The history of the Minangkabau name has a unique legend associated with it and it's about how a Minangkabau prince and a neighboring nation had a dispute over land. Instead of going to war and destroying each other the two princes decided to settle the dispute with two fighting water buffaloes. The prince of the neighboring nation raised their buffalo to be a mean and ruthless beast ready for destruction. The Minangkabau decided to take a baby buffalo and sharpen its horns like knives. When the two animals were released to fight one another the older water buffalo didn't pay the kid buffalo any mind. The baby buffalo killed its elder because it shoved its horns into its underbelly while searching for some milk.
This legend suggest a way that the Minangkabau might have obtained their name and it also shows the intelligence, cunning, and wisdom of this Indonesian people. The name is derived from minang (or victorious) and kabau (or buffalo). There are close to 5.5 million people who are of Minangkabau heritage and they reside in the Middle East in places such as Java, Sumatra, and Riau.
The Minangkabau people are highly educated and many of them are dominate the educated classes of people in Indonesia. This is because they place such an emphasis on learning. They also enjoy middle and higher class lifestyles compared with other peoples in the region. Poverty exists for some of the Minangkabau but it's not common.
There society is matrilineal and they pass property down from mother to daughter. Women hold a great deal of power within their culture. Men dominate the religious and political institutions. The Minangkabau people are also strongly Islamic worshippers and they lived in the fertile and rich resource lands of Sumatra. Some of the population still worships their traditional animist beliefs.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document