Aralle in Indonesia

Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Aralle
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 6,200
World Population: 6,200
Primary Language: Aralle-Tabulahan
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.17 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Bugi-Makassar of Sulawesi
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aralle are indigenous Indonesian people. They live in west central Sulawesi Island, near the coast of the Makassar Strait that borders the eastern portion of the island of Borneo. Most experts say that they came from other parts of Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago. The Aralle became Muslims due to the influence of Muslim Indian and Arab traders in the 16th century. Their Aralle-Tabulahan language is spoken by less than 20,000 people and is considered endangered by linguists.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Aralle live in villages governed by an elder or group of elders. Village shamans are their main source of medical and spiritual care. They make their living through agriculture, fishing and hunting. They grow rice, coconuts, sago palms, sweet potatoes and vegetables. Men fish the rivers and the waters of the Makassar Strait. They also hunt for animals suitable for eating. As Muslims, the Aralle will not eat pork. Chickens supply them with meat and eggs. Goats provide skins, milk and meat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Aralle consider themselves to be Muslims; however, they think of Allah as distant and not involved in their daily lives. They believe that spirits control their daily lives and have the power to harm them. As a result, their practice of Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion. The Aralle believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as rocks, trees, rivers, hills and animals. Village shamans help the Aralle deal with the spirits using charms, rituals and offerings.

What Are Their Needs?

The Aralle need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. An Aralle New Testament became available in 2004, but they need full access to it. The JESUS film is also available in their language.
The Aralle would also benefit from medical teams coming to their villages and offering them modern medicine. Agricultural experts can show the Aralle how to improve their crop yields.

Prayer Points

Ask God to send gospel medical teams to the Aralle to teach them healthcare principles and agricultural teams to help them improve their crop yields.
Ask the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of Aralle families to the truth of the gospel.
Pray the Aralle New Testament gets into the hands of the small group of Aralle believers.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Aralle families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.

Text Source:   Joshua Project