naoum, al-Hajj Keewan, Abi Aatma (Abu Atmeh)..., Moawad, Hanna al-Khoury, Sader-Deeb, Shidyac, Aakr, Safa, Aazar and Abi Khars. The first family tree of this branch was put by Nehme Bchara Nehme in 1888 CE and was renewed in 1913 CE. • Daw al-Sagheer and his branches: Nasr, Abi Nasr, al-Jarr, Karam, Aaboud, Saliba, Shamoun, Al-Nasrani, Abi Karam, Aarkati, al-Aajwa, Jaara, Sarkis, Abi Zayd, Hammam and Hawila.

In the 18th & 19th c. CE, many Lebanese Christian families moved to N. Palestine. Some members of the "Daou" family moved during this period & settled in the following towns: • Acre city “عكا” • Bi'ina town “البعنة” (Shaghur): notable members: Salim Daw (Director & Actor) & his daughter Maysa Daw (Singer) • Isfiya town “عسفيا” (Mount Carmel): notable members: Kamil Dow (Calligrapher) • Rameh town “الرامه” (Upper Galilee) • Kafr Bir'im town “كفر برعم” (very close to Lebanon's southern border): all this town's inhabitants were forced out by the Israeli army in 1948 CE.

Druze Branches Historically, The Druze Daou family have inhabited these 3 main areas: Zaroun (Matn District), Qrayehالقريّة (Baabda District) & Bchatfine/Deir Kouche (Chouf District); later spread to other places in Lebanon, N. Palestine & Syria. Members of the family in Zaroun established "Haouch Ez Zaraane" (currently a suburb of Zahle) in the 17th c. CE (left the area either in late 18th c. CE or early 19th c. CE). From Bchatfine, members of the family moved to the towns of: Kfarhim (Chouf District) & Binnay (Aley District). In Syria, members of the Druze "Daou" family inhabited many towns, amongst which are: Jaramana (Damascus Suburb, Syria) & Salkhad (Al-Suwayda District, Syria)

Many members of the Druze Daou family who migrated to other towns became independent families, with some joining other existing families. These include: • Natour Family (Daliyat al-Karmel الكرمل دالية; Haifa District): their ancestor are assumed to have migrated to N. Palestine in the 17th c. CE from Zaroun. • Araydeh Family (Magharالمغار; Galilee): Their ancestors are believed to have descended from the Druze Daou family in Lebanon. • Atashe Family (Isfiya عِسفْيا; Haifa District): they are descendants from the Druze Daou family of Deir Kouche , their ancestor (Mahmoud ibn Ahmad Daou) moved to N. Palestine in the 19th. c CE (married a woman named “Atashe” عطشة; thus the origin of the surname). • Meshaal branch of the Abu Saleh family (Majdal Shams; Golan Heights): There ancestor "Meshaal" is believed to descend from the Druze Daou family of Bchatfine, he joined the "Abu Saleh" family & adopted their surname (via the bond of marriage).

“Al Daou” & “Daou” Muslim branches in the Levant In the Levant, “Al Daou” الضو family is a Muslim family (Sunnite & Shiite), mainly present in the following places: • Bint Jbeil town (Bint Jbeil District, Lebanon): Shiite • Barja town (Chouf District, Lebanon):Sunnite • Beirut city (Lebanon): Sunnite • Tripoli city (Lebanon): Sunnite • Aleppo City (Syria): Sunnite • Armanaz town (Idlib Governorate, Syria): Sunnite

In Syria, the family surnames"Daou" & "Al Daou” are used interchangeably. There is also a big "Daou" ضو family in "Dalhoun" town (Chouf District), which is Muslim (Sunnite). It might have the same origin as "Al Daou" family in the nearby town of "Barja".

In Arabic, "ال" is a definite article used in the same manner as the English definite article of “the”. In the Levant, “ال” is sometimes used as a prefix that is added to the family surname. “ال”, when used as a prefix, is transliterated into English based on the starting letter of the word that follows. For example, if the word that follows "ال"is “Daou” / “ضو”, the transliterated English form for “الضو” will be: • “El”: El-Daou, El Daou, Eldaou • “Al”: Al-Daou, Al Daou, Aldaou • “Ed”: Ed-Daou, Ed Daou, Eddaou • “Ad”: Ad-Daou, Ad Daou, Addaou

These 4 prefixes can be used with any of the “Daou” various spelling: Dao, Dau, Daw, Dow, Dou, Daou, Daow, Dauo, Douw,Daww, Dhao, Dhau, Dhaw, Dhow, Dhou, Dhaou, Dhaow, Dhouw, Dhaww, Thao, Thau, Thaw, Thow, Thou, Thaou, Thaow, Thouw, Thaww. For example: Al Daou, El-Daou, Ed-Dou, Ad-Daw, Al Daw…

The “Bou Daou” & “Ben Daou” Family Surnames In the Levant, there is a practice of adding one of the following prefixes (all meaning: “Father of”) to the family surname: • “أبي”: “Abi”; • “أبو”: “Abou” or“Abu”; ... • “بو”: “Bou” or“Bu”

In Lebanon, the surname of “بو ضو” (i.e. “Bou Daou” or “Boudaou”) is mainly present in the town of “Antelias” (“Matn” district), with smaller presence in the town of“Hammana” (“Baabda” District). It is a Christian family, whose members have also immigrated to Canada (Montreal) & West Africa (e.g. Dakar, Abidjan).

In the Arab world, there is also the practice of adding the prefixes “bin” or “ben” to the family surname (In Arabic: "بن"; meaning: “Son of”). In the Levant, the "bin" (or "ben") prefixes were not used for the "Daou" family. In North Africa, I was able to find one family with the surname of “بن ضو”; i.e. “Ben Daou” or “Bendaou”. This family is present in Libya (Tripoli), Tunisia (Sfax, Mahdia) & Morocco (Fez, Casablanca, Safi, Tamelelt).

Lebanese Immigration

• Major immigration waves to Americas from the Levant took place between 1860 & 1930 AD (Bulk of which was between 1880 & 1920). The Lebanese emigrants came from the various religious sects: Christian sects (mostly Maronites), Druze (Mount Lebanon) & Shiites (Southern Lebanon).

• French passenger ships were active in the Mediterranean; & many Lebanese emigrants used them. Some passengers switched ships at ports in Europe or Africa depending on their destination countries. Favored destinations for the Lebanese were USA (New York City); Argentina (Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Salta, Jujuy, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, Misiones, Chaco, Patagonia & Cuyo region); Venezuela (Puerto Cabello, Caracas); Uruguay (Montevideo); Brazil (Belém, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás & Rio de Janeiro); Mexico (Puerto Progreso, Veracruz & Tampico); Chile (Santiago, La Calera); Colombia (Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Lorica, Fundación, Aracataca, Ayapel, Calamar, Ciénaga, Cereté & Monteria).

• During the 19th & early 20th c. CE, Rufisque in Senegal was an important port city under French control. The city served as an important connecting point for transit passengers en route to Latin America. Some Lebanese decided to stay in Senegal & not to continue their journey to Latin America; these were from all Lebanese sects. Over time, Shiites from Southern Lebanon composed the bulk of the Lebanese expatriate communities in West Africa.

• Some members of the “Daou” family settled in Senegal, where a large African family of a similar surname already existed (e.g. in the cities of "Rufisque","Dakar", "Mbacké"). Some of the "Daou" family members might have adopted a surname variant similar to those used by the African "Daou" family in Senegal (notable persons of the Senegalese "Daou" family include: Guirane N'Daw, Moussa Ndao, Saidou Mohamed N'Daou).

Famous "Daou" Family members

• Dr. Abdullah Daou (ملحم نجم منصورأمين ضو عبداللهمحمد سعيد; from “Binnay” -Aley District): He is a pioneer in the development of an advanced technology to construct floating islands. He designed different platforms for stable floating islands (e.g. Floating Island Dhow-4), which can also sail at low cruising speed. The design he implemented is very unique & employs a different marine engineering technology than what is traditionally used in the construction of ships or other offshore structures. Its main advantage is to provide a fabricated stable floating lot of land that can be used for any purpose. It is designed to be placed offshore, i.e. outside the crowded & expensive coastal lines of major cities. The mobile platform can be used as an extension for a beach resort or a location for sports & leisure activities. It can also be manufactured in various sizes, ranging between a few hundred & millions of square meters. Dr. Abdullah established "Beirut International Marine Industry and Commerce" company to construct the floating islands. He was honored by the Lebanese Government and the “Arab League” for his valuable engineering contribution.

• Georges J. Daou: Mr. Georges left Lebanon with his family in the 1970s after the start of the Lebanese civil war. He went to France & later immigrated to the USA. In 1987, he co-founded Daou Systems, Inc. & served as its CEO and Chairman. In 2006, He & his brother Daniel founded "DAOU Vineyards", a 120-acre vineyard based in Paso Robles, California. In 2007, he co-founded SG Biofuels, Inc. and served as its Chairman.

• Peter Daou: Mr. Peter is one of the most prominent political bloggers in the US; he was famous for writing "The Daou Report", which he published until he joined Hillary Clinton’s team in 2006. He is the son of Lebanese businessman Arthur Daou (d. 1999; from Byblos, Lebanon) & a nephew of writer Erica Jong. He was one-half of the dance-music group “The Daou” alongside his wife “Vanessa Daou”; herself a famous singer.

• Doris Daou: Ms. Doris is a Lebanese-born astronomer from Merdache (Baabda District). Her family immigrated to Canada during the Lebanese civil war, when she was a child. She was educated at the Université de Montréal in Quebec, where she studied the atmospheric parameters of variable stars. Then, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in the USA, where she spent 9 years working on the Hubble Space Telescope. She then transferred to the team preparing to launch the Spitzer Space Telescope. Ms. Doris is now one of NASA's leading experts in education and public outreach.

• Rabih Dow (ربيع عارف ضو; Blind glass painter from “Zaroun” -Matn District): He is an artist, a fencing coach, a translator of Arabic poetry, and a survivor of Lebanon’s brutal civil war, in which he lost his 15-year-old brother, his eye-sight and left hand at the age of sixteen in an explosion. The search for medical treatment sent him to Europe and later to the United States where he has resided since then. He graduated from Boston College where he studied 20th Century Political and Intellectual History. For the last 12 years he has worked as a Fencing Coach, and as Vice-President of "Rehabilitation Services and International Training" at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. His insight & empathy were inspirational to the Carroll Center clients, enabling people who lost their eyesight to navigate the world with confidence.

• Nehme & Alice Daou (Restaurant Daou): Mr. Nehme Daou & his wife Alice immigrated to Quebec, Canada from Lebanon in 1973. They opened the first “Restaurant Daou” in Montréal in 1975. It became a very successful restaurant famed for its fine Lebanese cuisine & family atmosphere.

• Latin America: Dr. Anibal Dao (Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs for Venezuela in the 1960s) , Rosalia Dau (Argentinian Singer), Ariana Dao Sidney (Venezuelan Singer), Denise Dao (Venezuelan Singer), Raja Daou (Inventor of Tekibon, the national drink of Bonaire), Dinorah Dao (Designer), Anibal Dao Pennino (Mister Turismo Latino 2011), Youssef Daou (Early 20th c. CE famous wheat merchant in Brazil -Amazon region); etc...

Historical Figures
• Patriarch "Joachim V Daou" (Патриарх Иоаким V Дау): His original name was Dorotheus Daou; he was born in 1553 CE. He became the Archbishop of Tripoli (Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch) & later was elected to replace the deposed Patriarch Michael VI (1577-1581 CE). He became known as Patriarch Joachim V (25 May 1581 – 7 Oct. 1592 CE). The location of the Greek Orthodox church of Antioch was at that time based in Damascus (It moved from Antioch to Damascus in the mid 14th c. CE). He made a famous visit to Wallachia (Romania), Budjak (Moldova) & Russia (Eastern Europe); during which he visited Moscow on 17 Jun. 1586 CE. He had made a notable contribution in the establishment of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was inaugurated in the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (Patriarch Jeremias II Tranos) in Jan. 1589 CE. The Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia was chosen as the first Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church; who became known as Patriarch Job of Moscow (26 January 1589 – 19 June 1607 CE).

• "Mu'izz Daou" (from Qrayeh -Baabda District): He was a prominent member of the Druze “Daou” family -contemporary to Emir Bashir Shihab II (1767-1850). He was famous for his generosity & great wealth. He owned a famous mansion, which was transformed into a silk yarn plant in the second half of the 19th c. CE. The plant was sold to later to the “Order of Friars Minor Capuchin”, who turned it into a monastery to replace their previous overcrowded convent “Capuchin Convent of Saint Anthony of Padua” in Khishbaw Ghazir (Keserwan District). It was the place where “Bl. Jacob Haddad of Ghazir” (1875-1954; founder of the “Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Cross of Lebanon”) completed his study in theology in the years 1900-1901 AD. The monastery was resold to the “Collège des Frères du Sacré-Coeur –Gemmayzé” & finally bought back by a member of the “Daou” family in Qrayeh town.

• Sheikh “Mohamad Salman Daou”(from Deir Kouche -Chouf District): He was the Mandatary (i.e. Agent) for the “al-Hamdan” feudal family (المشايخ آل الحمدان) in Deir Kouche. He was a strong & highly respected man in his Druze community, who became famous for his courageous & humane stance during the civil war that plagued Mount Lebanon in 1860 CE. During which, he offered refuge and protection for more than 60 Christians (mostly from the Nehme & Bustani families) who fled the nearby town of Deir el Qamar. Doing so meant he had to stand up against Sheikh “Bashir Nakad” (the fearful feudal lord of Manassef sub-district in Chouf), which he did -unhesitant- by offering the asylum for his guests & providing them with a safe passage to Beirut, escorted by his men.

The Surname "Daou" in Non-Levantine Arabic Countries There are several families in the Arab world that have the "Daou” surname (or any of its variant spelling), but are not related to the “Daou” family branches in the Levant. Below is a list of these families:

In Saudi Arabia, Iraq & Kuwait: • “Al Daw” الضو (possible variants: “Daw” ضو, “Dawwi” ضوي, “Al-Dawwi” الضوي, “BinDawwi” بن ضوي, “Bin Dawi”): They are a sub-branch of “Sinjara” (a branch of “Shammar” tribe). They are mainly located in Saudi Arabia (concentrated in “Rafha” & “Sakakah”; also present in “Arar”,“Ha’il”, “Riyadh”) & in Kuwait city. There is also a large sub-branch of them - “al-Mahmoud”-that lives in southern Iraq.

In Egypt: • “Daw” ضو family (possible variants: “Al-Daw” الضو, “El-Dawwi”الضوي, “El Dawy", "Al-Dawi”): They are part of the “Samalous” tribe (originally from Libya), They are mostly present in the Governorates of “Faiyum” & “Giza”.

In Sudan: • “Al Daw” الضو family (aka “Daw” ضو) • “Daw Albait” ضو البيت family in “Ed Dueim” city; they are descendants from “Daw Albait” (b. 1845 CE in “En Nahud” town), a famous Muslim scholar who moved to“Ed Dueim” city in 1866.

In Maghreb countries: • “Daou” ضو family in Tunisia: They are descendants from the “Banu Yazid “, a branch of the “Banu Salim” tribe. They are mainly present in “El Hamma” city. • “Daou” ضو families (possible variants: “Daw”, “Dao”, “Dhao”) in Libya. They include sub-branches of the following clans: “Jalaghimah” (“Magarha” tribe); “Awlad Salih”(“Wershfana” tribe); “Al Qahs” (“Qadhadhfa” tribe). • “Daou” ضو family in Algeria: present mainly in the provinces of Algiers, Bouira, Bejaia, Adrar, Tizi Ouzou, Tiaret. • “Daou” ضو family (aka “Al-Daou” الضو) in Morocco: Present across the country; in Kenitra, Meknes, Casablanca, Oujda, Beni Mellal, El Jadida, Agadir, Berkane, Ouazzane, Sidi Kacem, Tanalt, Tinghir, Marrakesh, Dradeb, Tangier, Asfi, El Ksiba, Khouribja, Sidi Ifni, Taza, Alnif, El Kelaa Des Sraghna, Benahmed, Taourirt, Tafraoute, Nador, Rabat, Temara, Tétouan ... • “Ben Daou” بن ضو family: They are present in Libya (Tripoli), Tunisia (Sfax, Mahdia) & Morocco (Fez, Casablanca, Safi, Tamelelt). • “Dao” ضو family in Mauritania: belong to the African “Dao” branches present in West Africa.

Families with Similar Surnames: • "Bou Dawwi" البو ضوي clan in Iraq: A sub-branch of "Ubadah" (a branch of the "Banu Uqayl" tribe). They are mainly present in "Dhi Qar" Governorate (Southern Iraq). • “Dawa” ضوا family in Syria: mainly present in “Masyaf” city (“Hama” Governorate). • “Abodowia /Dwia /Äbö Dwäÿä”أبو ضوية family in Egypt: mainly present in the cities of Helwan & Sohag • “Dawa/Dawah” ضوة/ضوه family in Egypt • “Al-Dawwi/Dawwi” ضوي/الضوي family in S. Egypt • “Al-Dawwa” الضوة family (aka “Aldawa”) in Libya: A sub-branch of “Awlad Harb” (a branch of the “Wershfana” tribe) • “Daou”ضوء family in Sabratha, Libya • “Daoui” ضاوي family in Lebanon: mainly present in the of “Khiam” town (South Lebanon) • “Al-Dawi” الضاوي family (aka “Daoui”, “Aldawi”, “Dhu Dawi” ذو ضاوي) in Yemen: this family is a sub-branch of the “Sufyan ibn Arhab” tribe • “Al-Dawi” الضاوي family in Saudi Arabia & Kuwait: this family is a sub-branch of “Banu al-Anbar” (a branch of “Banu Tamim” tribe). They are mainly present in the cities of “Harmah” & “Al Majma'ah” (“Sudair” region,“Najd”). • “Dowayan” الضويان Family (aka “Dhwayan”, “Al Dhwayan”, “Aldhowayan”) in Saudi Arabia: They are a sub-branch of the “Banu Zayd” tribe.

