Mandailing in Malaysia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Mandailing are often called the South Tapanuli, after their main home area. This name (Tapanuli Selatan) is sometimes shortened to Tapsel. The Mandailing language is different than languages spoken by the surrounding people groups in the Batak cluster, such as the Angkola, Dairi, Toba, Simalungun, Karo, etc.

Where Are they Located?

The Mandailing are part of the Batak cluster in Indonesia's North Sumatra Province. The Mandailing are a majority in the regencies of South Tapanuli and Mandailing Natal and also in a few districts of Labuhan Batu Regency. They also live in the neighboring areas of Rokan Hulu, Riau Province and Pasaman, West Sumatra Province. A smaller number live in Malaysia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Mandailing people are wet rice farmers. A Mandailing person who leaves home will look for land and a house as expressed in the proverb "halului anak halului tana" (children and land). Children and land are viewed as sources of personal pride (sahala hasangapon) that cause one to receive status and respect. Someone who successfully settles in another area is esteemed very highly. Mandailing villages are called huta. Traditionally, the huta leader holds control of the land and only gives permission to members of the village to work the land. Members who own land are only allowed to work it; they are not allowed to sell it without permission from the leader and a discussion with other community residents.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mandailing people's religion in ancient times was a mixture of Hindu beliefs and a local traditional religion called Parmalin. Almost all Mandailing have been Muslims ever since Minangkabau Muslims forcibly introduced Islam. Many of their traditions have been adapted to Islam. The Batak peoples generally have three key ideas about the body and soul. First, tondi is the spirit of a person. The tondi can be temporarily separated from the body if a stronger and greater being (sombaon) takes it away. If this happens, a special ceremony is performed to return the tondi to the body of its owner. Second, sahala is the quality and amount of spiritual power that a person has. Third, begu are the spirits of the dead. They live in a reverse world: What people do during the day, the begu do at night. The Mandailing strongly identify themselves with the Islamic religion. This is a distinct departure from other Batak people groups which are predominantly Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mandailing need to develop agriculture and education. Many are leaving their home area to continue studies or to find a better life. The area is rich in natural resources such as zinc, sulphur, limestone, granite, gold, copper, tin, petroleum, and kaolin. There is tremendous potential that should be professionally developed, but they first need investments before this can happen.

Prayer Points

Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Mandailing people in both Indonesia and in Malaysia.
Pray for a movement of Mandailing households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Mandailing people to the arms of Jesus.
Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Mandailing people.

Scripture Prayers for the Mandailing in Malaysia.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Mandailing
People Name in Country Mandailing
Pronunciation mahn-dai-LING
Alternate Names Batak Mandailing; Batta; Mandailing Batak
Population this Country 33,000
Population all Countries 1,308,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 10721
ROP3 Code 101126
ROP25 Code 300949
ROP25 Name Batak
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country States of Selangor and Perak   Source:  Wikipedia article
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country States of Selangor and Perak.   Source:  Wikipedia article

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Batak Mandailing (33,000 speakers)
Language Code btm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Batak Mandailing (33,000 speakers)
Language Code btm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Batak Mandailing

Primary Language:  Batak Mandailing

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2020)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Batak Mandailing Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Anonymous  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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