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(self-designation, Sunda), a people in the mountainous western part of Java.
The Sundanese number approximately 19 million (1975, estimate). Racially, they belong to the southern Mongoloids. Their language, which belongs to the Indonesian languages, and their material culture are similar to those of the Javanese. Their religion is Islam, but they have also retained many ancient beliefs.
Since approximately A.D. 1500, the Sundanese have been noted for land cultivation, especially the growing of rice, corn, cassava, and vegetables. They have built irrigation canals and terraces. In the 20th century, plantations of tea, coffee, cacao, and rubber have become common. The Sundanese also raise livestock and engage in handicrafts, notably weaving. Ancient folk traditions are manifested in their art and crafts. Many Sundanese work in industry.
The Sundanese include the Badui, an ethnic group that has in large part preserved the archaic features of its economy and culture.