Tubu Punan in Indonesia

The Punan Tubu have only been reported in Indonesia
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Tubu are one of the indigenous Punan peoples of Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the huge island of Borneo. They live in the northeast section of Borneo near the Malaysian border. There are about 20 Punan tribes, and they are not always related by culture or language. One of these subgroups is the Tubu Punan tribe. The Tubu Punan have their own language of Tubu Punan. There are currently no Christian resources available in this language.

Indonesia gained its freedom from the Netherlands in 1949. It is the largest Muslim majority country in the world as well as the fourth largest nation by population. Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands of which 10,000 are inhabited. Indonesia has oil, natural gas and mineral assets but the average Indonesian does not benefit from the nation’s wealth.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Tubu Punan make their living through growing crops, fishing and hunting. Their main crop is rice along with tropical fruits, vegetables, maize, and coconuts. Since the 1980s many of their youths have started to migrate to cities in Indonesia and Malaysia in search of a better life. It is a distinct possibility that the Tubu Punan language and culture could disappear in the next few decades. As more Indonesians move into the area where the Tubu Punan live, their culture is vanishing. Tribal groups like the Tubu Punan tend to be looked down upon by other Indonesian peoples.

The Tubu trade their surplus rice and fish to buy things they cannot make for themselves such cell phones and appliances. The Punan live in villages with elders making the important decisions. Each village has a shaman who connects the Punan to the spirit world.

The Punan people tend to marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. The Punan families often have many children. Many children die before their 10th birthday due to the lack of access to modern medicine. It is the sons’ responsibility to take care of their elderly parents.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tubu Punan people have their own folk religion. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, rocks, rivers, animals, and mountains. The Tubu believe they must appease these spirits or they can bring disaster upon the people. Village shamans give the people charms and amulets to protect them for the evil spirits. The Tubu also venerate their ancestors.

Those within the Tubu community are likely to see anyone who embraces another "religion" as a traitor, which is why we need to take Christ to them, not another religion.


What Are Their Needs?

The Tubu would benefit from the introduction of modern medicine. The life span of the Tubu is low compared to other peoples of Indonesia. If teams of believers brought solar panels, it would help the Tubu. Most of all the Tubu need to understand the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and rescue them from their fear of evil spirits.


Prayer Points

Pray for few Tubu Punan believers to have the willingness to share their faith with their family and neighbors.

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Tubu Punan.

Pray for the Tubu Punan people to have the chance to hear and respond to the true God of heaven.

Pray that the Bible and other resources would be translated into Tubu Puana.

Pray for a disciple making movement to spread throughout the Punan communities in this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Punan Tubu in Indonesia.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Punan Tubu
People Name in Country Punan Tubu
Natural Name Tubu Punan
Population this Country 3,700
Population all Countries 3,700
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Punan
People ID 14481
ROP3 Code 108179
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Kalimantan Timur Province; Malinau, Mentarang, and Sembakung river areas.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Kalimantan Timur Province; Malinau, Mentarang, and Sembakung river areas..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Punan Tubu in Indonesia Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Punan Tubu (3,700 speakers)
Language Code puj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Punan Tubu (3,700 speakers)
Language Code puj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Punan Tubu

Primary Language:  Punan Tubu

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.50 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
96.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
15.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
75.0 %
Roman Catholic
10.0 %
Photo Source Jbarta - Wikipedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more