The Lintang of Indonesia
The Pasemah probably originated in coastal Borneo and spread to Sumatra and the Pasemah Peninsula as a result of their trading and seafaring lifestyle. Their culture has been strongly influenced by other peoples, such as the Siamese, the Javanese, and the Sumatrans. Lintang communities first expanded along the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range. Their political center, Pagar Alam ("nature's fortress"), was designed to protect the Pasemah from their more aggressive neighbors, the Rejang. Today, the Indonesian government has designated the city of Lahat as the capital of the district. Large communities of Lintang are located westward to the city of Muaraenim.
What are their lives like?
Farming is the primary occupation of the Lintang, with about 80% of all employment being in agriculture. Rubber is the main cash crop, but coffee and rice are also grown. Wet-rice plots are worked by hoeing, or by plowing with oxen or water buffalo. Planting and harvesting are usually done by either hired work groups or by the extended family members. Farmers often use tractors in cultivating their crops. A farmer will usually set aside a portion of the proceeds from his harvests for several years, and then buy a tractor from the government.
Since most of the people make their living from farming, major ceremonies are usually held immediately following the harvest. These events include marriages, circumcisions, and hair cutting rituals. Every family in the village participates in such activities.
The diet of the Lintang consists mainly of rice, along with corn, yams, legumes, sweet potatoes, fish, bananas, peanuts, cassava, and durian (a fruit with a prickly rind and soft pulp). Chicken and goat are only eaten on special occasions. Water is plentiful since there is no real dry season in the region. However, water from the rivers and wells is often polluted; therefore, it is not fit for drinking without first being boiled.
Lintang families do not usually live together as extended families. Instead, each family tries to have its own separate home. Newlywed couples may temporarily live with their parents, but they prefer to have their own homes as soon as possible.
Women wear cotton sarongs (loose skirts made of long strips of cloth wrapped around the body) with long-sleeved cotton blouses. They also wear jackets, scarves, and skirts over their trousers; they do not wear veils. Men wear western-style cotton shirts and slacks.
What are their beliefs?
What are their needs?
Currently, there are no missions agencies working among this people group. Sadly, there are no Christian resources available in the Lintang language. Evangelistic tools and missionaries are needed to share the message of salvation with these precious people.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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