"Daou" as a Surname in Non-Arabic Countries - The French family “Daou” (aka Daoust, D’Aoust, Daout, Daoût, Davous, Davoust, Dault, Dahoult, Dahout, Dahult, Dauld, D’Aout, Dauth, Dawlt, Deau, Deault, Deaut, Deaux, Doe, Doth, Doult, Dow)... - The French family "Dao" - The English family “Daw” (aka Dawe, Daws, Dawes, Douwes, Dohse) - The English family “Dawa” - The English/Scotish/Irish family “Dow” (aka McDow, Dow, Dou, Dowe, Dove, Dows, Dowse, Dowes, Doves, Douw, Douwe) - The German family “Dau” (Old Frisian"Douwo"; S. German "Davo", short form of the personal name"Tavold") - The German family "Daue" - The German/French family "Dauer" (aka Dower) - The Swiss family "Doewz" - The Dutch family “Douw” (NY-USA; Origin: Friesland, Netherlands) - The Italian family “Dao” (Piemonte region, Italy) - The Italian family “Dho” - The Argentinian family “Dauo” - The Russian family “Дау” (i.e."Dau"; short form for Ландау (Landau) family; aka Landauer, Landaur, Landov, Landow, Landahl. This family originated in either of the 2 cities named"Landau" in Alsace (France) or Palatinate (Germany; this branch of the family is of Jewish origin).

- The “Dao” family (aka Đào; a Catholic Vietnamese family; origin: Lang Me Village, N. Vietnam) - The “Dao” (aka "Daw") family in Philippines - The “Dâw people” of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil - The African "Daou" families (aka Dao, N’Daou, N’Daw, N’Dao, Ndaou, Ndaw, Ndao, Ndow, Daw, Dão, Dau, نداو، نضاو) are present in the following countries (mostly in West Africa): Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia (Ndow), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria (Daw), Sierra Leone, Togo, Chad, Central African Republic, Angola, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (Dau). - The “Ndau” people of central Mozambique (Zambezi valley) & eastern Zimbabwe (aka N’Dau). - The “Ndau” people of Indonesia (aka Ndao, N’Dau, N’Dao) - In Vietnamese “Dao” people refers to the “Yao” people (in China, Vietnam, Laos & Thailand). The Red Dao people live in villages near Sapa town in Northwest Vietnam. - The Chinese “道”(Dao) & “陶”(Táo) families (Han ethnicity) - The ancient Chinese “竇”(Dao) family of Qinghe County (Xingtai, Hebei province) in the 2nd c. BCE, during the Han Dynasty. Empress Dou (Wen; r.179-157 BCE) was from this family. - The ancient Chinese "竇" (Dou) clan, which was powerful in the 1st c. CE, during the Han Dynasty. Notable members of this clan includes Empress Dou (Zhang; r.78-88 CE).

The Meaning & Historical Usage of the Word "Daou"
Usage in Arabic The word “Daou" (Arabic: ضو) is a colloquial short form of formal Arabic word “ضوء”, which means “Light” or “illumination”.

Historically, it is not a very common name in the Levant; however, in historical books we find some references to some people having this name: • In the 13th c. CE; “Daou” was the name of the grandfather of Imam Ibn Kathir (1301-1373; كثير بن ضوء بن زرع إسماعيل بن عمر بن كثير بن ضوء بن). • In 1533 CE; someone named “Saleh” ibn”Daou” ("صالح ضو"؛ "صالح ولد ضو") from Qrayeh town appears in the Ottoman tax register (Tapu Tahrir Defteri 401; p.217)

• In the 16th c. CE, a person with the first name of “Daou” from the Maalouf family moved to “Amioun”; Koura District. He was nicknamed “Saliba”; his descendants include the following families (“القطوف في تاريخ بني المعلوف دواني” by Issa Iskandar Al-Maalouf; p.152): - “Choueiri” (“Abi Youssef Nehme” branch) in “Choueir”; Matn District - “Abi Akl” in “Bteghrine”; Matn District - “Abi Kassab” in “Qaa Er-Rim”; Zahle Distrcit - “Hawi” in “Choueir”; Matn District & “Amioun”; Koura District - “Ghosn” in Koura District - “Salibi” in “Souk El Gharb”; Aley District - “Abi Gerges” in various places in Lebanon

• In 1684 CE; a person with the name “Daou Faraj” from the “Maalouf” family was employed by Sheikh “Khazen el Khazen” (“دواني القطوف في تاريخ بني المعلوف” by Issa Iskandar Al-Maalouf; p.195) • In 1766 CE, a person with the name of“ ibn Daou” from the “Abi Farah” branch of the “Maalouf family is mentioned in an incident related to a local church in "Kafarakab"; Matn District (“في تاريخ بني المعلوف دواني القطوف” by Issa Iskandar Al-Maalouf; p.204).

In modern days, “Daou” (in its Arabic Form “ضو”) is a very popular first name in Libya & is present in person’s name in many of the Arabic speaking North African countries. “Daou” (in its Arabic Form “ضوء”) is also still used in Iraq as a first name.

Usage in other languages In Chinese, the word Dao refers to any of the following: - Dào (or Dǎo; Mandarin Chinese: 道): a word meaning way, path, road, method. - Dão (or Tao): a philosophical Chinese concept (Taoism). - Dao: the name given to administrative provinces in ancient China (after 627 CE). - Dao: the name given to certain types of Chinese single-edge swords. - Dao: a Chinese vassal state during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–221 BCE), which was located in the southern part of Runan County, Henan.

Other meanings: - Daw (in Medieval English): the term was used as the diminutive form for "David". - Daw is a former name for the jackdaw (a black bird related to crows and ravens). - Daou (Breton) & Dau (Welsh): the respective term was used for number two in these Celtic languages. - Dao (in Filipino) or Dracontomelon Dao is the name given to a species of tropical canopy tree. - Dao is the name of a two player abstract strategy game played on a 4x4 board. - Daw is a Burmese honorific title used before the names of senior women in the society. - Дау is the name of a Russian movie dedicated for the famous Soviet physicist     - Dhow (German: Dau or Dhau; Russian: Доу; Turkish: Dhov) is a generic term for traditional sailing vessels used in the Red Sea & Indian Ocean region. - Dhau is a type of yogurt prepared by the "Newa" people of Nepal. - Daou is the name of a South Korean IT company; Daou Technology Inc. - Jiangsu Daou Aluminium Co. is the name of a Chinese company located in Changzhou City.

Geographic Places: - Daou Vineyards, Paso Robles, California, USA; N 35.636424, W 120.773395 - Douar Sidi Daou, Morocco; N 31.65, W 8.05 - Oulad Ben Daou, Morocco; N 35.24, W 5.99 - Ait Bou Daou, Morocco; N 30.050058, W 8.899891 - Djebel Daou, Tunisia; N 36.4264, E 10.2728 - Ouled Ben Daou, Tunisia; N 36.4392, E 10.2589 - Ouled Dhaou Village (أولاد ضو), Tunisia; N 33.770985, E 9.855190 - Ad Daw, Homs, Syria; N 34.5722222, E 38.0694444 - Tell Daou (Tall Daww), Homs; N 34.9333, E 36.4833 - Daw Al Qamar, Ninawa, Iraq; N 36.6222222, E 42.8152778 - Daw Sunni, Musandam, Oman; N 26.3172222, E 56.5008333 - Izbat Ad Daw ( عزبة الضو), near Faiyum, Egypt; N 29.214703, E 30.765422 - Al Daw Street, Giza, Egypt; N 29.9855556, E 31.1944444 - Frazione di Dao (Cuneo province, Piemonte region, Italy); N 44.495002, E 7.315498 - Dão-Lafões subregion of Dão DOC (the oldest established wine region in Portugal); N 40.655059, E 7.914097 - Rio Dão, a river in Portugal; N 40.438550, W 8.059348 - Dao, Senegal; N 15.670057, W 16.553668 - Con Dao Islands (Southeast Vietnam); N 8.678278, E 106.601713 - Chiang Dao District (North Thailand); N 19.366990, E 98.964359 - Ndao Island (Indonesia); S 10.816665,E 122.666668 - Dao County (Yongzhou, Hunan, China); N 25.526438, E 111.600796 - Dao Municipality (Capiz, Philippines); N 11.394416, E 122.68783 - Dau Barangay (Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines); N 15.182263, E 120.588882 - Daw, Mauritania, village - Daw Mill, a mine located in Warwickshire, England; N 52.506389, W 1.617778 - Daw Park, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide; S 34.981, E 138.588 - Daw's Castle, Anglo Saxon hill fort in Somerset, England; N 51.181389, W 3.344167 - Jabal Daw', a hill in Ras al-Khaimah; N 25.383333, E 56.35

Rote Island

Rote Island (Indonesian: Pulau Rote, also spelled Roti) is an island of Indonesia, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It has an area of 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi). It lies 500 km (311 mi) northeast of the Australian coast and 170 km (106 mi) northeast of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. The island is situated to the southwest of the larger island of Timor. To the north is the Savu Sea, and to the south is the Timor Sea. To the west is Savu and Sumba. The uninhabited Ndana island, just south of Rote, with an area of 14 km2 (5 sq mi), is the southernmost island of Indonesia. Along with some other nearby small islands, such as Ndao island, it forms the kabupaten (regency) of Rote Ndao Regency, which in 2010 decennial census recorded a population of 119,711.

The main town, Ba'a, is located on the northern side of the island. Rote has a good surf area in the south around the village of Nemberala. There is a daily ferry to the island from Kupang, the provincial capital on West Timor, which provides transport for local passengers and goods as well as tourists. The trip between Kupang and Ba'a takes around 2 hours.

Rote has many historical relics including fine antique Chinese porcelain, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Several prominent Indonesian figures were born in Rote. A popular music instrument, Sasando, is made of palm leaves. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speak Portuguese, introduced himself, "Rote".

Rote, just off the southern tip of Timor Island, consists of rolling hills, terraced plantations, acacia palm, savanna and some forests. The Rotinese depend, like the Savunese, on the lontar palm for basic survival but also as a supplement to their income from fishing and jewelry making.

The critically endangered Rote Island snake-necked turtle is endemic to Rote Island.

Agriculture is the main form of employment. Fishing is also important, especially in the eastern village of Papela, which has led to disputes with Australia over the water between them.

The US-born Australian scholar, Prof James J Fox, has written extensively about Rotinese culture.


Manggarai are people inhabiting western Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, in Indonesia. Numbering approximately 500,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a language in the Bima-Sumba subgroup of Indonesian languages. The Manggarai were historically ruled alternately by the Bimanese of Sumbawa and the Makassarese of Celebes. Their own political system is based on clans, led by the chief of the Todo clan. Manggarai descent is patrilineal, and the fundamental settlement pattern is the village, which is composed of at least two clans. Each clan traditionally existed in relationship with two others; a group of three clans had complementary roles in providing and receiving marriage partners, but today marriage rules are more flexible. The Manggarai practice swidden agriculture, growing rice and corn (maize); permanent rice terraces became more common after 1960. They also grow coffee, onions, and mung beans for export and raise horses and water buffalo. As a result of the Dutch influx in the 20th century, most of the Manggarai are Roman Catholic.

The Manggaraian people are famed for their long-standing heritage of ritual and ceremonial life, as well as distinct agricultural and architectural practices. Caci performances, lingko fields and the Penti ceremony are just a few among many highlights that the Manggaraian people are proud of. With its many myth-spun cultural sites, embedded in beautiful natural surroundings, Manggarai offers treasures not to be missed during a trip to Flores.

Manggarai, situated in the westernmost part of Flores, is the island’s most densely populated region. It is divided into the three kabupaten (administrative districts) of Manggarai Barat in the West, Manggarai in the center, and Manggarai Timur in the East. Manggarai is considered to be roughly an ethno-linguistic unit. However, there are many different dialects of the Manggaraian language as well as some local variations of cultural elements.

Very little is known of the earliest history of the Manggaraian people. This gives way to colorful myths and stories about their origin and descent. Many Manggaraian people believe that their ancestors came from Minangkabau in West Sumatra, settled on the coast, then proceeded to the island’s interior.

A central theme of Manggaraian culture is the unity of the village, the house, and the fields, which is most visibly expressed in their circular shape and their spatial division into segments. A house used to be much more than a shelter to its inhabitants, rather an expression of identity and belonging: the particular architecture and structure symbolized kinship and marriage relations, as well as patrilineal descent. Before the Dutch colonial administration put an end to this way of living, entire clans used to inhabit a single house, with different generations living side by side. 

Penti Thanksgiving

I would say this is an Israelite costum from the Psalms.

Penti is one of the major ceremonies in the Manggarai district. It is a thanksgiving celebration for the past year’s harvest and an expression of hope for a prosperous, new agricultural year. The event is filled with series of ancient rituals that usually last for one full day and night. The celebration is of such huge communal importance that all village members, even the ones living outside the village, should join these festivities. Penti used to be an annual event closely related to the agricultural cycle. Nowadays, many villages celebrate Penti on a five-year basis due to the intensive preparations and high costs.

As one of the most prominent traditional villages in Manggarai, Wae Rebo is definitely a extraordinary place for taking part in a Penti ceremony. The community chose the 15th of November for Penti based on a unique calendar. Maro, the mythical founding father of the village, established a calendar method which identifies the different months by changes in the surrounding natural environment, be it the sound of birds or the plants that grow during particular times of the year. Based on these changes, November is the first month of the new year.

The ceremony starts at 8am when people start to gather at the main ceremonial house (Mbaru Tembong). The ritual activities that follow are centered around three sacred places, i.e. the spring (barong wae, wae-woang, symbolizing the beginning of life), the village’s front entrance (pa’ang, a place to hold prayers for all the women whose husbands live outside of Wae Rebo), and the village’s backyard (mandong, a place for making prayers for health and prosperity). As the people of Wae Rebo believe that good spirits look after these three sites, the ritual activities are intended to invite the spirits to join the festivities. Three groups of people, each led by four women, head towards the sacred sites, accompanied by chants and the rhythm of a gong. At the same time, villagers divide themselves into three groups.

After the elders have sacrificed a chicken at the sacred sites, the people return to the compang, the village court, where two men dressed up in caci costumes wait their turn to perform this traditional martial art. The caci fighters are cheered on by a group of people who do sanda, a special form of singing and dancing that sometimes also includes a little bit of mockery by the spectators. A caci may last for about three hours. The resulting wounds on a fighter’s body are not considered a sign of weakness, but as a contribution to a new fertile year.

In the afternoon, the people continue with numerous ritual activities at different places in the village, in private homes as well as in the ceremonial house into which the spirits are invited to enter. After sunset, another ritual of sanda dancing and chanting is held inside the ceremonial house. 

The peak of the whole Penti ceremony is the ritual sacrifice of two pigs. With their blood, the adat leader sees into the future while saying prayers in the ritual language. The ceremonial house gets really crowded, with strong coffee and sopi, the local liquor, that warm up the atmosphere. Further sessions of sanda are performed throughout the night, until the sun of the first day of the new year is up in the sky.


The Pashtun tribe of Gad is Jaji in some dialects, so the d sometimes can turn into a j. I suspect this is the case with the Dewa worshipped by the Ngadha, Riung, Nage, Sikanese... What I men is that their main god Dewa is not other than JEhoWA in an evolved way, making the Israelite origin of these peoples more likely. The Riung people hold rituals to inaugurate new house, village and garden.

The speech constitutes prayer of tradition of Riung people in Ngada regency.

The Riung people to the eastern part have more Melanesian characteristics, like the Papuan people. Whereas the Manggarai ethnic group have more Mongoloid-Malay features. The sub ethnic group Larantuka is different.

The Riung of Indonesia have a population of 19,500. They are part of the Flores-Sumba-Alor people cluster. This people group is found only in Indonesia. Their primary language is Riung - (riu). The primary religion practiced by the Riung is Islam, a monotheistic religion built around the teachings of the Quran and of the prophet Muhammad.

Ngada, Rokka, or Rokanese

Ngada, also called Rokka, or Rokanese, the Ngada village tribe inhabit the south coast of Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, in Indonesia. They live around the Inerie volcano and inland on the Badjava plateau. Primarily of Proto-Malay stock, they speak a Malayo-Polynesian language of the Ambon-Timor group, and numbered 35,000–40,000 in 1954. Claiming they migrated from Java, the Ngada were formerly hunters. Today they practice both wet (learned from the Dutch) and dry cultivation of rice and also grow corn (maize), millet, and vegetables. Ngada villages are composed of wooden pile houses, organized according to clan territories; land is portioned out to clan members.

