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Minangkabau

Story of Minangkabau
Once upon a time there was a kingdom in West Sumatra. The people
worked as farmers. Their lives were full of happiness. The land was
fertile and the weather was always beautiful. The people also had a
wise king. He always protected the people.
However, soon their happy lives would be disturbed. Majapahit, a
kingdom from Java would attack them. The people were so scared.
They were so restless. They went to the king to talk about it. The king
tried to calm them down.
"Don't worry, my fellow country men. I know Majapahit have many
soldiers. They are also great in war. If we fight them, maybe we lose.
But I have an idea how to beat them," said the king.

Story of Minangkabau
Then he continued : "We can challenge them to a buffalo fight. If their
buffalo dies, we win. But if our buffalo dies, they win."
"We have to make sure our buffalo will win, Your Majesty. How?" asked
one of the people. The king smiled.
He continued : "We just need to find a strong baby buffalo."

Story of Minangkabau
The king then ordered his people to give him the strongest baby buffalo.
After that, the strong baby buffalo was separated from his mother. They
did not give any food to the baby buffalo for several days. The baby
buffalo was very hungry! The baby buffalo cried and cried. He asked for
food.
Then the king took two sharp knives and attached them strongly to the
baby buffalo's horn. Now it was time for the buffalo battle. Everyone
gathered on the field. The Majapahit soldier released a big and wild
buffalo out of his cage. Everyone was surprised with the size of the
buffalo.
Later, the West Sumatran released their baby buffalo. The Majapahit
soldiers were laughing. "Ha ha ha. It's so small. How can you win?"

Story of Minangkabau
They did not know that the hungry baby buffalo had two sharp knives
on the horn. The baby buffalo ran fast towards the big buffalo and went
straight under the big buffalo's stomach to find the teat.
The knives at the baby buffalo's horns cut through the big buffalo's
stomach. The big buffalo fell down to the ground and died.
"Yes! We win, we win, we win!" The people of West Sumatra cheered.
Then, the king changed the name of the kingdom into Minangkabau. It
means the buffalo won. That is why the roofs of the houses in West
Sumatra are similar to the form of buffalo horns and the traditional
headdress of the women of West Sumatra is also like buffalo horns.

Background
The Minangkabau are the fourth largest ethnic group in Indonesia.
Live primarily in the tropical mountain regions of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world, is populated by people
of fifteen different language groups.
Although the exact origin of the Minangkabau is unknown, their
language is closely related to Melayu (Malay)
Minangkabau origins were heavily influenced by Hinduism and date
back to around 200 AD.

Background
The name "Minangkabau" literally means "winning" (minang) "water
buffalo" (kabau).
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Minangkabau culture is that
their societies are matrilineal. This means that they recognize
descent and inheritances through the female line. The Minangkabau
are the largest people group in the world to continue this practice.
The strength of their culture is that they have remained matrilineal
while embracing Islam.