Mendriq in Malaysia

The Mendriq have only been reported in Malaysia
This people group’s population is unknown or estimated to be extremely small. This people group may have assimilated into larger surrounding groups and may no longer be recognizable as a distinct group. To ensure every people group is represented, Joshua Project includes unknown and very small population people groups until on-site research determines they do not exist. More info at Small People Group Policy.
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Mendriq are one the nineteen Orang Asli people groups living in the Peninsular Malaysia. They come under the Semang (officially called Negrito) subgroup.

The Mendriq are believed to be one of the first groups of people to inhabit the Peninsula. Like the Negrito, they are mostly dark-skinned and frizzy-haired; their features resemble Papua New Guinean or east African people. They are generally shorter in stature than other Malaysians.

The Mendriq were nomadic but resettlement projects have forced many to settle down permanently in Orang Asli settlements situated in the Gua Musang district of Kelantan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In the past, the Mendriq were foragers who practiced migratory patterns of settlement by shifting from one area to another to take advantage of the seasonal fruit harvest. Besides gathering fruits, they foraged for food and gathered forest produce for medical use.

Land resettlement has robbed them of their identity and history as well as their economic security. Poverty and loss of their traditional areas (saka) have profoundly demoralized the rural Mendriq. Their saka were not just sources for food, but group identity. Stories of their past are rooted in the landscape of their saka.

Presently, they are growing cash crops but struggle to make enough money to pay for food and other necessities because of the competitive prices of produce. Meanwhile, without access to traditional forest food and with little time and land to grow subsistence crops, their diet has deteriorated, causing malnutrition.

They resist settling down in reserves. Most individuals lack the education and skills needed for other work and often take labor jobs in a modern market economy. Therefore, whenever supplies of food are not forthcoming, they will stop working on the projects and set out into the forest to forage and collect forest produce.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mendriq are animists. They subject themselves to the natural forces of the jungle. They strongly fear the spirits of dead ancestors and hunted animals. Their lives are governed by a string of taboos and superstitions. Every January the Mendriq hold a mysterious ritual called Puja Pantang. This is a three-day ritual where all daily routine activities are forbidden. Outsiders are not allowed to enter the Mendriq settlements during this period. Consequently, the precise nature of this ritual remains unknown.

What Are Their Needs?

There has been significant change in the life, traditions, worldview, and community systems of the Mendriq. This has occurred in conjunction with their contact with people outside the forested domain. They also need to develop their skills in order to face the changes they are experiencing. Pray for believers who will come alongside to be an advocate for the Mendriq as they adjust to a more contemporary lifestyle. Pray for local believers who will relate and respond to all the needs of the Mendriq.

Prayer Points

Scripture Prayers for the Mendriq in Malaysia.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Mendriq
People Name in Country Mendriq
Alternate Names
Population this Country 200
Population all Countries 200
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 13670
ROP3 Code 106538
ROP25 Code 305391
ROP25 Name Mendriq
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 Peninsular, Southeast Kelantan State; 2 villages.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
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 Peninsular, Southeast Kelantan State; 2 villages..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
65.00 %
0.00 %
33.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Minriq (200 speakers)
Language Code mnq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Minriq (200 speakers)
Language Code mnq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Minriq

Primary Language:  Minriq

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Started

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK  Copyrighted ©  Used with permission 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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