Descent is patrilineal and matrilineal; the oldest child receives the family inheritance. Marriage is strictly clan endogamous (like the old Jews), and although sibling marriage is forbidden, marriage between cousins is encouraged. After marriage, the husband belongs to his wife's clan (a type of levirate) until full bridewealth is paid. Identified by a common ancestor and a geographic location, clans traditionally acted also as political units until the Dutch instituted the office of radja. Originally the Ngada recognized a high god (Déva) and his female component (Nitu), but since 1920 missionaries have worked among the Ngada, and today many Ngada are Roman Catholics.

In the religion of the Ngada people of Central Flores, Deva is the eternal creator and heavenly god who plays an important role alongside Nitu, the earthly goddess of darkness. Most often they are addressed in combination as Nitu Déva. Deva resembles Jehovah.

Ngadha language

Ngadha (also known as Ngada or Ngad'a. Are they GaDites?) is an Austronesian language, one of six languages spoken in the central stretch of the Indonesian island of Flores. From west to east these languages are: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio, and Palu'e. These languages form the proposed Central Flores group of the Sumba–Flores languages, according to Blust (2009).

Ngadha is "bizarre" because it has no prefixes nor suffixes at all. This "strangely streamlined language" is thought by linguist John McWhorter to have originated when "little people" were "subjugated" into the Austronesian population. McWhorter (2006) speculates this rare linguistic transformation would have occurred to the ancestor of Ngadha and the related Keo and Rongga languages. Nonetheless, in basic vocabulary, such as body parts, numbers, and action verbs, Ngadha has kept 94 out of a list of 247 lexical items of the Proto-Malayo-Polynesian language.

The Nagekeo of Indonesia have a population of 105,000. They are part of the Flores-Sumba-Alor people cluster. This people group is found only in Indonesia. Their primary language is Keo - (xxk). The primary religion practiced by the Nagekeo is Roman Catholicism, the worlds largest Christian branch. Their GSEC status is 1, which means this people group is less than 2% evangelical, some evangelical resources are available, but there has been no active church planting among them within the past two years.

The Lost Jews of Manado, Indonesia

This is the story of the Lost Jews of Manado and that of Eli, who has been recreating a Jewish presence in the Indonesian city of Manado. His is the story of the enduring faithfulness, perseverance, and ingenuity -- a triumph of the Jewish spirit against all odds. The achievements of Eli are even more amazing given his youthfulness and the circumstances. Indonesia is a poor land, a country without diplomatic relations with Israel, and a place where being Jewish is potentially life threatening. 

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, comprising 7,000 islands in the equatorial regions of the Far East straddling an area as wide as the Continental United States. It was known as the Spice Islands of the Far East or the Dutch East Indies. Indonesia was under Dutch rule from the 17th century to the late 1940s. It is a republic of over 220 million people with the world’s largest Moslem population; 90 percent of Indonesia’s population is Moslem, with the balance mainly Christian, Hindu and Buddhist. 

Indonesia has had a Jewish presence for over 100 years, and a small Jewish community remains in the city of Surabaya. The Surabaya community was largely a Sephardic one, hailing mainly from Iraq. Over the years, a few families moved to Singapore while others have assimilated into the local populace. Some prominent local Jewish family names like Musry still crop up from time to time. 

There were other smaller Jewish communities scattered throughout Indonesia, mainly Ashkenazi ones. One of them, Manado, is a city located on the northeastern tip of the large island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes). Manado has had a long history of Dutch settlement and is one of the few places in Indonesia where the Dutch have had a significant influence on the local community. Unlike much of Indonesia which is Moslem (or Hindu), Manado and the surrounding areas are mainly Christian, reflecting the strong religious inroads made by the Dutch and other Europeans who had missionized the locals. Along with the Dutch came along small numbers of Dutch Jews. 

There was a small synagogue in the old Dutch part of the town that was badly damaged by the Japanese during World War II. It has since been partly restored through the efforts of a young local by the name of Toar Pailingan, who is only 22 years old. Toar, who has taken on the name Eli, after an ancestor, has Jewish blood on his maternal side. His great-great grandfather on his maternal side was Elias van Beugen or Eliyahu ben Eleazar, a Dutch Jew who passed away during the Japanese occupation in 1942. I met Eli in January 2006 during a visit to Manado, a 3 hour flight from Singapore. Manado is known for its diving with its crystal clear waters, beautiful coral and colorful tropical fishes. The countryside is beautiful as the land is surrounded by mountains and a couple of volcanoes which are still active, although there has not been a major eruption for many years. The land is fertile and dotted with coconut trees and rice fields, especially in the Minahasan highlands which are about an hour’s drive from the city and rise to elevations of 2-3 thousand feet above sea level (the peaks of the volcanoes rises to elevations of 6 thousand feet or more). Although the people are mainly Christian, the Moslem population has increased steadily over the years as Moslems moved in from other parts of the Indonesian archipelago. While other parts of Sulawesi are being torn by inter-religious strife between Christians and Moslems, Manado remains an island of calm.

Eli may be only 22, but he has achieved much in trying to re-create a Jewish presence in Manado. He has been practicing “Judaism” since about 15. He first learned about his Jewish heritage in his teens from his mother and granduncle. That seemed to ignite a spark of interest in his Jewish heritage that grew over time. He learned much of his Judaism through the Internet, including an impressive array of Jewish liturgy. We spent a Shabbat together and I was amazed at his command of the liturgy considering he had so little contact with the Jewish world.

In recent years, Eli has received several Jewish visitors from around the world, including three Israelis -- impressive considering that Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. His visitors have brought him gifts of various Judaica, including menorahs, tallits, shofars and siddurs. He had a whole cabinet full of menorahs that he had received as gifts from his various Jewish visitors. 

There are a few Jewish graves scattered throughout Manado but no single Jewish cemetery. Eli has recreated a “synagogue” located an hour’s drive from Manado in the rolling countryside of the Minahasan Highlands. The “synagogue” was purchased with funds donated by a wealthy Jew from the Netherlands who had heard about the plight of the Lost Jews of Manado. The synagogue was originally a house that had been built along Dutch architectural lines. Eli had the building remodeled by removing the floor that separated the lower and upper levels of the house to provide for a higher headroom. He had pews installed on both sides of the synagogue – one side for women and the other for men, with a bimah in between and a cabinet in front which served as the Ark for the Torah scrolls.

Eli learned about synagogue styles entirely from researching the internet at a cybercafe. (He has a desktop PC but no internet connection at home) He is the only child in his family and lives with his parents. Although they are middle class by local standards as both his parents and he himself teach law at a local university, they are poor by Western standards with a household income not exceeding US$1,000 a month. The “synagogue” he created comes complete with a “Jerusalem stone” façade on the front entrance. The stone comes from a local quarry with product resembling that in Jerusalem. The “synagogue” has two “Torah scrolls” housed in a cabinet. On closer inspection, I realized that they were actually makeshift versions. The “parchment” was made from flipcharts either glued together or joined by cellophane tape with pages of the Torah downloaded from the Internet and carefully glued onto the flipcharts in proper sequence. I had never seen anything like this before and thought it quite ingenious. Eli had the rollers and handles made by a local carpenter.

There was a plaque on the wall next to the rear entrance inscribed with Hebrew lettering on the top – Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai (Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord) and the rest in Dutch saying that a donation was made on 17 September 2004 by a J.P. Van Der Stoop on behalf of the Dutch Jewish Community to the “Jewish Community of Manado.” 

There are other “lost Jews” like Eli scattered throughout Indonesia, particularly in areas where the Dutch had a significant influence like Manado and Ambon in the Moluccas. This happened over the years through intermarriage and assimilation, some becoming Christian and others Moslem. Apart from the Van Beugen family, other Jewish family names that remain today in Manado include Bollegraf, Meyer, Jacobs, Abraham, Schram, Rosenberg, and Joseph. There was even an Iraqi Jew with the family name Ezekiel who was buried in Manado. 

I also met Eli’s granduncle, a Van Beugen, who told me he estimates there are around 100 Jewish family names in Manado and possibly up to a thousand descendants of Jews throughout Manado and the surrounding countryside. I am not certain how the “lost Jews” look, but suspect they probably look quite Indonesian. 

On my last night in Manado, we drove by the old synagogue, which is now a home occupied by descendants of the Bollegrafs. It is actually a very humble building and couldn’t have been very grand even in its heyday. Eli has taught them Judaism and they have over the last few years been practicing again, at least in a limited way. I understand from Eli they have been keeping Shabbat. The family was not in when we visited but I peeped through the crack in the door and saw a menorah on the table and Judaic pictures on the wall. Eli brought to my attention that he had a hand in restoring the old building, complete with a “Jerusalem stone” façade like the “synagogue’s.”

This is the story of Eli, a young man of Jewish descent in a poor, distant and unlikely land who loves his God and heritage. The story of a man who is now known in Manado as the local “Yahudi” or “Jew” and who wishes to be reconnected with his Jewish brethren throughout the world.


Larantuka is a kecamatan (district) and seat capital of East Flores Regency, on the eastern end of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Like much of the region, Larantuka has a strong a colonial Portuguese influence. This overwhelmingly (83.4%) Roman Catholic area enjoys some international renown for its Holy Week celebrations.

Larantuka Malay (also known as Ende Malay), a local dialect over 80% cognate with Indonesian, is used as a lingua franca in this area. Portuguese is used in certain Catholic religious rituals.

Briefly before 1600 Portuguese traders left Solor and settled in Larantuka. The traders were in conflict with the Dominicans in Solor, because they were more interested in trade than in Christianization. In 1613 the Dutch occupied Solor and the Dominicans moved to Larantuka, too.

In the beginning Larantuka was an interstation for the trade of sandalwood from Timor and became the Portuguese trading center of South East Indonesia. It became even a place of refuge for deserters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).

Two waves of immigration brought additionally boost. As the Dutch conquered Malacca in 1641, many Portuguese surged to Larantuka and the population exploded. Two villages, Wureh and Konga, also accommodated the new people. As the Dutch attacked Makassar in 1660, most of the Portuguese from there came to Larantuka, too.

The Portuguese took indigenous wives, but they always wrote down the Portuguese ancestry. This new population group was called Topasses, but they called themselves Larantuqueiros (inhabitants of Larantuka). The Dutch called them also Zwarte Portugeesen ("black Portuguese").
The Larantuqueiros turned out a loose, but mighty power in the region, which influence reached far beyond the settlement. The core cell was the federation of Larantuka, Wureh and Konga. Theoretically they were subordinated to Portugal. But in practice they were free. They had no Portuguese administration and they did not pay taxes. Letters of the Lisbon government were ignored. For long years there was a bloody struggle for power between the families da Costa and de Hornay. At the end they shared the power.

The Larantuqueiros made "alliances" with the indigenous people of Flores and Timor. They followed a certain strategy; the most notable raja was converted to Catholicism by military pressure. He had to take an oath of allegiance to the king of Portugal and thereon the title Dom was granted to him. The raja was allowed to rule his folk autonomous, but in war he had to supply auxiliary forces.

The Larantuqueiros were the rulers and established Portuguese as the official language to distance themselves from the natives

The language of commerce was the Malay, which was understood on the surrounding islands.

In 1640 the Larantuqueiros settled in Lifau on Timor to gain control over the sandalwood of Timor. From Lifau they expanded to the inside the island where the sandalwood grows. With strong forces the sovereigns there were compelled to enter into negotiations. For the delivery of musketry the Larantuqueiros gained control over most of the sandalwood production and were able to control the price.

Trade was flourishing when the “white Portuguese” came by order of the king of Portugal to exert influence on Timor. But they were besieged by the Larantuqueiros and left empty-handed in 1769. In 1854 the Portuguese offered the Dutch the sovereign rights for sale. The contract was ratified in 1859.

The Dutch sent a military and administrative officer, who took residence in a small fort. But they do not really take influence on the population.

Larantuka offered little promise, after the downturn of the sandalwood trade. The Larantuqueiros resorted to farming. Not much was left of the former profitable foreign trade.

Formally the Larantuqueiros were Catholics, but the control of the belief was devolved to laymen organisations, which gave the belief a new direction. In Larantuka the most powerful organisation was A Confraria da Rainha do Rosário, the brotherhood of the rosary queen, which exists still this day.

The contract between the Portuguese and the Dutch respected religious freedom. Thus Dutch Calvinism did not take root. However Dutch Jesuits engaged in missionary work. Starting in Larantuka with building the first rectory and reintroduced the orthodox form of Catholicism again. Monogamy was reinforced due their influence. The missionaries even built Catholic schools and brought health care.

With the independence of Indonesia the Larantuqueiros gained new influence. They were able to reach leading positions, because they had a more high level of education than then natives. Even the Indonesian language, which became the new official language, was easy for them, because it is very similar to the Malay language.

Indonesia Tourism describes:

Larantuka is a neat clean seaport with a beautiful view. Everything is within walking distance except for the pier where the boats leave for Timor (4-5 km from town). [...Larantuka is a] little port nestled at the base of a tall hill at the eastern end of Flores, from where Solor, Adonara, and Lembata islands (the small islands near by) are visible across the narrow strait. [...] people are very outgoing and friendly. Their bemos are brightly painted with murals on the sides and their radios are blasting the latest tunes. Lots of Catholic churches line the roads with a few mosques sprinkled in. [...] There are a number of tuna boats at the docks. They have a big square platform on the bow where fishermen line up with bamboo poles line up flipping hooked tunas.

Another (perhaps less biased) source confirms the affability of the locals:

The town of Larantuka is a quaint little place with the friendliest people we met all the way across Indonesia. On landing on the beach we were mobbed by a group of kids shouting "Hello Mister!" the standard Indonesian English greeting. When they saw I had a camera, they started to ask me to take their picture. Opening up the camera caused all sorts of pandemonium and the parents suddenly showed up wanting to get in the picture as well. [...] When he rewound the tape and played it back the crowd watching themselves on the small screen couldn't stand up they were laughing so hard. We left our new friends of the beach and set out in search of [my friend who we found...] sitting in the middle of about 50 children. Every time he would ask one of them what their name was, riotous laughter would break out in the whole group.

Holy Week

"Semana Santa" (Holy Week), the week before Easter, is an important time of religious celebration for the devoutly Catholic people of the Diocese of Larantuka. The celebrations center on two religious statues, one of Jesus Christ and one of Virgin Mary brought by Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 16th century. These statues are only presented to the public every Easter and are kept out-of-view for the rest of the year.

The religious festivities begin on Wednesday before Easter, known locally as Rabu Trewa or "Shackled Wednesday" in remembrance of the betrayal of Judas Iscariot that led to Jesus's arrest and shackling. Devotees surround the chapel of Tuan Ana where the statue of Jesus is kept, shouting in Latin to mourn the arrest of Jesus by Roman soldiers. Devotees likewise surround the chapel of Tuan Ma in nearby Lohayong village where the statue of Virgin Mary is kept.

On Holy Thursday, devotees enact the tikam turo ritual that prepares the route of the next day's seven kilometer procession by planting candles along the road . After the candle are prepared, devotees attend the munda tuan ritual in which members of a religious fraternity known as the Konfreria Reinha Rosaria (Brotherhood of the Queen of Roses) bath the statues of Jesus and Mary. The holy water used is afterwards considered special and is saved to cure ill children and to help women having birth complications.

On the morning of Good Friday, the raja of Larantuka opens the door of the chapel of Tuan Ma thus making may for devotees to enter. His own clan, the Diaz Vieira de Godinho, enter first followed by the brotherhood members and the rest of the population. Worshipers kiss the statue of Mary and pray for divine benevolence per Mariam ad Jesum (through Mary to Jesus).

Meanwhile, the statue of Jesus is taken from the chapel in Larantuka and is brought on a seven kilometer long procession by land and sea. The procession has eight stops, each representing a major clan of Larantuka (among which are the Mulawato, Sarotari, Amakalen, Kapitan Jentera, Fernandez da Gomez, Diaz Pohon Sirih, and Diaz Vieira de Godinho clans). At each stop there is a small chapel where a short prayer and devotional singing honor the suffering of the Passion. When the statues of Jesus and Mary are united, they are brought together to Larantuka Cathedral where many devotees attend a Good Friday service that lasts all night.


Adonara is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, located east of the larger island of Flores in the Solor Archipelago. To the east lies Lembata, formerly known as Lomblen. It is the highest of the islands of the archipelago, reaching an altitude of 1,659 metres, and it has an area of 497 km2. It is in the East Nusa Tenggara province.

Local history on Adonara is documented from the sixteenth century, when Portuguese traders and missionaries established a post on the nearby island of Solor. By that time Adonara and the surrounding islands were ritually divided between a population of coastal dwellers known as Paji, and a population mainly settling the mountainous inland called Demon. The Paji were susceptible to Islam, while the Demon tended to fall under Portuguese influence. The Paji areas on Adonara contained three principalities, namely Adonara proper (centered on the north coast of the island), and Terong and Lamahala (on the south coast). Together with two principalities on Solor, Lohayong and Lamakera, they constituted a league called Watan Lema ("the five shores"). The Watan Lema allied with the Dutch East India Company(VOC) in 1613, confirmed in 1646. The Adonara principalities had frequent feuds with the Portuguese in Larantuka on Flores, and were not always obedient to the Dutch authorities.

In the course of the nineteenth century, the ruler of Adonara (proper) in the north strengthened his position in the Solor Archipelago; by then, he was also the overlord of parts of eastern Flores and Lembata. The Demon areas stood under the suzerainty of the principality of Larantuka, which in turn was under Portuguese rule until 1859, when it was ceded to the Netherlands. The principalities of Larantuka and Adonara (proper) were abolished by the Indonesian government in 1962. Some post-independence local officials trace their roots to past rulers, called raja, of Adonara (proper).

