Minang Culture

Minangkabau Society

The Minangkabau ethnic group (also known as Minang or Padang) is indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and political affairs are the province of men (although some women also play important roles in these areas). Today 4 million Minangs live in West Sumatra, while about 3 million more are scattered throughout many Indonesian and Malay peninsula cities and towns.


The Minangkabau are strongly Islamic, but also follow their ethnic traditions, or adat. The Minangkabau adat was derived from animist beliefs before the arrival of Islam, and remnants of animist beliefs still exist even among some practicing Muslims. The present relationship between Islam and adat is described in the saying “tradition [adat] founded upon Islamic law, Islamic law founded upon the Qur’an” (adat basandi syara’, syara’ basandi Kitabullah).


One of the characteristics inherent in the Minangkabau society is a society still strong hold and apply the customary (adaik) they have. One form of traditional teachings are embodied in customary lareh, a set of values, norms and rules related to basic values that govern political activity and social life of Minang society.


Lareh Political Society In Minangkabau

Lareh as “political system”, often used to refer to this school of thought two predecessors Datuak ancestors of the Minangkabau people of the developing Katamenggungan Datuak lareh Piliang Koto, and Datuak Prapatiah Sabatang Nan. Departing from legend and myth that developed in Minangkabau society, Datuak Katamenggungan develop a political system (lareh) Koto Piliang, and Datuak Prapatiah Nan Sabatang develop lareh Caniago Bodi.


Koto Lareh Piliang more characterized by “aristocratic”, where power is composed of strata in stratified with vertical authority, in accordance with pepatahnya manitiak from ateh (dripping From The Top) While lareh Bodi Caniago characterized by “democratic” in which power is made based on egalitarian principles with horizontal authority, in accordance with pepatahnya mambusek of the earth (emerging from the bottom). Structurally, both lareh this doctrine is that ultimately affect patterns of socio-political life of the Minangkabau society in the future. The difference between these two lareh one hand has led to competition with one another, even the competition has been happening since two-Datuak Datuak Katamenggungan and Datuak Prapatiah nan Sabatang – lareh custom triggeritself. This is marked by rivalry between the villages of Five People who embrace traditional Bodi lareh Caniago with TARAB River village that embraces traditional Koto lareh Piliang, described until there is a “war of stone” and “war guns”.



Role Surau (Musholla) in Minangkabau

On ‘Ranah Minang’, surau is another word for mosque. In the course of history in the realm of Minang, surau the main instrument in the development of human character minang doeloe tempo. The boy who had grown-up “instructed” by her parents to sleep in the mosque. History records, scholars minang tempo doeloe start the “journey” to find life skills in the form of existence, self-adaptation skills, communication skills, ability to sort the problem, selecting a problem, and make decisions based on the deliberations that rely on “canoe pambuluah buliek Aie, buliek Kato canoe consensus “(round the water because of vessel / bamboo, round the word for consensus), and other forms of social skills, and personal skills at the earliest stage in the mosque which currently exists in the villages-villages in “Ranah Minang”


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