Ampanang in Indonesia

Photo Source:  Franc Le Blanc 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Ampanang
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 40,000
World Population: 40,000
Primary Language: Ampanang
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Barito of Kalimantan
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ampanang people group lives just east of Central Kalimantan, southeast of the city of Tunjung, not far from the cities of Jambu and Lamper. Kalimantan, meaning "River of Diamonds," is the name for the Indonesian two-thirds of the island of Borneo; Malaysia and Brunei occupy the other one-third. The Ampanang are one of the people groups in the Barito cluster, which is part of the larger Dayak ethno-linguistic complex.
Dayak peoples tend to live alongside the interior rivers of Kalimantan. The Dayak tribes apparently came from West Asia as a migration of the Mongols who entered the archipelago through the southern Kalimantan coastal city, which is now called Martapura. They are sometimes sub-divided as either Land or Sea Dayaks, although this is primarily a European designation to distinguish the various groups. Dayak peoples often live in multifamily houses either with or near the wife's family. Some Dayak groups have practiced slavery, and this practice may still be in effect in some groups.
Recently, the Ampanang have become more open to outsiders, with greater mobility and contact with the outside world. This has led to significant changes in their lives, traditions, worldview and community systems.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The primary means of livelihood for the Ampanang include hunting, gathering forest products, fishing, farming, and trade. Although most Ampanang live beside rivers, some live in areas far from any river.
Ampanang belief in unseen spirits characterizes their culture, including arts, ceremonies, and other activities. Key ceremonies include matchmaking and engagement, marriage, pregnancy, birth, healing of a sickness and burial. Ritual ceremonies are also often observed during the time of celebrating their important holidays.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ampanang generally follow traditional Dayak beliefs, called Kaharingan. In addition, some are also follow Nyuli teaching regarding a resurrection after death (Suli). In this teaching, Bukit Lumut releases the departed spirit, which then returns to the village, bringing something from eternity that can be used to improve the condition of the world.
The Ampanang people also worship the spirits of their ancestors (duwata). Each Ampanang family has a place of worship (kunau) for their own ancestors in their house. They also use a pangantuhu, a piece of human bone, as a tool to call departed ancestors.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ampanang need formal education and skills development to face the changes they are experiencing and rise out of poverty. They also need more modernized health education and care.

Prayer Points

Ask God to send Christian teachers to the Ampanang to raise their level of education.
Pray for medical workers to modernize their health care systems.
Pray for freedom from spiritism and a hunger for spiritual truth.
Pray for translation of the New Testament into the Ampanang language.
Ask God to ignite a Disciple Making Movement among the Ampanang that will result in multiplying house churches.

Text Source:   Joshua Project