Helong people

The Kupang area was traditionally inhabited by the Helong people and this continued well into the colonial period. In the seventeenth century, the Helong were pushed out by the Atoni peopl from nearby Sonbai kingdom to a small coastal tip of Timor island. Later they also migrated to the small island of Semau. Helon People live around the city of Kupang (as mentioned before) and have their own language, physical characteristics showing much closer to Melanesian.

Helong language

Helong is a Central Malayo-Polynesian language of West Timor. Speakers are interspersed with those of Amarasi.

They are native to Indonesia, region West Timor & native speakers are 14,000  (1997).

It's interesting that the Helong people live in Semau, Indonesia & Indonesian Timor, because Semau sounds similar to Simeon.

The Lamahalot or Solor people

The Lamahalot or Solor people are a traditional tribe located on Flores Island, Indonesia, and some smaller islands around it (Solor, Adonara, and Lomblen). Lamaholot people speak the Lamaholot language with different dialects, the number of speakers counts between 150,000 and 200,000. Those who live on mainland Flores can speak Bahasa Nagi (Larantuka Malay) as well.

Most Lamaholot people are Roman Catholics. Some of them are Muslims or devotees of a traditional monotheistic religion who believe in a god whom they call Lera Wulan Tanah Ekan (The combined power of the Sun, Moon, and Earth). Lamaholot traditional dance is known as Hedung.

Lamaholot language

Lamaholot, also known as Solor or Solorese, is a Central Malayo-Polynesian dialect cluster of Flores, Indonesia. The varieties may not be all mutually intelligble; Keraf (1978) reports that there are 18 languages under the name. The language shows evidence of a Papuan (non-Austronesian) substratum.

Shir Lamaalot - Psalm 121

This Song of Ascents used to be sung by Hebrew pilgrims climbing up towards Jerusalem. It is very popular with Israelis today hiking or not. The relation between Lamaholot & Lamaalot is too close to be coincidence.


Lembata is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, formerly known as Lomblen island; it is the largest island of the Solor Archipelago, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. It forms a separate regency of the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur. The length of the island is about 80 km from the Southwest to the Northeast and the width is about 30 km from the West to the East. It rises to a height of 1,533 metres.

To the west lie the other islands in the archipelago, most notably Solor and Adonara, and then the larger island of Flores. To the east is the Alor Strait, which separates this archipelago from the Alor Archipelago. To the south across the Savu Sea lies the island of Timor, while to the north the western branch of the Banda Sea separates it from Buton and the other islands of Southeast Sulawesi.

The people of Lembata are, like many other inhabitants of Eastern Indonesia, famous for their handmade ikat weavings.

The national language, Indonesian, is known by many people of all ages, but like on other islands the national language coexists with many local languages. The most widespread of these is probably Lamaholot (another lingua franca inside the Solor archipelago). Lamaholot is spoken as a native language on Eastern Flores and Western Solor, and is itself divided into ten or more sublanguages (and many more dialects). It is spoken by 150.000 or more people in the region.

On the South coast of Lembata, the village of Lamalera (pop. 2.500) is known for its whale hunting. Lamalera and Lamakera (on the neighbouring island of Solor) are the last two remaining Indonesian whaling communities.

Pantar people

A myth about the origins of the Pantar people is traced to the arrival of the ancestor from Java on Pantar, where he was treacherously left behind by his brother.

The Alorese speaking coastal-dwellers of Alor & Pantar are all followers of Islam. They have slowly formed from a mixture of Salayarese (Macassarese-Buginese), Solorese, Javanese & other people.

Alor–Pantar languages

The Alor–Pantar languages are a family of clearly related Papuan languages spoken on islands of the Alor archipelago near Timor in southern Indonesia. They may be most closely related to the non-Austronesian languages of western Timor, but this is not yet clear. A more distant relationship with the Trans–New Guinea languages of the Bomberai peninsula has been proposed based on pronominal evidence, but though often cited has never been firmly established.

The family is conventionally divided into two branches, centered on the islands of Alor and Pantar.
Alor branch: Kamang (Woisika), Abui, Adang–Kabola, Kafoa (Jafoo), Kui, Kelon
Pantar branch: Blagar, Tewa, Lamma, Nedebang, Retta

Tereweng is sometimes considered a separate language from Blagar, and Hamap sometimes separate from Adang. Abui, Kamang, and Kabola may also not be unitary languages.

The 15th edition of Ethnologue included Makasae as a third branch, but this is now known to be related instead to Oirata–Fataluku (Any relation with the Oirats of Russia?).

It has long been recognized that the Papuan languages of the Alor archipelago (including Alor and Pantar, as well as the four small islands of Buaya, Pura, Ternate, and Tereweng in the Pantar Strait) form a well-defined group. Apparent cognates among basic vocabulary are abundant, as demonstrated for example in Stokhof’s (1975) survey of basic vocabulary, and the shape of pronominal systems is almost identical across the group. The genetic relatedness of the Alor–Pantar languages has been confirmed through the reconstruction of the proto-Alor–Pantar language. Relationships between the Alor–Pantar languages and at least some (though perhaps not all) of the non-Austronesian languages of Timor Island may justify the positing of a Timor–Alor–Pantar language family, however the relationship between the AP group and the Timor languages is of a second order.

Based on an examination of possessive prefixes, Capell (1944) originally postulated that the AP languages were related to the West Papuan Phylum languages of North Maluku and the Bird’s Head of New Guinea. This hypothesis was later countered by Wurm et al. (1975), who classified these languages as members of the putative Trans–New Guinea Phylum. However, the authors offered little evidence for this classification and remained somewhat doubtful, noting, “whichever way they [the Timor–Alor–Pantar languages] are classified, they contain strong substratum elements of the other … phyla involved” (Wurm et al. 1975:318). Most recently, based on an analysis of pronominal shapes Ross (2005) assigns AP to his West Trans–New Guinea linkage, a subgroup of Trans–New Guinea. Yet Ross’ proposal requires that AP pronouns be derived from pTNG via a flip-flop in which second person pronouns trade places with third person. Compare pTNG *ŋga ‘2pro’ and *(y)a ‘3pro’ with Nedebang aŋ and gaŋ, respectively. Bottom-up reconstruction based on regular sound correspondences may shed further light on these issues.

Alas Batak people

The Alas people are an ethnic group that inhabits Southeast Aceh Regency, Aceh, Indonesia. They speak the Alas language, which is related to the Batak languages.

Traditional dance and musical instruments of the Alas people are such as:
Mesekat dance, Pelabat dance, Landok Alun dance, Tangis Dilo, Canang Situ, Canang Buluh, Genggong, Oloi-olio, Keketuk layakh

                                                                            Alas bride
The Alas people are also known to work on traditional crafts like:
Nemet (weaving of Rumbia leaves), Mbayu amak (Pandan mat), Bordir (customary attire), Blacksmith (Pisau Bekhemu, a traditional blade from Aceh Tenggara Regency). Blacksmith is a traditional Jewish proffession.

Traditional food of the Alas people includes: Manuk labakh, Ikan labakh, Puket Megaukh, Lepat bekhas, Gelame

Simalungun Batak people

The Simalungun people are an ethnic group in North Sumatra, considered one of the Batak peoples. Simalungun people live mostly in Simalungun Regency and the surrounding areas, including the city of Pematang Siantar, an autonomous city, but previously part of Simalungun Regency.

The Simalungun live in the 'Eastern Batak' lands, bordering the lands of the Batak Toba to the south and west, and the Batak Karo to the north. The Simalungun are considered to have more in common with their Karo than Toba neighbours, both groups having migrated from Toba and Pakpak in order to participate in trade.

The Simalungun language is spoken by many Simalungun people, in addition to Indonesian.

Total population 3,500,000 Regions with significant populations North Sumatra (3,000,000)

A Dutch researcher described Simalungun villages as consisting of houses built parallel to rivers, of wooden poles and palm leaves. Houses could accommodate a single family , or up to as many as twelve (in remembrance of the twelve tribes of Israel?). Villagers drove out spirits from the village by holding 'Robu Tabu', days on which the village would be decorated and outsiders excluded from the village.

Villages would bathe in a communal 'tapian', with water piped through bamboo tubes for bathing. The Simalungun also used bamboo tubes for carrying water back to the village. Religious ceremonies would often be held near the Tapian. 

The pounding of rice was an important activity, and the communal 'Losung', or riceblock was used for this activity, with a hole allocated for each family to use. A new losung would be cut from a tree trunk, and on an auspicious day decorated with flowers and transported into the village accompanied by music. A boy and girl dressed in ceremonial clothes would invest the new riceblock by throwing rice over it, and the villagers would sing songs.

The birth of a child was an auspicious occasion, and the dukun (midwife/witch doctor) was appointed to drive off spirits, and to cut the umbilical cord with a bamboo knife. The newborn baby would be swaddled and daubed with rice chewed by the dukun prior to the mother commencing breastfeeding. The placenta would be buried under the house and for seven nights a fire would be maintained to drive off spirits.

On the seventh day the child would be brought to the tapian (almost the very day the Israelites circumcized their children).

The pounding of rice was an important activity, and the communal 'Losung', or riceblock was used for this activity, with a hole allocated for each family to use. A new losung would be cut from a tree trunk, and on an auspicious day decorated with flowers and transported into the village accompanied by music. A boy and girl dressed in ceremonial clothes would invest the new riceblock by throwing rice over it, and the villagers would sing songs.

The birth of a child was an auspicious occasion, and the dukun (midwife/witch doctor) was appointed to drive off spirits, and to cut the umbilical cord with a bamboo knife. The newborn baby would be swaddled and daubed with rice chewed by the dukun prior to the mother commencing breastfeeding. The placenta would be buried under the house and for seven nights a fire would be maintained to drive off spirits.

On the seventh day the child would be brought to the tapian.

Gayonese Bataks

The Gayo people are an ethnic group living in the highlands of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Gayo means nice. The Gayo tribe has a population of 85,000 and they live predominantly in the mountains.

The Gayonese language has four dialects: Lut, Serbejadi-Lukup, Lut and Luwes. Their language does not have a writing system, but folk tales, stories and poetry are passed down in oral tradition. The traditional house of the Gayo is called Umah.

                                                           Tari Saman dance

After initial Dutch resistance, which many Gayonese and Dutch were killed, the Dutch occupied the area from 1904-1942. During this time, the Gayonese developed a thriving cash crop economy in vegetables and coffee. Since the Dutch colonization, the Gayonese have gained access to higher levels of education, and participated to some degree in the Islamization and modernization of their homeland.

The Gayonese practise a local form of Islam. It is worth mentioning that the first Sultan of Aceh Darussalam was a Gayonese: Sultan Johan Alam Syah bin Adi Genali. In ancient times, the Gayonese believed in good and bad spirits and in holy men, both dead and alive. They would regularly give ritual offerings and sacrifices to the spirits, to holy men, and to their ancestors.

Traditional cuisine: Masam Jaeng, Gutel, Lepat, Pulut Bekuah, Cecah, Pengat, Gegaloh

Angkola Batak people

Angkola (also known as Batak Angkola or Anakola) people are one of the sub-ethnic groups comprising the Batak people from North Sumatra who live in South Tapanuli regency. The Angkola language is similar to Mandailing language, but it is sociolinguistically distinct.

The name Angkola is believed to have originate from the Angkola river or Batang Angkola, which was named by an officer called Rajendra Kola (Angkola or city lord) who was passing through Padang Lawas and later came to power there. The southern (downstream) part of the Angkola river is called Angkola Jae, while the northern (upstream) part is called Angkola Julu.

The Angkola people practice patrilineal kinship, and the clans and surnames of Angkola people are based on the patrilineal system. 

Total population 1,142,000

Religion Islam (60%), Christianity (40%)

Angkola society strictly prohibits marriage between people with the same surname.

Kluet Batak people

Kluet or Kluwat people dwell in a number of districts in South Aceh Regency, Aceh, Indonesia namely North Kluet, South Kluet, Central Kluet and East Kluet. The Kluet regions are separated by Lawé Kluet River, where it disgorges from the Mount Leuser and disembogues into the Indian Ocean. Residential region of the Kluet people is 30 km from Tapaktuan city or 500 km from Banda Aceh. Majority of the population and as well as the Kluet people practices Islam.

During the colonial period, the Acehnese people are known to have had political influence on the coastal area that became known as Kluet kingdom. Therefore the Acehnese people also had cultural influence in the culture of the Kluet people to a certain degree, where the adat (customary) authority structure of the Kluet people are historically similar Farming is the main source of income for the Kluet people.

Total population 53,500


The morals and social behaviour are not governed by our European standards, but it would be a mistake to regard the culture is in any way primitive. There is no doubt that much of its past culture has deprecated because of events that have occurred since 1975, nevertheless there will be enough of the old culture left to open the eyes of all who see it. It is important to look below the surface and the gain the most from your visit to the island. The KUTUAS (wise old men like in ancient Israel) say, "Only those with their eyes open can see."

Much of my own Timorese cultural knowledge may be historic, and not applicable to present day East Timor, though the fundamental beliefs of the Animists in Mother Earth must still exist in the minds of everyone in what is a very complicated culture. It is always hard to discover the deep intrinsic beliefs and mores of any society. I hope when you leave East Timor you will come away with some of the understanding and admiration I have for these very caring and brave people.

Timorese are of three different racial groups. But because of a long history of intertribal marriage there are no distinct physical features among people except in language. There are 16 languages and between 34 and 36 dialects. The people living along the south coast are Polynesian in language and custom, while those living on the north coast are Melanesian. In the mountains there are people who can be described by their language as Aboriginals.

Timorese culture was oral (like the Jews), therefore it is only natural that the people had developed strong skills in story telling and in poetry which could be told by anyone. But the ultimate in the art were the LIA NA'IN (also NA'I LIA, literally meaning lord of words), who could without hesitation relate verse on any subject at great length straight out of their heads. There were a number of traditional patterns, but the most common was DADOLIN, where each verse was in two lines and each line was in two phrases. The first phrase of the second line repeated the meaning of the last phrase of the first verse but with different words. It was not uncommon for a skilled Lia Na'in to recite for hours, all of it verse that had never been heard until then. The actual words of the poetry rarely spoke on any subject with direct meanings. The true meanings were intended for people versed in the culture; e.g. reference to a blossom not yet in full bloom = a virgin; nectar tasted by many = a girl of easy virtue; fruit eaten before it was ripe = drought; things that move in the night = spirits; dreaming of riches = greed; to cry alone = loneliness, or deserted, and so on it went. The real art was to repeat the important points as often as necessary to drive into the mind the message that the poet thought was needed. It is also important to keep in mind the Timorese philosophy that everything has a balancing opposite, such as hot and cold, wet and dry, good and bad, up and down, sky and earth, etc. which were also included in the poetry to complicate the telling.

In times past marriage (like with the Jews marriage is a requirement for social improvement) was not entered upon lightly. Firstly the prospective groom would approach his parents for permission to marry. Then the elders would decide if the young man was a suitable candidate to become a full member of the clan, as only married men and women were allowed to enter fully into all the religious rites and secrets.

Slavery was an accepted way of life even in 1975. It was a very benign practice, but it still existed, even though it had been outlawed by the Portuguese. It was not uncommon for young boys and some girls to be sold into slavery. I personally know some young Timorese refugees who were slaves in Timor. Another way of describing the practice would be to say the ATAN (slave) was an unpaid servant, also called KREADO (nurse for a baby), who was not free to leave the family. Their masters were responsible for their welfare and usually the slave was treated humanely. It was not unusual for a slave to become part of the family to such a degree that on adulthood he married a daughter of the family.

Karo Batak people (Indonesia)

The Karo, or Karonese, are a people of the 'tanah Karo' (Karo lands) of North Sumatra and a small part of neighbouring Aceh. The Karo lands consist of Karo Regency, plus neighbouring areas in East Aceh Regency, Langkat Regency, Dairi Regency, Simalungun Regency and Deli Serdang Regency. In addition, the cities of Binjai and Medan, both bordered by Deli Serdang Regency, contain significant Karo populations, particularly in the Padang Bulan area of Medan. The town of Sibolangit, Deli Serdang Regency in the foothills on the road from Medan to Berastagi is also a significant Karo town.

In 1911, an agricultural project began at Berastagi, now the major town in Karoland, to grow European vegetables in the cooler temperatures. Berastagi is today the most prosperous part of Karoland, just one hour from Medan, while towns further in the interior suffer from lower incomes and limited access to healthcare.

The administrative centre of Karo Regency is Kabanjahe.

The Karo people speak the Karo language, a language related to, but not mutually intelligible with, other Batak languages, in addition to Indonesian. These Karo people are divided up into clans or Merga. The Karo Merga are Ginting, Karo-Karo, Perangin-Angin, Sembiring and Tarigan, these Merga are then divided up into families.

Karo people religion are mostly Christian, a religion brought to Sumatra in the 19th Century by missionaries, but an increasing number living away from the Karo Highlands have converted to Islam.

Karo people traditionally lived in shared longhouses, but very few now remain, and new construction is exclusively of modern designs.

Unlike the Toba Batak, who embraced Christianity fairly readily, the Karo continued to follow their traditional religion for several decades after the arrival of the first Christian missionaries in the Karolands.

