Native Indonesians, also Pribumi (literally "first on the soil"), is a term used to distinguish Indonesians whose ancestral roots lie mainly in the archipelago from Indonesians of known (partial) foreign descent, like Chinese Indonesians and Indo-Europeans (Eurasians).
|c. 210 million|
(Worldwide; 2006 estimate)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Indonesia c. 200 million|
|United Arab Emirates||75,000|
(Indonesian, Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Batak, Madurese, etc.)
|Islam (predominantly Sunnis, Shias and others), Christianity (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism), Hindu Dharma, Buddhism, Animism, Shamanism, Sunda Wiwitan, Kaharingan, Parmalim, Kejawen, Naurus, Aluk' To Dolo, etc.|
|Related ethnic groups|
a The figure in Malaysia merely asserts those who hold an Indonesian citizenship, the figure does not include Malaysians who have some Indonesian ancestry which potentially is double or triple of figure, due to constant migrations for millennia.
Etymology and historical contextEdit
The term "pribumi" was coined after Indonesian independence as a respectful replacement for the Dutch colonial term "inlander" (normally translated as "native" and seen as derogatory). It derives from Sanskrit terms pri (before) and bhumi (earth).
Following independence, the term was normally used to distinguish indigenous Indonesians from citizens of foreign descent (especially Chinese Indonesians). Common usage distinguished between "pri" and "non-pri". Although the term is sometimes translated as "indigenous", it has a broader meaning than that associated with Indigenous peoples.
The term WNI keturunan asing (WNI = "Indonesian citizen", "keturunan asing" = foreign descent), sometimes just "WNI keturunan" or even "WNI", has also been used to designate "non-pri" Indonesians.
In practice, usage of the term is fluid. "Pri" is seldom used to refer to Indonesians of Melanesian descent, although it does not exclude them. Indonesians of Arab descent sometimes refer to themselves as "pri". Indonesians with some exogenous ancestry who show no obvious signs of identification with that ancestry (such as former President Abdurrahman Wahid who is said to have had Chinese ancestry) are seldom called "non-pri". The term bumiputra is sometimes used in Indonesia with the same meaning as pribumi, but is more commonly used in Malaysia, where it has a slightly different meaning.
The term putra daerah ("son of the region") refers to a person who is indigenous to a specific locality or region.
The Dutch East India Company, which dominated parts of the archipelago from the 17th century, classified its subjects mainly by religion, rather than ethnicity. The colonial administration which took power in 1815 at shifted to a system of ethnic classification. Initially they distinguished between Europeans (Europeanen) and those equated with them (including native Christians) and Inlanders and those equated with them (including non-Christian Asians).
Over time, native Christians were gradually shifted de facto into the Inlander category, while Chinese Indonesians, Arab Indonesians and others of non-Indonesian descent were gradually given separate status as Vreemde Oosterlingen ("Foreign Orientals"). The system was patriarchal, rather than formally racial. A child inherited his/her father's ethnicity if the parents were married; the mother's ethnicity if they were unmarried. The off-spring of a marriage between a European man and an Indonesian women were legally European.
The colonial system was similar to the casta system in Hispanic America, or the South African apartheid system, which prohibited inter-racial neighborhoods (wet van wijkenstelsel) and inter-racial interactions were limited by passenstelsel laws.
The outbreak of the World War II saw the fall of colonial state of Dutch East Indies. During Japanese occupation, the Dutch colonials were put into the lowest class of social strata. Native blood was the only thing that could free Indos (mixed Eurasian ancestry) from being put into concentration camps. The following Indonesian Revolution (1945-1949) saw the rise of Indonesian Republic, subsequently the revolution has brought a drastic social changes. The Dutch colonials and the Indos are suspiciously considered by republicans as Dutch loyalist, thus they are not a desired element in the newly established republic. By 1950s, large numbers of Dutch colonials and Indos were being repatriated to the Netherlands.
After the revolution, the natives majority has gained the political, social and economic power previously reserved only for Dutch colonials. In post colonial Indonesia, the Chinese Indonesians are the most significant minority group that being categorized as non-pribumi (non native).
Pribumi make up about 95% of the Indonesian population. Using Indonesia’s population estimate in 2006, this translates to about 230 million people. As an umbrella of similar cultural heritage among various ethnic groups in Indonesia, Pribumi culture plays a significant role in shaping the country’s socioeconomic circumstance.
