Ayamaru, Brat in Indonesia

Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Ayamaru, Brat
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 97,000
World Population: 97,000
Primary Language: Mai Brat
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.80 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ayamaru Brat or Maibrat are indigenous people found only in Indonesia. They speak a "language isolate" which means their language (Mai Brat) is not related to any other language family. The Ayamaru live in the central region of the Bird's Head Peninsula of the island of New Guinea in the nation of Indonesia. The land they live on is classified as tropical rain forest on the slopes of mountains on the peninsula.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Ayamaru practice "slash and burn" agriculture. They cut down the trees and vegetation on a plot of land. Then they burn the remaining plant to produce a type of fertilizer. Once the soil is exhausted, they move on to another plot of land and do the same thing until it too is exhausted. The main crops of the Maibrat are rice, copra (dried coconuts), corn, and peanuts. They also hunt and fish to supplement their diets.
The Brat live in small villages ruled by the heads of families or elders. Most now speak Bahasa, the Indonesian national language as well as their own language of Mai Brat. They trade their crops of peanuts and copra to obtain things that they cannot make for themselves like metal tools and solar panels.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of the Ayamaru are animists. They believe that spirits inhabit parts of nature such as trees, rocks, rivers, the sky, mountains and animals. The spirits must be appeased by sacrifices, rituals and charms or they can bring harm to the people. Each village has a shaman who connects the Brat to the spirit world. The Ayamaru also ask the shaman to deal with their medical needs. A small minority of the Ayamaru are believers. A New Testament in Mai Brat became available in 2007.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ayamaru need agricultural experts to teach them how to farm their land more effectively since their slash and burn method damages the plants and animals of their environment. They also need medical teams to teach them healthcare principles and take care of medical needs.
Many Ayamaru are illiterate. Teachers can help the Brat learn how to read and write Ma Bbrat and Bahasa.

Prayer Points

Ask God to grow the small group of Ayamaru believers in their faith. Pray for wisdom to leave behind the ways of spiritual darkness and allow the gospel to transform their culture.
Ask the Holy Spirit to work signs and wonders through the Ayamaru believers to open the minds of others to the gospel.
Ask God to raise up Bible believing pastors and church leaders who can teach the Ayamaru the Word of God.
Ask God to send teams of believers come and help the Ayamaru in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, and education.
Pray for a movement to Christ that will see disciples and churches multiply through generations.

Text Source:   Joshua Project