Traditional Karo priest (the fact that the priest grows hair makes oneself remember the of Israelite nazarees)

Pemena itself no longer a uniting force in the Karoland, and with all Indonesians required to follow one of the religions of Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism and Buddhism, or risk writing 'without belief' on their identity card, the board members of BPAMSL met with a wealthy Indian man from Medan and determined that the traditional religion was in fact an expression of Indian Hinduism. Thus the Association of Karo Hinduism (PAHK) was proclaimed.

The PAHK declared 'Pemena is the same as Hinduism' and received funding from Medan Indians for their cause. PAHK became a movement within Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia, and as a culmination of this, in 1985 PAHK became a branch of the PHDI, PHDK. When Parisada Hindu Dharma Karo (PHDK) was established, it claimed 50,000 members, and 50,000 more sympathisers. The PHD built a Balinese-style temple in Tanjung, a Karo village to inaugurate the PHDK. In doing so it was stated that PHDI (i.e. Balinese) Hinduism was the only valid form, and in fact the Karo 'Hindu' ritual were invalid, the name change from 'Hindu Karo' to 'Hindu Dharma Karo' and the replacement of Tamil Indians on the PAHK board with Balinese on the PHDK symbolising the assertion of 'Hindu Dharma' as the 'valid' Hindu religion, with little regard paid to re-imagining Karo rituals within an Agama Hindu context.

Although the Gereja Batak Karo Protestan (GBKP) is the largest Karo church, with has 276,000 members (as of 2006) in 398 congregations with 196 pastors, there are also Catholic (33,000 members as of 1986) and several Pentecostalist denominations.

Pakpak Batak people

Pakpak or Pakpak Dairi people are one of the ethnic group of Batak people (hence also known as Batak Pakpak) found mainly in North Sumatra, Indonesia. They are scattered in a few regencies and cities in North Sumatra and Aceh, such as Dairi Regency, Pakpak Bharat Regency, Humbang Hasundutan Regency and Central Tapanuli Regency of North Sumatra, and also in Aceh Singkil Regency and Subulussalam, Aceh.

Total population 1,200,000

Religion Christianity (predominantly), Islam, Parmalim

Singkil Batak people

Singkil people are an ethnic group of people found in Aceh Singkil Regency and Subulussalam, Aceh province, Indonesia.

The customs and culture of the Singkil people are very different from the Pakpak people. This is because of the Singkil people practices Islam, whereas the majority of the Pakpak people practices Christianity. Apart from that the Singkil people have intermarried with the neighbouring ethnic group of people like Acehnese people and Minangkabau people.

The Singkil language is very similar to Pakpak language of North Sumatra.

Mandailing Batak people

The Mandailing is a traditional cultural group in Southeast Asia. They are found mainly in the northern section of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They came under the influence of the Kaum Padri who ruled the Minangkabau of Tanah Datar. As a result, the Mandailing were influenced by Muslim culture and converted to Islam. There are also a group of Mandailing in Malaysia, especially in the states of Selangor and Perak. They are closely related to the Angkola.

Total population 1,700,000

Regions with significant populations
Indonesia: North Sumatra (1,035,000) West Sumatra (214,000) Riau (210,000) Jakarta (80,000) Malaysia (30,000)

According to Tamboen's account (1952) the Mandailing, along with other sub-ethnic Batak groups are the descendants of one man by the name of Batak; who migrated to the south before the coming of the Portuguese and Dutch colonisation of Sumatra. Dutch colonization in Sumatra caused the Mandailing to be typecast as a sub-category of the Batak, as a 'wedge policy' to classify the communities and create typologies. It instilled the division of the Islamic nations by a non-Muslim belt, called 'Bataklanden' (Bataklands). The Mandailing were associated with the Toba Batak people instead of being recognized as a distinct ethnic minority. Consequently, the Mandailing people have been torn between two cultural and ethnic identities, namely Batak-Mandailing in Indonesia and Malay-Mandailing in Malaysia.

The Mandailing people are also known as the great travellers (just as the ancient Israelites) as more and more of the Mandailings are migrating to the various regions in the country as well as around the world. Many of the Mandailings are playing the important roles of the nation (they are prone to leadership just as the Jews). The Indonesian government considered the Mandailings as one of the main tribes in the country. Many Mandailings keep detailed family tree records as it has become the family tradition (this is very typical of Jews as well). It is reported that 98% of the Mandailing ethnic group are Muslim. There are approximately more than one hundred thousand Mandailings In Malaysia nowadays. Many of the Mandailings in Malaysia are visiting their ancestors in Mandailing Regency in Indonesia as it has been a tradition to keep the brotherhood and strong bond of unity among the Mandailings (their love fro their ancestors is very Jewish like as well).

The Mandailings are vey rich in language where they have good or smooth sounds. Therefore, the Mandailings are well known as the smooth people.

The Mandailing classic of daun ubi tumbuk or mashed tapioca leaves, lush with bunga kantan, lemongrass and coconut milk flavour is the most famous food among the Mandailings.

They have a traditional ensemble of drums called Gordang Sambilan.

The pelta

The pelta (also known as the "Amazon shield") is a crescent-shaped symbol characterized by two recesses at its upper edge. In mythology, it is associated with the Amazon warriors, who are portrayed in ancient artwork as carrying peltae into battle. This symbol became a popular form in Greco-Roman art, and its usage in mosaics and other kinds of artistry spread throughout the Hellenized and Roman world.

As a religious symbol, the pelta was adopted by Samaritan Christians of the first few centuries of the Common Era to represent their identity as distinct from the Jews, and perhaps to gain acceptance from their Roman overlords, since they were often persecuted. Remains of Samaritan buildings and graves evidence their use of the symbol. 

Today, the pelta is employed as a tribal emblem of the Isars, a Hebrew ethnoreligious group that claims partial descent from Christianized Samaritans of Dalmatia. They employ this symbol alongside the fleur-de-lis (and in place of the Star of David) as being representative of thier heritage and identity.

Isaric Culture 

Isars (pronounced "ee-sarz") comprise a Hebrew Christian ethno-religious subgroup characterized by a religious bond called, Ha Purshana Sharira ("The True Distinction"). While their genetic background is diverse, the maternal line of the group's founding clan is the defining Hebrew lineage, and has been genetically linked to ancient Indo-Iranian tribes of Central and Western Asia, where large numbers of Hebrews were exiled. Isars identify themselves as being related to both Jews and Samaritans. They practice a unique kind of Christianity that combines many different aspects of Christian Orthodoxy, Judaism, Samaritanism, Anabaptism, and Evangelicalism. Isaric identity is not defined solely by genetic background, but more so by a shared idealogy and Christian faith expressed in a uniquely Isaric way.

The culture that characterizes Isars is a unique mix of various American, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures. Isars do not perceive themselves as a racial category; on the contrary, the matters of race and color are irrelevant within Isaric culture. Despite their heavily mixed genes, Isars see themselves as a genuinely Hebrew people with legitimate descent from Hebrews exiled to Persia and the Caucasus, particularly from a transjordanian tribal group known as the Bnei Makir (sons of Machir), as well as from diaspora Samaritans of ancient Salona (Dalmatia). Unlike traditional Jewish culture, Isaric culture welcomes diversity, and encourages close relations and even intermarriage with Christians of other backgrounds in order to enrich their own culture, increase their numbers and their allies, and strengthen their people.

To date, the following ethnic groups/peoples are known to have contributed to the Isaric gene pool and culture: Arameans/Hebrews, Egyptians, Medo-Persians, Babylonian Kassites, Caucasians (Cimmerians/Scythians), Milesians, Sarmatians/Alans, Croatians, French (Franks), Swiss-Germans, Anglo-Saxons, Scotch-Irsh, Native Americans (Choctaw), Chinese (Hokkien and Hu Pek), and Peranakan Indonesians. Such inclusiveness has quite an effect upon the appearance and culture of Isars as a whole. Even still, their religious bond holds them together and serves as a foundation and constitution for their way of life.

Isaric Language
The Isaric language is a modern dialect of Aramaic based on the ancestral prayer language of Isaric theologian and scribe, Yaqob bar-Karoza. Its standardized form serves as a liturgical language for all Isars. As a liturgical language, Isaric is reserved for certain religious occasions and is used in various prayers and blessings. Even so, Isaric Aramaic words and phrases are commonly used in daily speech among Isars.

The lexicon of this dialect draws heavily from Classical Syriac, and, to a lesser extent, from various Jewish varieties of Aramaic, although loan words usually conform to Isaric derivational rules. There is a large number of Hebrew loan words, which cause Isaric to have more in common with Jewish Aramaic than other Christian dialects of Aramaic. The phonology of Isaric is unique among Semitic languages, and allowing it to be easily distinguished from Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, and other modern dialects of Aramaic.

Isaric Christianity

Isars are Hebrew Christians who practice a form of sabbatarianism that emphasizes Bible-based culture. Although they have many similarities with the Messianic Judaism movement, they are distinct therefrom, and do not advocate Judaizing or strict observance of the Torah. Isaric Christianity is unusual in that it exists within the context of other forms of Christianity. Isars may attend whatever churches they like, e.g., Baptist, Charismatic, Non-denominational, etc., as long as those churches do not practice infant baptism or sacramentalism, deny the Trinity, or promote unorthodox interpretations of Scripture. Despite their active participation in non-Isaric churches, Isars hold fast to their own beliefs and practices.

Isaric Christianity

Samaritans are not Jews, and most Jews consider them to be gentiles, even though Samaritans claim to be Israelites. The issue with the Isars is quite similiar. In the eyes of Jews, Isars are gentiles, but apparently the Isars think differently. Their position is not unlike the Samaritans in regard to ethnicity. They could be called "Messianic Samaritans". The Isar Makiris are the link between the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel in the West & the Jews.

Isaric Christianity flag

Isaric Christianity (essentially 'Neo-Samaritan Christianity') is a highly syncretic and contextualized form of Christianity practiced by ethno-religious Isars, a subgroup of Hebrew people with mixed descent from ancient Samaritans and various Israelite clans who intermarried with Indo-European and Asian populations. It is a non-Talmudic (or non-rabbinical) offshoot/branch of Hebrew Christianity, often described as a kind of modern day "Samaritan Christian" denomination. Its main representative body is the Isaric Christian Brotherhood. Isaric Christianity is exceptional in that it is intrinsically connected to Hebrew ethnicity and based upon an ethnoreligious bond called Ha Purshana Sharira (The True Distinction). It is thus a vehicle for promoting and perpetuating the Isaric brand of Hebrew culture, which includes learning and using the Isaric dialect of the Aramaic language. Practitioners of Isaric Christianity see their take on the Christian religion as restitutional and eclectic, and believe its emergence to be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Most Isaric activity is now focused in Surabaya, East Java, which is the ambassadorial seat of the Isaric Brotherhood.

Overview of the Isaric Christian Brotherhood
The Isaric Brotherhood is both a cultural and religious organization that emerged from the unique multicultural environment of southern Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, Plaquemines, and Acadiana, where old French and Spanish colonial cultures fused with German, Cajun, African, Jewish, and South Slavic cultures. It incorporates various elements from many different forms of Christianity and Judaism, including Oriental Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, Charismatic Christianity, Schwertler Anabaptism, Messianic Judaism, Karaite Judaism, Samaritanism, and even Germano-Celtic Christian mysticism.

          This Gallery deals with the Pelta Symbol which was researched by Dr. Ze'ev Goldmann.

Because Isars are not technically considered "Jewish" (since they descend from Samaritans) but are recognized as culturally and religiously "Hebrew," they have raised strong opposition to the popular opinion that the word "Hebrew" is synonymous with the word "Jewish." Isars emphasize that even within the first century, Hebrew Christianity existed in a non-Jewish form, practiced by Samaritans (mixed descendants of the northern tribes of Israel, mainly Ephraim, Manasseh, and Levi). They argue that Christ himself viewed Samaritans as Hebrews, and personally visited Samaritan villages to make disciples. Thus, in the eyes of Isaric Christians, there is biblical justification for a non-Jewish yet Hebrew Christian presence.

Isars consider themselves to be a subgroup of what they call "Naṭorin" or "Shòmrin" (Keepers)," i.e., a mixed Hebrew ethnic group which includes Samaritans and some Jews who descend from non-Jewish tribes, but excludes traditional Jews who are descended from Cohenim, Jewish Levites, and genuine "blood" Jews of the tribe of Judah. Isars identify with the biblical "Bnei Makir" (sons of Machir), and claim matrilineal descent from the eastern half of the tribe of Manasseh (Menasheh), as well as from other northern Israelite tribes, including the Samaritan diaspora of ancient Dalmatia. Northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria (Gilead and Bashan of the Bible), in addition to the historical Samaria, are considered by Isars to be sacred ancestral sites that they will return to someday.

Over the past few years, Isars have had a troubled relationship with the Messianic Jewish community because of perceived Judaizing, separatism, and elitism by Messianic Jews, and has criticized other non-Jewish Hebraic groups for seeking to be "Jewish." Consequentially, the Isaric Brotherhood has distanced itself from the Messianic Jewish Movement, and its members have instead remained actively involved in mainstream Christianity.


An adherent of Isaric Christianity is called an "Isar", which is an English term for the original Aramaic, "Isaraya", meaning "one who is of or characterized by a bond." The closest English equivalents of the term include "bondman" and "bondservant, " though "bondkeeper" is a more literal translation. In terms of ethnicity, Isars think of themselves as being Judaic in tradition and belief but not genetically Jewish. Instead, they are a unique kind of "other" category in terms of Hebrew identity, much like Samaritans.

The founding family of the Isaric Brotherhood is believed to have mixed descent from the ancient Samaritan diaspora of Dalmatia and an ancient Israelite tribal group called the "Bnei Makir" (sons of Machir). Though their heritage is mixed, they claim the biblical character Makir (Machir) as their primary ancestral forefather, and trace their lineage matrilineally back to Makiri (Machirite) exiles from the ancient territories of Gilead and Bashan.

All Isars who are of age must wear a traditional handmade tassel of white and blue thread called "tsutsy'tha" (tzitzit). On weekdays, usually only one tzitzit is worn, which is attached to the wearer's left side, tied around the belt or belt loop for convenience. This comes from a tradition that a single tzitzit should be placed beside a traditional dagger, or short blade, which should be affixed to an man's left side and worn during pilgrimages and certain ceremonies. On the Sabbath, four such tassels are worn, one attached to each corner of a four-cornered garment called a "tallitha", akin to the Jewish tallit. Isars do not use the large striped tallit (prayer shawl) with many fringes associated with Judaism, nor do they cover their heads with a kippah during worship, in accordance with the New Testament teaching of the Apostle Paul. However, Isaric women do cover their heads during services on the Sabbath.

While Isars are Christians, their pattern, or method, of worship bears a strong resemblance to both Karaite Jewish and Muslim worship practices, and, as such, differs significantly from other forms of Christian worship. For example, Isars keep four prayer 'offices' daily, two of which involve seven different prayer postures, e.g., prostration, bowing, and kneeling. They also rely upon the moon for the timing of their religious events. Additionally, Isars observe a seventh day 'shabbat' (sabbath), and celebrate the traditional Hebrew festivals outlined in Leviticus 23. However, the manner in which they keep these holy days differs substantially from Jewish observance. The Isaric liturgies for prayer offices and sabbaths are mainly in Isaric Aramaic, although certain components are in English or Indonesian. Most Isars attend other Christian churches on Sundays in order to remain a part of the broader Christian community, although they do not become official members or personnel thereof.

Relationship to Messianic Judaism
Isaric Christians are not Messianic Jews, and do not have any affiliation to Messianic Jewish organizations. This was not always the case, however. In his early years, Yaqob bar-Karoza, the founder of the Isaric Christian Brotherhood, participated in regular Messianic Jewish activities, and served as a representative and peace maker for a Christian association to the Jewish community of southern Louisiana. According to his own testimony, he was himself part of the Jewish community, and even regarded himself for a time to be a practicing Jew within the Christian Church. Over time, relations became strained, and Bar-Karoza's anti-Rabbinical and pro-Samaritan views led to a parting of ways.

Although Isaric Christianity and Messianic Judaism share many similarities, the two are quite different from one another, where the former has more influence from Karaism and Samaritanism, and the latter is directly influenced by Rabbinism. Three of Bar-Karoza's main ciriticisms of Messianic Judaism are (1) a prevailing sense of separatism in the movement, i.e., they neglect fellowship with the broader Christian Church, (2) a failure to go forth and evangelize, and (3) misplaced priorities (wrongly focusing upon the Torah and upon observance of the "letter of the law"). He also publicly criticized Messianic Judaism for its name, which he believed to place more emphasis on Jewish ethnicity than on being connected to the Christ. In his view, all followers of Christ, whether Jewish or Gentile, should call themselves Christians.

In The Testimony of Bar-Karoza concerning the True Distinction, Yaqob bar-Karoza writes indirectly concerning Messianic Jews:

Let it be known that I do not pretend to be someone I am not, like so many are in the habit of doing nowadays. Indeed, I parted ways with such people because of their blatant disregard for truth, And instead choose as my closest companions those who walk according to the spirit of the law, rather than by the letter, even though I myself privately observe many Mosaic traditions that are alien to them. These things I observe because of my bond and my calling, but I am not a slave to them, but a slave to Christ only. And I dare not tell Gentiles to keep the letter of the law unless they are first called by God to do so for some greater purpose, and unless they come forth asking for instruction concerning it; For there is a terrible judgment reserved for Judaizers and legalists, and for others who are like them.

