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a people inhabiting western and central Sumatra and a number of other regions in Indonesia and in Malaysia. In 1973 their number was estimated at more than 4 million. The language of the Minangkabau, which is similar to Indonesian, belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian language family. The Minangkabau are Muslims. Many of the peoples of Sumatra are racially related to the Minangkabau. An early feudal principality existed among the Minangkabau in the 13th century. In the first half of the 19th century, the Minangkabau resisted the Dutch conquest. Their chief occupation is wet rice cultivation and, since the early 20th century, the raising of industrial crops, such as rubber. Livestock breeding and handicrafts are also important. Capitalist relations are well developed, although communal living and many features of the matrilineal clan system have survived. The Minangkabau play an active role in the political and cultural life of Indonesia.
REFERENCESNarody Iugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966. (Bibliography.)
IU. V. MARETIN