The United States Library of Congress Country Study of Indonesia defines Pribumi as:
Literally, an indigene, or native. In the colonial era, the great majority of the population of the archipelago came to regard themselves as indigenous, in contrast to the non-indigenous Dutch and Chinese (and, to a degree, Arab) communities. After independence the distinction persisted, expressed as a dichotomy between elements that were pribumi and those that were not. The distinction has had significant implications for economic development policy— Indonesia: A Country Study, Glossary
The largest ethnic group in Indonesia are the Javanese people who make up 41% of the total population. The Javanese are concentrated on the island of Java but millions have migrated to other islands throughout the archipelago. The Sundanese, Malay, and Madurese are the next largest groups in the country. Many ethnic groups, particularly in Kalimantan and the province of Papua, have only hundreds of members. Most of the local languages belong to the Austronesian language family, although a significant number, particularly in North Maluku and West Papua, speak Papuan languages.
The division and classification of ethnic groups in Indonesia is not rigid and in some cases are unclear as the result of migrations, along with cultural and linguistic influences; for example some[who?] may agree that the Bantenese and Cirebonese belong to different ethnic groups with their own distinct dialect, however others[who?] might consider them to be Javanese sub-ethnicities, as members of the larger Javanese people. The same considerations may apply to the Baduy people who share so many similarities with the Sundanese people that they can be considered as belonging to the same ethnic group. The clearest example of hybrid ethnicity are the Betawi people, the result of a mixture of different native ethnicities that have merged with people of Arab, Chinese and Indian origins since the era of colonial Batavia (Jakarta).
The proportional populations of Native Indonesians according to the (2009 census) is as follows:
|Ethnic groups||Population (million)||Percentage||Main Regions|
|Javanese||95.217||40.2||Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Lampung, Jakarta|
|Sundanese||31.765||15.4||West Java, Banten, Lampung|
|Malay||8.789||4.1||Sumatra eastern coast, West Kalimantan|
|Madurese||6.807||3.3||Madura island, East Java|
|Bugis||6.000||2.9||South Sulawesi, East Kalimantan|
|Minangkabau||5.569||2.7||West Sumatra, Riau|
|Betawi||5.157||2.5||Jakarta, Banten, West Java|
|Banjarese||4.800||2.3||South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan|
|Bantenese||4.331||2.1||Banten, West Java|
|Dayak||3.009||1.5||North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan|
|Sasak||3.000||1.4||West Nusa Tenggara|
|Cirebonese||1.856||0.9||West Java, Central Java|
The skin color of native Indonesians ranges from fair skin with yellowish undertone to light brown to very dark brown or black skin color. Archaeologist Peter Bellwood claims that the "vast majority" of people in Indonesia and Malaysia, the region he calls the "clinal Mongoloid-Australoid zone", are "Southern Mongoloids" but have a "high degree" of Australoid admixture.
Sawo matang (lit. "ripe sapodilla") usually refers to the skin colour of the Pribumis in Indonesia which connotes "mid light to dark tone brown" especially for those who live in Java, Bali, Sumatra, etc. For other places like in Borneo, Sulawesi, and eastern parts of Indonesia, native people tend to have darker skin colour who actually come from the east of Indonesia[clarification needed] and for those who live in high altitude areas and highlands tend to have lighter skin colour like people from Sundanese, Manado, Tomohon, Dayak, etc. For islandic people,[clarification needed] they tend to have dark skin colour with all of the physical characteristics depending on the geographical areas they inhabit.
Most Native Indonesians are genetically close to Asians while the more eastern one goes the more people show Melanesian affinity. Geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza claims that there is a genetic division between East and Southeast Asians. In a similar manner, Zhou Jixu agrees that there is a physical difference between these two populations. Other geneticists have found evidence for four separate populations, carrying distinct sets of non-recombining Y chromosome lineages, within the traditional Mongoloid category: North Asians, Han Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asians. The complexity of genetic data has led to doubt about the usefulness of the concept of a Mongoloid race itself, since distinctive East Asian features may represent separate lineages and arise from environmental adaptations or retention of common proto-Eurasian ancestral characteristics.
The regions of Indonesia have some of their indigenous ethnic groups. Due to migration within Indonesia (as part of government transmigration programs or otherwise), there are significant populations of ethnic groups who reside outside of their traditional regions.
- Java: Javanese, Sundanese, Bantenese, Betawi, Tengger, Osing, Badui
- Madura: Madurese
- Sumatra: Malays, Batak, Minangkabau, Acehnese, Lampung, Kubu
- Kalimantan: Malays, Dayak, Banjar
- Sulawesi: Makassarese, Buginese, Mandar, Minahasa, Buton, Gorontalo, Toraja, Bajau, Mongondow People, Buroko People, Bolango Tribe
- Lesser Sunda Islands: Balinese, Sasak
- The Moluccas: Nuaulu, Manusela, Wemale
- Papua: Dani, Bauzi, Asmat
- Ethnic groups in Indonesia
- Culture of Indonesia
- Overseas Indonesians
- List of Indonesian people
- National costume of Indonesia
- List of indigenous peoples
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