On the contrary, I strive to be all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel,neither forsaking fellowship with non-Isars, nor elevating myself above them, But loving them with the love of Christ, showing them how to walk according to the Spirit, and teaching them the truth in a way that they can understand. After all, the spirit precedes and surpasses the letter; and, unlike the letter, it is transcendent, not being bound to any time or place or culture. (3:42-50)

Relationship to Islam and Judaism

A quick glance at the Isaric manner of prayer and dress might lead one to think that Isars are Muslims. Indeed, they even use a language (Aramaic) closely related to Arabic. The reason for this similarity is that Isars look to the Old Testament rather than to Christian or Jewish traditions as a model for prayer and dress. They argue that the similarities between Isars and Muslims are not merely coincidental, but exist because Muslims adopted authentic Abrahamic and early Christian practices. Isaric Christians live in the world's most populous Muslim nation, i.e., Indonesia, and thus far maintain peaceful relations with their Muslim neighbors. In his Testimony, Bar-Karoza wrote the following about the terms "Islam" and "Muslim":

                                                       Great Abrahamic religions

Consider the true meaning of Islam, and what it means to be a Muslim, setting aside all the lies and false connotations that have distorted what these terms originally denoted. What is Islam but to surrender to the God of Abraham, to believe in Him and worship Him alone, which all of us must certainly do. Thus I do not err in saying that I am a true Muslim, for I surrender to God daily and strive to do what is good, in accordance with what the Torah and the Gospel teach. (2:18-20)

So then why have we come to despise the term Islam, if it, in its truest sense, refers to the very way that we walk as Christians? Alas, Islam has been hijacked by a false gospel, preached by one who bore witness to a weak and wayward Christianity, and who, upon seeing such a pathetic religion, desired to rectify it. (2:25-26)

There is also significant similarity between Isars and Jews, e.g., each group wears a religious tassel (tzitzit) and 4-cornered garment (tallit) during prayer, though they have different customs regarding prayer itself. Isaric practices relating to sabbaths and festivals resemble those of Judaism simply because both groups adhere to biblical laws and have Hebrew descent. Apart from this, Isars are not involved in any form of Judaism, nor do they support a Jewish presence in the transjordanian regions of Syria or Jordan, including the Golan. Nevertheless, the Isaric ambassador has made efforts to reach out to Jews in Indonesia (and elsewhere) to preserve a sense of common heritage. In his Testimony, Bar-Karoza writes about the term "Jew": Though my walk may resemble that of a Jew, it differs considerably therefrom; Yet if I am called a Jew by those who are ignorant, I do not consider it an insult or an offense; For my Lord, even the Taheb is a Jew, and the anointing that is upon us all comes from Him who is the Anointed of God: the Lion of the tribe of Yehudah, the very Root of Dawid. (3:54-56)

Relationship to Samaritanism
Isars see themselves as a kindred group to Samaritans in Israel and Palestine, and even claim partial descent from Christianized Samaritans of the ancient Byzantine diaspora, specifically those who migrated from Greek and Roman provinces to port cities along the Dalmatian coast. The genealogy of the founding Isaric clan boasts two separate lineages descending from Dalmatian families who immigrated to America, one of which is claimed to be of Samaritan origin. Supporting this claim is the fact that archaeologists have uncovered a Samaritan presence in Salona (Dalmatia), Thessalonica, Delos, Rome, and other places around the Adriatic, evidenced by synagogue ruins and inscriptions, e.g., epitaphs. A very early Jewish presence has also been attested in ancient Dalmatia, as well as in nearby Roman ports, e.g., Ancona.

The prevailing perspective among Isars is that Samaritans constitute a true remnant of the northern tribes of Israel, and that some Samaritans in the first and second century AD made up a sizable Christian sect in the Holy Land that was genuinely Hebrew but non-Jewish. Isars thus compare themselves to the early Samaritan Christians, and use them as a biblical basis for the existence of Hebrew Christians who are both non-Jewish and non-Gentile, which Isars claim to be. Moreover, Isaric founder, Bar-Karoza, has publicly condemned and denounced past and present Jewish mistreatment and disregard of Samaritans. He also promulgates a belief that Isars in the East and Samaritans in the West will one day reunite and restore the glory of the ancient House of Israel. This perspective puts the Isaric Christian Brotherhood at odds with the Messianic Jewish movement and with many Gentiles who hold pro-Jewish/Israeli views.

Isaric Christianity is a modern Hebraic movement led by descendants of the ancient Byzantine Samaritan diaspora who now live in America and Indonesia. It came about from a merging of many different traditions and ideas via the intermarriage of various immigrant families along the American Gulf Coast. It emerged as a distinct entity in February of 2008 through the work of a Hebrew Christian minister known as Yaqob bar-Karoza, who had broken away from Messianic Judaism in December of 2007 in order to restore and preserve a Hebrew identity and culture separate from that of Jews. Bar-Karoza thought of himself as a kind of restitutionist, and in that thinking he wanted to restore both the Hebraic aspects of the Early Church and the Anabaptist principles of the Radical Reformation, and unite the two. He founded the Isaric Anabaptist Church in 2008, but after several years of prayer and reflection, he transitioned into a new, but related, endeavor.

In the spring of 2011, Bar-Karoza received what he described as a prophetic word from God; that "word" has become known as, Ha Purshana Sharira (The True Distinction). He included this word as part of a letter addressed to the "Keeper" (Samaritan) Diaspora, in which he writes that God desires the unity of Christians above all else, and that he, by the will of God, must go to Indonesia to live, minister, and begin working toward the restoration of the "House of Makir" and the Samaritan remnant. He then laid the foundation for what became the Isaric Christian Brotherhood.

In January of 2012, Yaqob Bar-Karoza left America for Surabaya, East Java, where he married his wife (a Chinese-Indonesian Charismatic Christian), and started laying the foundation for what will become the first Hebrew Christian community in Southeast Asia.

Identity and heritage
According to their own beliefs and legends, the founding Isaric clan has mixed descent from two groups of ancient Hebrew peoples: diasporic Samaritans (from lands west of the Jordan River) who settled in Salona (Dalmatia), and a mixed remnant population of the Bnei Makir (a transjordanian tribal group) who settled in the ancient kingdom of Colchis (the modern country of Georgia) after their exile from Israel by the Assyrians circa 720 BC. While this claim cannot be verified with absolute certainty, genetic testing has shed light upon the migration history of the Isars. Isaric ambassador and founder Yaqob Bar-Karoza belongs to mtDNA haplogroup W3a1, which is rare in Europe, but is relatively common throughout the Caucasus, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and parts of India. At least matrilineally, Isars do descend from ancient migrant peoples from the Middle East, likely of Iranian (Persian) origin.

Tribal flag of Makir, featuring the historical Samaritan Christian "pelta" shield emblem

If the claim of Isars is to be believed, then the Israelite ancestors of modern Isars merged with various peoples over the centuries, mostly of Indo-European and Asian stock. Some of them made their way from Central Asia into Europe, then to America, and finally to Indonesia, while others crossed the Indus into Asia and ended up in India. Descendants of those who went west identify as Bnei Makir, and descendants of those who went east identify as Bnei Menashe. To date, representatives of both groups have returned to Hebraic religious observance. Of the western group, most have converted to Catholicism or, more recently, to Protestantism, though some have turned to some form of Judaism or Eastern Christianity.

The term "Isar" did not become a self-designation for descendants of the Bnei Makir until 2008, when Yaqob bar-Karoza sought to distinguish his clan from the Jewish and Gentile majority in order to preserve their unique Hebrew identity. Prior to this point, he had been part of the general Jewish/Hebrew Christian community in the USA. After a series of disputes with other Jewish Christians concerning his family's claim to descend from a non-Jewish tribe of Israel, as well as their rejection of the Talmud and other Jewish customs, Bar-Karoza broke ties with his Jewish counterparts, and began emphasizing the distinctly Hebrew (but non-Jewish) identity of his clan. Part of his effort involved his family's relocation to Indonesia, where no significant Jewish or traditional Christian influence threatened the preservation of Isaric identity. Indonesia is now the only country that is home to a growing community of Isars who maintain a Hebraic practice and culture apart from any form of Judaism.

Language and liturgy
Isars use English and/or Indonesian for general (secular) communication, and to some extent in religious activities. However, the primary language used in their liturgy is Isaric, a dialect of Aramaic based upon the ancestral prayer language used by Yaqob bar-Karoza. While Isaric shares many features in common with other forms of Aramaic, its phonology, grammar, and lexicon are unique, and are easily distinguished as Isaric.

Isaric liturgy represents a mixture of traditions, including Jewish, Samaritan, and Christian, among others. The primary source of this liturgy is the Holy Bible, but some elements are taken from the writings and compilations of Isaric founder, Yaqob bar-Karoza.

Sacred Texts
There are two sets of Scripture that are sacred to Isars. The first is The Holy Bible, i.e., the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Bible, as used by Isars, excludes deuterocanonical books, and follows a slightly different arrangement and division of the standard Old and New Testament books.

The second set of Scripture that Isars hold as sacred is The Book of the Other (the word "Other" here refers to a second and lesser canon). This text is separated into two parts: the Isaric version of the Apocrypha and the Isaric Talmud. Eight books make up the Isaric version of the Apocrypha: the Book of Khanokh, Yosef and Asenath, the Testament of Moshe, the Assumption of Moshe, the Ascension of Yishayahu, the Letter of Barukh, Maccabees, and Bar Sira. Most of these texts are based upon Aramaic originals, but there are some minor variations that exist between the Isaric version and other versions in circulation.

The Isaric Talmud, which is unrelated to the Jewish Talmud, is comprised of four books: Illuminations, A History of the Bnei Makir, The Testimony of Bar-Karoza concerning the True Distinction, and The Temple Visions. All four of these works were written in English with an admixture of Aramaic by Isaric theologian and liturgist, Yaqob Bar-Karoza.

Calendar and holidays
Isars use a luni-solar calendar system that blends elements of the Persian Jalaali solar calendar and the Samaritan timeline with the biblical lunar calendar. Also incorporated into the Isaric calendar are variants of several traditional American holidays. Significant features of the calendar are as follows: a lunar year that is dependent upon the solar year, which commences at the vernal equinox; 12 solar months with Latin-based names; civil events are timed according to the solar year, while religious events are timed according to observations of the moon throughout the lunar year, which begins with the first New Moon (i.e., the first slither of a crescent) near the vernal equinox. The Gregorian year, 2013, corresponds to the Isaric year 3652, which is based upon the supposed timing of the Exodus, circa 1640 BCE.

There are seven major Isaric holidays, which correspond to the seven appointed times of the Hebrew God as listed in the Torah:

Pesakh (Passover). Matsah (Unleaved Bread). Yom HaBikkurim (Day of First Fruits). Shavuot (Weeks). Yom Teruah (Day of Sounding). Yom HaKippurim (Day of Atonement). Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Other Isaric holidays and celebrations include the following:

Lithanoth (Commemoration of Bath-Yifthakh). Yom-Purshana (Day of Distinction). The Ascension of Christ. Counting of the ‘Omer. Purim (Lots)]--recognized but not celebrated. Yawm-Iman (Day of our Mother—Memorial of Shaushanah). All Hallows Eve / All Saints Day. Thiabutha (The Fast of our Lord). Hanukkah.(Dedication)]--recognized but not celebrated. Advent / Epiphany (Isars celebrate Christmas as the coming of the Magi rather than the birth of Christ, which they celebrate during Sukkot). Simkhat Torah (Fulfillment of Liturgy)

Isars and Bible prophecy
Ever since the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948, various Christian groups have argued that other non-Jewish, Israelite tribes would be restored and would return to Israel in the future because of certain prophecies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. One such prophecy is the supposed 2,730 year punishment of Israelites who were exiled by Assyria. This prophecy is based upon the concept that the 390 years of Ezekiel 4:1-6 should be multiplied by 7 ("seven times" of Leviticus 26:14-46), which amounts to 2,730 years of punishment. If this prophecy were true, then the distinction and restoration of the descendants of those ancient Israelites should have commenced 2,730 years after the date of their exile and punishment (circa 722-719 B.C). The fulfillment of this prophecy should thus fall sometime between A.D. 2008 and 2011.

Isars believe that their separation and distinction from Jews and Gentiles, a process that began in 2008 and reached its completion in 2011 with the giving of the prophetic distinction, "Ha Purshana Sharira," is a literal fulfillment of this prophecy, and is evidence that their punishment and cursing is over, and that they are now being restored. While the timing and nature of these events do seem to fit the prophecy, there remains the question of whether this prophetic calculation is valid and if the Isar's interpretation of the numbers in these biblical accounts is accurate. However, this does not seem to affect the conviction of Isars, who see themselves as a living testament to the truth of biblical prophecy.

The Christology of Isaric Christianity more closely resembles that of Oriental Orthodoxy than it does the conception of Jesus held by Western Christendom. Isars are miaphysites, believing that Jesus has a single nature, wherein are mystically united a divine nature and a human nature. In addition to being non-Chalcedonian, Isars are considered by some to be non-Nicene, since they do not accept the Nicene Creed. They believe Jesus to be "perfect human" (or having all aspects of humanity), but not "truly human," since his innermost being was uncreated and divine.

In Isaric understanding, Jesus was a complete human, not lacking any part of humanity, yet, at his core, was a divine substance known as the Word. Through a process known as kenosis, the preincarnate Christ, i.e. the Word of God, emptied himself of his divine prosopon (outer manifestation or persona), and, by the work of the Holy Spirit, received in its place a perfect human person, known as Yeshua (Jesus). However, he retained his divine substance and essence, which sets him apart from "true humanity."

Foundational to Isaric Christianity is the belief in nirta, a concept derived from the Celtic principle of neart and bears a similarity to the Chinese principle of tao. Simply put, nirta is the outer power and glory of God; upon it, every created thing subsists. To Isars, it is the stuff of miracles and supernatural activity. By means of nirta, the Word of God created all things, and by means of the same, he communicates to that creation. Nirta is void of personhood, and is understood as an attribute of God, not as something created; as such, it cannot be separated from God.

The belief in nirta is not the only theological conviction of Isars that differs from traditional views of the Western Church. While Isaric Christians confess the Trinity, and believe in a resurrection, a second coming of Christ, and everything described in the Apostles’ Creed, they do not teach an eternity in heaven for the elect, but rather a kind of reincarnation, or a rebirth of the soul in a new body, on a new (or remade) earth. To Isars, this eschatological event is distinct from the promised resurrection of the righteous in this world, which, in Isaric thought, will take place during a future period known as the “Millennium” (the millennial kingdom of the Messiah on this earth).

Regarding a future rapture event, in which all believers are taken up into "the clouds" before a time of tribulation, Isars do not take a firm stance. They acknowledge that the Bible does contain information that points to a rapture-type event, but that the timing and nature of it cannot be determined in an absolute sense. The notion of “escapism” is not well received among Isaric Christians. In the Isaric mind, persecution, suffering, and martyrdom are essential to the Christian life, and have been realities for devoted followers of Christ throughout the ages. Thus, for Isaric Christians, any rapture that takes place will follow, not precede, a time of tribulation. However, Isaric theologian, Bar-Karoza, teaches something akin to a "pre-wrath" rapture perspective, i.e., that true believers will endure tribulation even to the end, but will be separated from the wicked before the full wrath of God falls upon the earth.

Isars believe that a great ingathering (or harvest) of the faithful will take place at the second coming of Christ, which will be carried out by angels. This harvest may or may not be connected to the rapture of all believers. The biblical evidence used to support this thinking is found in Matthew13:24-30 (Parable of the Wheat and the Tares), Matthew 24:29-31, and Revelation 19-20. Based upon the text, Bar-Karoza concluded that all the righteous, both the living and the dead, will be gathered and assembled in the presence of the Messiah at his return. There they will attend the “marriage supper of the lamb,” and then serve as priests and ministers for the duration of the Millennium. The content of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 was interpreted by Bar-Karoza as a general and vague reference to a rapture of the faithful, which may coincide with the great ingathering at the beginning of the Millennium, or take place before the final judgment at the end of the Millennium.

In regard to soteriology, Isars are non-sacramental, meaning that they hold a memorial view of the Eucharist, and they do not practice infant baptism, since they subscribe to the Judaic concept of an age of discernment and accountability. This does not mean, however, that they discount the Christian doctrine of original sin. On the contrary, original sin is central to Isaric understanding of the human condition, but it is preempted by the prevenient grace of God, which, in accordance with the Torah, allows every child the chance to choose between right and wrong without being condemned for their parents' sins. Isars hold many Wesleyan views on soteriology, but deny that righteous acts or sacraments are means of grace, believing instead that grace (both prevenient and saving) is an unmerited free gift from a loving God, given to all equally and without measure. Divine favor, on the other hand, can be won by the righteous through genuine acts of love and righteousness; with this come blessings and rewards both in this world and in the world to come.


The third interesting thing for the day  is meeting Jacob Moak after the church service. Jacob is a missionary worker from the U.S. who traces his lineage all the way from the tribe of Manasseh. Bible reading people, yes, you got it right, too. This is the honest-to-goodness tribe of Manasseh that we read as one of the 12 tribes of Israel!!! He can still speak a little Aramaic, practices some of their customs, and still wears the blue and white tassel that, if I am not mistaken, symbolizes belonging to the tribe!
Isar genetics

Asriel  = Isari  (Emodian mountains in Scythia, legendary place of sojourn of the Angles, Saxons, and Frisians),. Aorsi. Asriel was brother of Makir.

