Indonesia Ethnic Minorities
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Husband and wife in traditional dress, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province
Dayak tribe crafts workers, Kalimantan Tengah Province
In Indonesia the concept of ethnic minorities is often discussed not in numerical but in religious terms. Although the major ethnic groups claimed adherence to one of the major world religions (agama) recognized by the Pancasila ideology-- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism--there were millions of other Indonesians in the early 1980s who engaged in forms of religious or cultural practices that fell outside these categories. These practices were sometimes labelled animist or kafir (pagan). In general, these Indonesians tended to live in the more remote, sparsely populated islands of the archipelago. Following the massacre of tens of thousands associated with the 1965 coup attempt, religious affiliation became an even more intense political issue among minority groups (see The Coup and its Aftermath , ch. 1). The groups described below represent only a sampling of the many minorities.
Data as of November 1992
NOTE: The information regarding Indonesia on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Indonesia Ethnic Minorities information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Indonesia Ethnic Minorities should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.