This article concerns the genetic background, diversity, and heritage of the Isars, a highly mixed ethnoreligious group. Isars comprise a small Hebrew Christian community made up of various genetic lineages, primarily of Indo-European and Asian origin. A person is either born an Isar or becomes one via conversion or marriage. While both the paternal and maternal lines are now used in the determination of Isaric descent, the maternal line of the founding clan is considered the key link to the Middle Eastern ancestors of Isars, tracing back over 2,700 years ago.

The maternal ancestors of the founding Isar clan are thought to have entered central Europe between the 3rd and 6th centuries CE as part of the Alanic/Sarmatian (therefore Israelite) migration westward (via Russia and Ukraine) into parts of Poland, Germany, and France from the Black Sea region. This is based upon oral tradition, written accounts, and genetics.  A descendent of this line--a woman by the name of Arviette Welhelm (a/e)n--is believed to have either immigrated to America (Pennsylvania) from Prussia during the first decade of the 19th century, or have been born in the 1790s to Prussian immigrants to America. She married a man named Jacob Quoit, and had a daughter named Elizabeth Ann. Elizabeth later moved to the Plaquemines region of Louisiana and married into the French Burat family. Most of her descendents have remained in Louisiana. They belong to mtDNA haplogroup W3a1, and exhibit the following HVR2 mutations: 709A, 750G, 1243C, 1406C, 1438G, 2706G, 3505G, 4769G, 5046A, 5460A, 7028T, 8251A, 8860G, 8994A, 11404G, 11674T, 11719A, 11947G, 12414C, 12705T, 13263G, 14766T, 15326G, 15784C, 15884C. Defining mutations of the Isaric ancestral mtDNA are at HVR2 sites 522-, 523-, and coding region 11404G.

Historically, Sarmatian peoples had settlements in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and France. Additionally, the nobility of both Prussia and Poland claimed descent from the Sarmatians. Isars, whose maternal ancestors were Prussian, maintain the claim of their forebears, i.e., that they descend from Indo-Iranian Alans and Sarmatians. The probability of genetic exchange between the ancient Germanic, Slavic, and Sarmatian peoples of Central and Eastern Europe is high considering the definite military contact and social interaction that occured.

Isaric legend and prophecy go even further by linking the founding Isaric clan to a Caucasian "horse people" called the Gemiri in the ancient Georgian state of Colchis, and to exiles of the Israelite tribe of Makir (East Manasseh). Their legendary ancestral matriarch is a half-Hebrew, Madaean prophetess named Shaushanah (AKA Atrapori) who dwelt in the Caucasus region in the seventh century BCE. The fact that Sarmatians and Medes were both Aryan peoples closely related to other Aryan tribes of Central and South Asia, and that haplogroup W is found among all of them in relatively high frequency, increases the strength of the Isars' claim to descend from such people.

In previous generations, Isars had close relational ties to the Hrvati, who are thought to be descendants of the ancient Harahvati of Persia. These Hrvats (called Croats by outsiders) are concentrated in what is now Dalmatia, as well as in parts of Germany, Switzerland, and the Plaquemines region of Louisiana, where many Dalmatians settled during the 19th century CE. Of the two Hrvatic lineages from which Isars descend, one has probable Samaritan origin, from individuals of the Samaritan diaspora in the Roman and Greek provinces along the Adriatic Sea. Other close genetic relatives of the Isars are found among the Kuki (of the Bnei Menashe), Sindhi, Kurds, Mazandarani, Pashtuns, Gujarati, Svani (subgroup of the Georgians), Volga Tatars, and descendants of early Indo-Iranian migrants who settled along the Danube and Rhine rivers of Europe. The genetic similiarity of all theses groups and the presence of haplogroup W in all of them supports a common Aryan origin for at least portions of their populations.

Their ancestry is consistent with the British Israelite beliefs of Israelite origin. Their relation with certain ethnic groups makes them Israelites according to the theories of  the scholar in Lost Israelites Eliyahu Avichail in of Kurds, Pashtuns, Kukis, Georgians...too. He's not the only one that considers Kurds, Pashtuns & Kukis as Israelites. There's a great consensus in it. I also suggested that the Mazandaranis, Gujaratis, Volga Tatars ...had Israelite origin because of their ancestors.

The paternal line of the Isaric founding clan belongs to YDNA haplgroup R1b1a2a1a1b (S116+), and is ethnically Helvetian (Swiss-German) American. Isars of this line descend from a Zurichite who immigrated to America (South Carolina) in 1740 CE. Descendants of this man subsequently spread out to various parts of the country. However, the branch of that family from which Isars descend pioneered the southwest region of Mississippi and remained there for nearly 200 years. Later intermarriage with descendants of the Bnei Makir and migration to the region of Acadiana led to their ethnogenesis as a unique Isaric people. Isars are now concentrated in East Java, where they have married into the local Chinese Indonesian community, and are working to preserve their Hebrew heritage.

Isaric Aramaic

Isaric (לשנא איסריא Lishana Isaraya) is a modern, semi-engineered (planned) dialect of Aramaic used as a liturgical standard by Isaric Christians. It began as a simple prayer language with no written form, used instead of Hebrew by an Isaric Christian minister named Yaqob Bar-Karoza. When Bar-Karoza founded the Isaric Christian Brotherhood, he expanded the dialect for use in liturgy, and began teaching it to his followers as well as others who showed interest in the dialect. His model of dialect construction/planning was based upon that used by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who pioneered the revival of Hebrew as a modern spoken language, as well as on the principles of language revival set forth by Israeli linguist and professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann. Compared to other modern dialects of Aramaic, Isaric is fairly conservative in its lexicon and grammar. Furthermore, it is reputed to be a "gateway dialect," which makes Aramaic accessible to people whose native language is written in a Latin-based script, and enables students of the language to easily learn other Aramaic dialects, e.g., Syriac and Babylonian Aramaic, and even related Semitic languages, e.g., Hebrew and Arabic.

The primary "engineer" of Isaric Aramaic, Yaqob Bar-Karoza, grew up learning and using Hebrew and some Aramaic, in addition to French and English, in religious contexts, particularly on Shabbat (the Hebrew Sabbath). At the age of twenty, Bar-Karoza began having visions and dreams in a unique form of Aramaic. Not long afterward, he began using the Aramaic language of his dreams in his personal prayers. While that language could easily be identified as a form of Aramaic by outside scholars, it has some features that are not found in other existing dialects.

A year later, several of Bar-Karoza's friends and followers showed interest in learning the language as a gateway to Hebrew and other forms of Aramaic, which prompted him to expand the lexicon and systematize the dialect's grammar. To do this, he gathered resources on Biblical Aramaic and Syriac, as well as on Neo-Assyrian Aramaic and Arabic. This began a long process of dialect construction, which has produced a liturgical languge valued and adopted by the Isaric Christian Brotherhood.

Isaric Ambassador (Ḁizgàda Ḁisaraya)

Yaqob bar-Karoza is the founder of the Isaric Christian Brotherhood, and serves as the Isaric ambassador. He also serves as the ràbbana (chief instructor) for the Isaric Assembly of Surabaya in Indonesia, which is now the ambassadorial seat. Yaqob grew up as part of a mixed Hebraic Christian family in the French cultural region of Louisiana in the USA. He holds three master's degrees: an M.Ed. from Liberty University, as well as an M.A. in Religion and a Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.) from Liberty Theological Seminary. In addition to his work with the Isaric Christian Brotherhood, Yaqob teaches English and counsels at an international Christian school in Surabaya. He is married to his wife Lydia, a native of Surabaya.

Isaric flag. Not to confuse with their ethnic Manassehite (from haMakir) flag

Role of the Ambassador

As the title itself implies, the ambassador of the Isaric Christian Brotherhood serves primarily a ceremonial and representational role in which he stands as an embodiment of the rich heritage and faith of the Isaric people. He does not directly handle matters of administration and management (although he does appoint those who do), but rather he officiates as the leading emissary and standard-bearer of the Isars, who guides, comforts, and reminds his people of their bond and commission. He alone has the right to bestow certain honors and make appointments of the highest order. His ministry is at its core a ministry of reconciliation, for he himself has been reconciled to God by Christ, and by the same unto Yisrael; thus now he has become a spokesman for such reconciliation, calling others to hear and be reconciled also.

What is an Isar?

An Isar is a Christian of mixed Hebrew and Gentile heritage who practices a unique form of Hebraic Christianity, distinct from Messianic Judaism, that blends the ancient with the modern. The word "Isar" is an English term that comes from the Aramaic word, "Isaraya", meaning "one who is of or characterized by a bond." Literal English translations of the term include "bondkeeper" and "bondservant." We belong to the broader ethnic group known as "Shamerim" in Hebrew and "Naṭorin" in Aramaic, both meaning 'Keepers' and refering to the historical Samaritan Israelites. While Isars may be considered "Judaic," since we accept Zion as God's chosen sanctuary and Yeshua as the Messiah/Taheb, we prefer to be described as "Isaric," "Hebrew," or "Hebraic," as this avoids Judeocentrism and old cultural stereotypes. Ancestrally, we are mixed descendants of northern Hebrew tribes who were cut off from the Mosaic covenant, some of whom were exiled from the Holy Land circa 720 BC by Sargon of Assyria, while others remained in Samaria. We claim descent from two distinct Israelite lineages: (1) from diaspora Samaritans of Byzantine Salona (Dalmatia), and (2) from the mixed remnant of Bnei Makir (sons of Machir).

     Our Samaritan ancestors migrated from Samaria, west of the Jordan, to the ancient Greco-Roman market town of Salona (part of the Roman province of Dalmatia) near modern Split, Croatia; our Makiri ancestors migrated from Persia (Iran), where they were exiled, to the Caucasus (Georgia), and to Europe (mainly Prussia, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, France, and Spain). These two lines converged in America (concentrated in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region), and have now spread to Indonesia. Our past participation in various Gentile and Jewish communities led to the near complete assimilation of our people and the loss of our heritage, but we are now making a major effort to restore and preserve our culture and language.

      Central to Isaric lifestyle is our ethno-religious code, or bond, called, Ha Purshana Sharira (The True Distinction), which defines us as a people and outlines for us how we are to live our lives. As regards denominational classification, the Isaric Brotherhood is unlike any other form of Christianity, and is outside the spectrum of Gentile Christendom. Our religious culture and practices resemble those of Judaism and Islam more than those of Christianity (or at least the kind of Christianity that is now considered the norm), yet we hold fast to the fundamental doctrines of traditional Christianity. We do not seek to change other churches, and we do not desire to have Gentile Christians join our brotherhood (unless God directs them to do so), rather, we want to work together with Christians of every order and way of life as equals to create a better world.

Bnei Makir 

The Bnei Makir (Hebrew: בני מכיר, "Children of Machir") are a subgroup of the Israelite tribe of Manasseh that settled on the eastern side of the Jordan River, just outside of Canaan. They are referenced twice in the Torah, in Genesis 20:53 and Numbers 32:39, as well as in Joshua 13:31 and 1 Chronicles 2:23. Their tribal territory extended from Mount Hermon in the north of Bashan to the southern boundary of Gilead. The founder of the Bnei Makir is the biblical character, Machir, son of Manasseh. Many Bible scholars believe that the Bnei Makir were culturally and linguistically different from their relatives who settled on the west of the Jordan, having strong influences from both Aramean and Egyptian peoples. The majority of the Bnei Makir were exiled by the Assyrians, circa 721 BC.

Isars and the Bnei Makir
Isaric Christians claim Makir as one of their Israelite ancestors, and they self-identify with the biblical Bnei Makir. Their founder, a Hebrew Christian minister named Yaqob Bar-Karoza (born Jacob Moak), is of mixed maternal ancestry (mainly Franko-Prussian and Dalmatian/Hrvat), and is said to have received a series of visions/dreams from God between 2003 and 2011 that detailed the history of his mother's ancestors, who reputedly descend directly from the Bnei Makir, as well as indirectly from diaspora Samaritans of ancient Salona. These visions were mostly in Aramaic, which Yaqob subsequently adopted as the language of prayer and liturgy for himself and his family. Bar-Karoza later broke ties with the Jewish community that he once belonged to, and began speaking out against rabbinism and the Judaizing of Hebrews of non-Jewish parentage, e.g., Samaritans, Isars, and Bnei Menashe.

According to Bar-Karoza's visions, a Machirite named Yimdod Bar-Ya'ar was exiled to the plains of Ellipi (north of modern Hamadan, Iran), where he married a Medo-Persian woman. This would have taken place sometime between 720-714 B.C. Their descendants migrated from Persia to the Caucasus, and then to Europe and finally to America. This line was perpetuated solely through women, that is, from mother to daughter, isolated and indistinct over the course of some 2,700 years, on account of a curse that would last for 100 generations. MtDNA test results indicate that Bar-Karoza's maternal ancestry is not native to Europe, coming instead from a haplogroup now mainly associated with Iran, the Caucasus, and parts of Asia. This Indo-Iranian genetic origin is consistent with that described by Bar-Karoza's visions.

While Isars claim descent from the eastern half of the tribe of Manasseh, and sometimes refer to themselves as "Bayth Makir" (House of Makir), they do not limit their hertiage to Makir alone. Rather, much like Jews who have absorbed other tribes, e.g., Levi, Benjamin, Simeon, etc., Isars believe that they too are an amalgamation of the transjordanian tribes (Machir, Gad, and Reuben), and have admixture from Israelites who were west of the Jordan river, specifically from the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun, as well as from later Samaritans who migrated to coastal cities along the Adriatic Sea. In this sense, Isars are simply mixed Hebrews of non-Jewish descent.

The story of the Isars has many parallels with the story of the Bnei Menashe in India. Both groups have founders who claimed to have received visions from God about their Hebrew ancestry, and both claim descent from the tribe of Manasseh, although from different populations (Bnei Menashe from West Manasseh and Isars from East Manasseh). Although the two groups previously practiced similar forms of Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity, they took very different paths. The Bnei Menashe converted to Orthodox Judaism and began moving to the land of Israel, while the Isars formed their own branch of Hebrew Christianity, breaking ties with the Jewish community in America; they then relocated to Indonesia, and forged long-distance relationships with Samaritans in Israel.

Isars constitute the newest ethnic minority in Indonesia. Currently, the descent claims of Isaric Christians are accepted by a number of Jews and Christians in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and by some people in the USA, but are not yet officially recognized by any Jewish or Christian organizations in the West, though some have taken an interest in their story. Additionally, they have reached out to Samaritans of Holon, Israel, some of whom have considered a diaspora Samaritan origin for the Isars a likely possibility.

A Legendary History in Witihama, Eastern Adonara, Indonesia: An Enduring Context for Disagreement

An anthropological literature dealing with conflict such as has afflicted Indonesia in recent years is beginning to emerge. The present article is one of a series dealing with different incidents and forms of conflict and violence in a region of eastern Indonesia. It furthers a discussion on contested claims for precedence. Such claims in Indonesia are often made by means of legends of origin. Descent groups claiming outside origin may, nevertheless, demand political power from those claiming to be autochthonous. The latter may or not concede those functions to others, but they commonly assert a mystical authority based on local origin. In Witihama, eastern Adonara, two branches of Lama Tokan clan dispute their relative status. One, which has long provided political leadership, claims to have originated in the Moluccas. The other, which attempts to preserve its mystical authority, deems itself to have originated at the top of the Boleng volcano, but its autochthonous origin is disputed by others. This particular dispute has parallels elsewhere. Unlike other incidents in the past, it seems both peaceable and permanent.

Indonesia has been afflicted by many forms of conflict and violence over the past several years. Conflicts in West Papua, the Moluccas, East Timor, West Kalimantan, the Jakarta riots attendant on the fall of Suharto, and the Bali bombing have attracted international attention. Many other incidents have received only local coverage. An anthropological literature on such conflict is beginning to emerge. What is plain in this literature is that, as might be expected, not all conflicts are the same. In an introduction to a recent special issue on conflict in Indonesia, Bubandt and Molnar (2004: ii) have called for “studies that are ethnographically thick and theoretically sophisticated enough to capture the many levels and complicated processes involved in the production of violent conflict.” They have argued that “studying conflict and violence ought to be no different from studying cultural and political processes in ‘ordinary’ situations.”

I have published recently several articles dealing with aspects of conflict in eastern Indonesia. In 1950-51, there was a local communist uprising in Witihama, Adonara, with tragic results and, in 1965, several people from the region were caught up in the aftermath of the attempted coup of 1965 in Jakarta, which the army blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party and which eventuated in the fall of Sukarno and the rise of Suharto (Barnes 2003). Elsewhere I dealt with a colonial war of consolidation on Adonara in 1904 (Barnes 2005a) and with a violent incident in 1934 relating to an ancient, mythologically grounded, division within the local linguistic area (Barnes 2005c). In this article, I want to look at another, and at present more peaceful, form of conflict in Witihama. This one is not related to the immediate national and local historical circumstances that explain the other incidents, but is about a permanent and culturally grounded disagreement and agreement to disagree. As Aoki (2004: 77) has observed, despite the many bloody incidents in Indonesia, most people continue to lead their lives peacefully.

Indonesia is an island nation whose population necessarily must have come from outside the region (Bellwood 1997). Nevertheless, many Indonesians maintain the tradition that their ancestors originated on the island where they live at present. Others, by contrast, have explicit traditions that their ancestors traveled to their current home from elsewhere. Both patterns play prominent roles in the local politics of Witihama, a sub-district of northeast Adonara in eastern Indonesia. Such population movements did not automatically lead to harmonious relationships between established populations and newcomers. In particular, they often resulted in long-lasting disputes about relative status. In this article, I wish to present examples of such disagreements expressed through myths and legendary histories of eastern Adonara.

Malinowski observed that, in Trobriand myths of origin, “the very foundation of such mythology is flagrantly violated.”

This violation always takes place when the local claims of an autochthonous clan, i.e., a clan which has emerged on the spot, are overridden by an immigrant clan. Then a conflict of principles is created, for obviously the principle that land and authority belong to those who are literally born out of it does not leave room for any newcomers. On the other hand, members of a subclan of high rank who choose to settle down in a new locality cannot very well be resisted by the autochthons […]. The result is that there come into existence a special class of mythological stories which justify and account for the anomalous state of affairs. (Malinowski 1926: 44-45.)

Concerning Kachin myths, Leach commented that they may be recounted in order “to justify a quarrel” and that myth “is a language of argument” (Leach 1964: 265, 278). I have found both of these points confirmed elsewhere (Barnes 1996: 55-61), and indeed I think that it is characteristic, at least, of Austronesian language cultures. Although what I wish to demonstrate is not original, I think it sufficiently important to justify being done again.

In eastern Indonesia, the distinction between coastal peoples and peoples of the interior is strongly marked in popular imagination.1 In his early survey of the peoples of the Solor and Alor archipelagos, Van Lynden (1851: 321) distinguished easily between the economic activities of the shore dwellers and those of the mountain residents. According to the Koloniaal Verslag for 1875, in the Solor and Alor islands the mountain peoples claimed to be the original inhabitants, while the coastal peoples were of different origin and in some places spoke different languages (Koloniaal Verslag 1875: 27). The Catholic missionary Aernsbergen (1909: 262) wrote that the opposition between coastal people (orang pantai) and mountain people (orang gunung) was so deeply rooted that when a new missionary arrived, people wanted to know whether he was from the coast or from the mountains. Thus, someone from flat North Brabant counted as a mountain dweller, although hitherto he may have seen nothing higher than a mole hill. An inherited enmity between the mountain peoples and the coastal peoples was accompanied by difference in language and religion. The coastal peoples were Christian and civilized, while the mountain people were heathens, savage, and stupid. The relative association with civilization or its absence is a cliché that today retains currency locally. Ernst Vatter, who conducted research in the region in 1928 and 1929, named his book Ata Kiwan: Unbekannte Bergvölker im Tropischen Holland. Like Malay orang gunung, the Lamaholot phrase ata kiwan translates as “mountain peoples” (Vatter 1932: 30). In fact, Lamaholot kiwã means either “mountain region” or “the interior”

This opposition between peoples of the shore and those of the interior not only is a very prominent collective representation, today as well as in the past, but it also provides a very good, indeed an essential, starting point for understanding the social geography of the islands. It fits closely the present circumstances in East Flores, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, and Alor (see Fig. 1). On Adonara, however, things are not quite so simple. There are many coastal communities on Adonara engaging in fishing, trade, and small scale manufacturing, among them three of the Muslim former principalities that made up the alliance of the “five shores” or watan léma (Barnes 2001: 275-276), namely the villages of Adonara, Terong, and Lamahala (see Fig. 2). The various clans in these communities almost exclusively represent themselves as deriving from outside. The majority of people living in the interior, however, also claim to have come from outside. Guru Thomas Silimado Lamablawa, a retired school teacher, be it noted, once commented to me that the ancestors of these groups may once have been seafarers who were driven to agricultural occupations when the Dutch imposed their monopoly on inter-island trade.

As with other eastern Indonesian peoples, one of the principal cultural considerations on Adonara, therefore, is the question of ancestral origins (see Fox 1996a: 5-9, 1996b). Often, those groups that claim an outside origin establish their history by reference to a series of toponyms where their ancestors formerly lived during their journeys before reaching the island, or during their moves on the island itself, a pattern for which Fox (1997: 91) has coined the phrase topogeny. These stories often buttress claims to precedence, and indeed may be used in defense of contested status. Political authority typically lies in the hands of groups of outside origin, whereas mystical authority is claimed by those who deem themselves truly autochthonous. A commonplace pattern is found in legends in which a group, characteristically refugees, arrives at some place along the coast, is invited to come ashore, and either is offered political power or claims that its members were used to exercising power in their homeland and demand it there as a condition of settling.

For discussing contesting views of this kind, Fox (1994: 95-97) has selected the term precedence, which he contrasts to hierarchy as conceived by Dumont. Dumont defines his conception of hierarchy as “the principle by which the elements of the whole are ranked in relation to the whole.” It is a relation between the encompassed and the contrary. Within this whole, levels are brought about by distinctions or oppositions and they may be defined by reversals. For Indian castes, there is a single model defined by the valued opposition of purity and impurity (Dumont 1980: 80, 239-240, 241; Barnes 1985: 9-10). For Fox, precedence may be expressed by a variety of oppositions, and there is no single model, at least in Austronesian societies. “Within the same society, there may be different forms of precedence in different contexts, based on different categories, or possibly even on a differential valuation of different systems of categories” (Fox 1994: 99).

Rarely is precedence argued for in terms of a single opposition; nor is it necessarily applied systematically. Precedence is usually contended. It is multi-valued, since it may rely on a variety of oppositions to define it. It can also involve the reversal of underlying oppositions. As a result, precedence can be used to create hierarchies, to dispute them, or simply to undermine their creation (Fox 1994: 106).

Adonara is situated in East Flores Regency in the Province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia (see Fig. 2), the poorest province in Indonesia. In 1999, Adonara had a population of 87,061 out of a total of 192,296 for the regency as a whole (Badan Pusat Statistik 2000a: 26). The per capita income of East Adonara in 1999 is reported to have been ca. $105 and the gross domestic product for that district ca. $6,450 (Badan Pusat Statistik 2000b: 25, 120).

Eastern Adonara is reasonably homogenous from the point of view of language and culture. There are small settlements of Bajau Laut on the coast at Sagu, Meko, and Wai Wuring. They speak Butonese, but they also speak the Lamaholot language of the majority population. There are important class distinctions (largely suppressed in public expression, but still present). All clans are patrilineal. The clans, of course, are interlinked by marriage. The population is also divided by religion. About two thirds of the population of east Adonara are Catholics, the remaining third Muslims. Witihama itself contains 9,236 Catholics and 3,400 Muslims. The Catholics and Muslims are related, and the large clans contain both Catholics and Muslims. Catholics and Muslims inter-marry. The principal livelihood in the area is drawn from agriculture, producing both subsistence and cash crops. There are, however, some wage-paying occupations for school teachers and medical staff. A very important contribution to the economy derives from those who have migrated to other parts of Indonesia and to Malaysia to seek wage labor (Barnes 2004a).

The religious division does not closely coincide with any of the other divisions within the community. In fact, the two religions provide each other with a degree of mutual support and solidarity, both because of close family and marriage ties and because they want to avoid the kinds of sectarian strife that have marred conditions elsewhere in Indonesia (Barnes 2004b: 45, 2004c: 42). Islam has been present to some extent since before the sixteenth century, and Catholicism entered early in that century. However, conversions to these religions in any numbers in Witihama only began in the early twentieth century. Mass conversions to one or the other of the religions was a consequence of the pressures that the Indonesian government put on the population following the attempted coup by disgruntled army officers sympathetic to the Indonesian Communist Party on September 30, 1965, and the subsequent government-condoned massacre of hundreds of thousands of alleged communists. A not insubstantial number of such persons (33) was taken from Witihama and executed, adding to the rumored 700 murdered by the army in all of the East Flores regency in 1966 (Barnes 2003: 21-23).

During fourteen months in 2000 and 2001, I conducted field research in the sub-district of Witihama in eastern Adonara. My intention was to investigate regional and inter-regional economic and political ties, both in the present and in the past. I had conducted intensive research in two previous nearby locations about which I had published books (Barnes 1974, 1996), both on the island of Lembata, just to the east of Adonara. The first study was in Leuwayang, Kédang, about 32 miles from Witihama as the crow flies. The second was in Lamalera, some 21 miles away by direct line. Despite this closeness, travel between these locations by boat and road requires many hours or even days.

I picked Witihama for two reasons. Having done two village studies, I wanted to take a more regional view. With a population of 12,000 and 13 official villages (desa), Witihama seemed a promising location. Perhaps more important was that I was invited to stay with the family of Mentri Titus Lamablawa, head of the polyclinic in Honihama, one of the constituent villages of Witihama. Our two families had known each other for 21 years by the time I arrived, since my first extended field research in Lamalera in 1979, where he was then stationed, and we had kept in touch. He opened doors for me throughout east and even west Adonara, exploiting his extensive contacts that derived from previous postings in the medical service. Largely through his agency, I was able to make considerable progress toward my goals over a wide range of the island.

The Arakian might be related to the Rakhine people also known as Arakanese people of Burma that not by chance are neighboring the Kukish (Israelites).

The disagreement between the two versions of Lama Tokan is only one example of many on Adonara. Oral history indicates a past in which there were frequent wars and shifting alliances, with in some cases whole villages being overrun and exterminated. This pattern continued into the latter half of the twentieth century. An important example of such wars is the Hongi Hinga of 1904, as a result of which, among others things, Hinga was defeated and the raja of Larantuka deposed (see Barnes 2005a). Alliances could extend far beyond Adonara. The Muslim rajas of Adonara and Solor maintained political and military ties with Muslim rajas of Pantar and Alor and called upon them for military assistance on occasion (Barnes 2001: 277-278). During the nineteenth century and presumably before then as well, they also called on help by warriors from the Amfoan district of the northwest coast of Timor. These, in local eyes, daunting and savage head hunters were generally effective in these interventions until the Dutch finally prevented their being used in this way.

Wars also took place within clans, splitting them up. The leader of Goran Tokan made war against an uncle towards the end of the nineteenth century because the uncle’s son committed adultery with the leader’s wife. The head of Witihama won, causing a portion of his own clan and of an allied clan to flee to Hinga, where they eventually joined with Hinga in the war of 1904, while Witihama sided with the raja of Adonara. A similar split occurred in 1950 and 1951, when a man from the present Goran Tokan clan led a communist uprising near Witihama and attempted to kill his close relative and clan mate, the head of Witihama, among other leaders (Barnes 2003). It was only after the mass killings following the attempted coup d’état in Jakarta in September 1965 and the strong intervention of the military that these forms of unrest were largely suppressed.

In any event, the picture that can be derived from such history of the island as can be recovered is one of near permanent instability, in which alliances sometimes crumbled and enemies sometimes became allies. As a result, clan histories usually indicate considerable geographical movement on the island and outside of it. There is evidence as well of the expulsion of indigenous, possibly autochthonous, peoples in various places, for example, the clan Lama Taqung, which fled the village of Adonara after the raja of Adonara was murdered in 1850. The wholesale annihilation of whole villages is rare, but has occurred. A small war involving two deaths and the burning of houses even took place on the south slope of the Boleng volcano in 2000, but this sort of event, although reminiscent of the past, has been fairly rare in recent decades. Compared with its past, today Adonara is reasonably peaceful and calm, and such rivalry as I witnessed was confined to local politicking. The two Lama Tokan groups seem to have established a stable standoff, without any threat of mutual annihilation, their contest over relative status now being confined to disputes focused on arguments over precedence. Furthermore, this contest is not expressed solely through a variety of symbolic oppositions, but also through active political maneuvering, such as the building of the new village temple.


The name Bali might come from Baali, meaning "People from Baal", following the same pattern as Balti, Israeli, Iraqi, Yemeni...that are names with the suffix "i", meaning in Semitic & other languages from or of. Baalim is the plural of Baal & Baal's idol statues.

The Balinese (or should we say Baali?) might be the offspring of Israelites that were part of the Israelite communities in India, taking the Hindu religion with them. I'm not denying that proper Indians came to Baali as well, but some may have come along or maybe before the Indians there was an Israelite community that name this island. Indonesia is mostly Muslim except for several Christian islands & Bali which practices a peculiar form of Hinduism.

The Balinese temple has a holier area similar to the Israelite Holy of Holies. They have temples in several locations, but the mountains are considered the dwelling real of the gods as in olden Israel.

Bali may also refer to the next places:

Bali, Cameroon, a city in West Africa. Bali, Ethiopia, a region in south-eastern Ethiopia. Bali, Nigeria, a Local Government Area in Taraba State, Bali, Rajasthan, a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Bali (Rajasthan Assembly constituency), Bali, Iran, a village in Kermanshah Province, Iran, Bali, Sarpol-e Zahab, a village in Kermanshah Province, Iran, Bali District, a district of New Taipei in the Republic of China (Taiwan), Bali Sea, north of the island of Bali, Bali Strait, between the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java, Bali, alternative name for Unea or Uneapa island in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Bhutan, a village.

Bali may also refer to the next places & peoples:

Bali (also known as Bibaali, Maya, Abaali, Ibaale, or Ibaali) is a Niger–Congo language spoken by 100,000 people (as of 2006) in Demsa, Adamawa, Nigeria. Uneapa (often called "Bali") is an Oceanic language spoken by about 10,000 people on the small island of Bali (Uneapa), north of West New Britain in Papua New Guinea. It is perhaps a dialect of neighboring Vitu. Bali (Kibali, Libaali) is a Bantu language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is not close to other Bantu languages. East Teke is a member of the Teke dialect continuum of the Congolese plateau. The dialects Mosieno and Ŋee (Esingee) may constitute a separate language from Tio (Teo, Tyo) aka Bali (Ibali) (Teke proper), Bali, Greece, a populated place.

Bali is a last name found in India & Nigeria also.

The extension of this name as a toponym, last name, demon... might have Israelite origin. The pagan Israel worshipped the Middle Eastern god Baal & they might have taken everywhere they went.

Dani people

Dani is Danite in Hebrew so I guess they are Danites. Insulindia has many Israelite claims so I would say the Danis must so too.

The Dani people, also spelled Ndani, and sometimes conflated with the Lani group to the west, are a people from the central highlands of western New Guinea (the Indonesian province of Papua).

They are one of the most populous tribes in the highlands, and are found spread out through the highlands. The Dani are one of the most well-known ethnic groups in Papua, due to the relatively numerous tourists who visit the Baliem Valley area where they predominate. "Ndani" is the name given to the Baliem Valley people by the Moni people, and, while they don't call themselves Dani, they have been known as such since the 1926 Smithsonian Institution-Dutch Colonial Government expedition to New Guinea under Matthew Stirling who visited the Moni.

Total population: Approximately 25,000 (2009)

Linguists identify at least four sub-groupings of Dani languages:

Lower-Grand Valley Dani (20,000 speakers)
Mid-Grand Valley Dani (50,000 speakers)
Upper-Grand Valley Dani (20,000 speakers)
and the Lani or Western Dani (180,000 speakers)

The Dani languages differentiate only two basic colours, mili for cool/dark shades such as blue, green, and black, and mola for warm/light colours such as red, yellow, and white. This trait makes it an interesting field of research for language psychologists, e.g. Eleanor Rosch, eager to know whether there is a link between way of thought and language.

A small fringe group of the Dani, living south of Puncak Trikora and presenting themselves as the Pesegem and the Horip tribes, were met on October 29, 1909, by the Second South New Guinea Expedition led by Hendrikus Albertus Lorentz, who stayed several nights in their village. First contact with the populous Western Dani was made in October 1920 during the Central New Guinea Expedition, which group of explorers stayed for six weeks with them at their farms in the upper Swart River Valley (now Toli Valley). The Grand Valley Dani were only sighted in the summer of 1938 from an airplane by Richard Archbold.

Sweet potatoes are important in their local culture, being the most important tool used in bartering, especially in dowries. Likewise pigs feasts are extremely important to celebrate events communally; the success of a feast, and that of a village big man (man of influence) or organiser, is often gauged by the number of pigs slaughtered.

The Dani use an earth oven method of cooking pig and their staple crops such as sweet potato, banana, and cassava. They heat some stones in a fire until they are extremely hot, then wrap cuts of meat and pieces of sweet potato or banana inside banana leaves. The food package is then lowered into a pit which has been lined with some of the hot stones described above, the remaining hot stones are then placed on top, and the pit is covered in grass and a cover to keep steam in. After a couple of hours the pit is opened and the food removed and eaten. Pigs are too valuable to be served regularly, and are reserved for special occasions only.

Ritual small-scale warfare between rival villages is integral to traditional Dani culture, with much time spent preparing weapons and treating any resulting injuries. Typically the emphasis in battle is to insult the enemy and wound or kill token victims, as opposed to capturing territory or property or vanquishing the enemy village.

Changes in the Dani way of life over the past century are tied to the encroachment of modernity and globalization, despite tourist brochures describing trekking in the highlands with people from the 'stone age'. Observers have noted that pro-independence and anti-Indonesian sentiment tends to run higher in highland areas than for other areas of Papua. There are cases of abuses where Dani and other Papuans have been shot and/or imprisoned trying to raise the flag of West Papua, the Morning Star

In 1961, as a member of the Harvard-Peabody study, filmmaker Robert Gardner began recording the Dani of the Baliem River Valley. In 1965, he created the film Dead Birds from this experience. Gardner emphasizes the themes of death and people-as-birds in Dani culture. "Dead birds" or "dead men" are terms the Dani use for the weapons and ornaments taken from the enemy during battle (wim). These trophies are displayed during the two day dance of victory (edai) after an enemy is killed.

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