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The stalk that supports the flower: Orang Rimba Kinship, marriage and gender in Jambi Sumatra.

The Orang Rimba ('People of the forest') are a Malay-speaking ethnic group (pop. -3-400) who live throughout the upstream regions of Southeast Sumatra. Together with the Penan of Borneo, they are the other example of the Austronesians adaptation to a mobile, hunter-gatherer way of life in the lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia. They have a unique and flexible economy that traditionally shifts in and out of periods of swidden gardening and a nomadic life based on digging for wild yams. This is combined with hunting, gathering, and collecting forest products for trade. In Bukit Duabelas, there is a high concern for their system of customary law (adat), which is largely concerned with arranging marriages and regulating appropriate interactions with females and their rights to forest resources, and results in very rigid gender relations. They are also unique for their traditional religious beliefs, a variant of Malay animism, and a multitude of religious prohibitions that serve to maintain cultural and religious purity by restricting interactions with the outside world.

Orang Rimba social relations draw from a broader Malay system of terms and concepts that are adapted to fit their small and fluid camp structures, uxorilocal residence patterns, and egalitarian social relations that are based around a system of sharing. Some of the broader patterns of their social relations are similar to other bride service societies, with the primary organizational features arranged according to gender, age, adulthood, and relations of affinity, with adult males achieving an additional amount of status and authority in the domains of law and religion (Collier 1981; Marshall 1959; Rosaldo 1980; Turnbull 1961). This paper examines some of these issues in the context of their primary kinship relations, gender and power relations, marriage and divorce, leadership and law, how some of these ideas are reflected in terms for the home. Throughout the paper I explore how Orang Rimba social relations are conceptualized according to botanic metaphor, and the intellect-passion contrast, a key conceptual category upon which Orang Rimba gender relations are arranged.

Structural analysis can provide insight into how people arrange and organize their social relations, religious beliefs and their worldview. One of the most basic manners in which conceptual domains are organized is upon dualisms, around which relational and symbolic categories are arranged (Needham 1973; Turner 1967). James Fox combines this type of analysis with the notion of precedence, in which one side of an asymmetrical opposition, or plurality of oppositions, is given primacy or value over the others (Fox 1990: 7). Fox has described some of the more prominent ways that precedence can be linguistically constructed and expressed in different Austronesian societies, through recourse to a variety of common metaphors and complementary categories such as botanic metaphor, spatial coordinates, male/female, elder/younger, first-born/ last-born, prior/later, trunk/tip, hot/cold, and intellect/passion (Fox 1971; Fox 1980). As Fox points out, the use of these terms and other cognate terms to denote significant cognate categories may be evidence of close cultural relationships amongst Austronesian peoples. Thus, 'despite the intricacies of their patterns of alliance, these peoples seem to share common ideas about the nature of life, of society, and of the human person' (Fox 1980: 14).

The Arabic and Islamic influenced intellect (akal) and passion (nafsu) contrast are key concepts and symbols that run through many domains of life in Malay, Javanese, and Islamic cultures, and are frequently invoked in discussions surrounding the similarities and differences between males and females. According to this concept, men are believed to be innately associated with more intellect and have more balance and control over their emotions, while females are innately associated with their emotions, passions, and desires. This contrast and some of its associated Islamic and patrifilial-based concepts are often used to justify the placement of domestic issues, inheritance and law formally in the hands of men. regardless of the social type, and results in some interesting variations in the matrifilial societies of Sumatra (Peletz 1996). The Orang Rimba represent an interesting example of some of the different ways that social relations associated with this contrast can be arranged in the context of a non-Islamic society with matrilateral and egalitarian social relations.

This article is based upon doctoral research carried out from 2002 to 2004 with Orang Rimba living in forests along the Makekal River in the Bukit Duabelas National Park. The majority of this time was spent with a camp consisting of an extended family (~40 individuals) then based along a sub-branch of the upstream Makekal River. Due to cultural prohibitions, my ability to speak freely with the women was limited.


Orang Rimba life is based around a forest and/or swidden camp, which are small, fluid and constantly changing from season to season. While an Orang Rimba camp has the potential to be as small as a nuclear family, the most stable social unit is the extended family, which in Jambi is strongly influenced by uxorilocal residence patterns. After marriage, a group of sisters (waris perebo) will remain together with their parents and in-marrying husbands, while sons and brothers will eventually move to the communities of their potential wives (besmindo) to perform a lengthy period of bride service and eventually marry. Whenever digging for wild yams, the size of a camp can be small as a nuclear family, but is more commonly based around an extended family. When in the swidden mode, camp groupings (rombongon) may consist of several extended families and range from ten to a hundred individuals.

Kinship is determined bilaterally, and according to uxorilocal residence patterns assigns precedence in relations to mother's kin over father's kin. Daughters inherit immovable property. which implies rights to resources found in their customary forests based on a mixture of private and collective ownership over fruit and honey trees. Women also inherit sacred family heirlooms and cloth, which is a form of family wealth and status. In addition to its uses as clothing and blankets, cloth has important religious use, and is a primary means to arrange marriages and pay fines during the very frequent occurrence of community legal hearings. Most families have a bundle of anywhere from two to five hundred sheets of cloth, which these days are machine-made Javanese sarongs. In addition to inheritance rights, women determine who can collect many of the more important resources found in their customary forests, have primary distribution rights, and manage the cloth, all of which have important ramifications surrounding their place, status, and influence in their communities. Sons inherit moveable property, which often includes male subsistence oriented tools such as spears, slender shafted axes for chopping down trees, cone shaped turtle spears, village bought machetes, and knives. Upon leaving their natal camp to begin a period of bride service and eventually marry, they are allowed to take some of these items with them in order to establish a life in the camp of their wife.

The basic structure of a camp consists of one or several groupings of nuclear households and a grouping of bachelors. The layout of the camp is arranged according to general preference and current relations or tensions. The type of hut built usually depends upon what mode of subsistence they are in at the time. Whenever living in a swidden, families usually build a 'big home' (rumah godong), which is usually around three by five meters in width and length, and built upon nine poles that raise the structure around a meter off the ground. Regardless of whether a "big home' is built in the swidden, most families will also build and spend a great deal of time in smaller wall-less huts (sungsudungon, 'hut" or rumah de tanoh, 'room on the ground') in the forests. These huts are around two by three meters in width and length, and raised around half of a meter off the ground. Whenever these homes are built, unmarried adolescent females will also build a small hut next to their parents, while male children move out of their parents hut upon entering adolescence and establish their own huts near the camp. This is often a collective bachelor hut, whenever they decide to live in the swidden. Transient lean-tos (helepaion 'cover'), which can be built in less than an hour, are lived in whenever on the move, and for longer periods when in a nomadic mode of subsistence.

Some of the terms for parts of the home are symbolic of gender, age, and reflect the different rights and obligations of the members of the family. Big homes built for the nuclear family always have gendered flooring or sleeping space for the husband, wife, unmarried daughters, and male children. The sleeping space for the mother is called the 'depth of the women' (kedelomon hetina) or the 'room down below' (rumah deri bewo), and is always built lower than the father and children's sleeping space. It is referred to as the 'roots' or 'trunk' of the home (pangkolon rumah), which suggests the mother's position of precedence in the family, and her strong ties and rights to her customary forests. Apart from her husband, it is strictly forbidden for other men to pass through this space, which can be expressed as a sexual violation ('incest' sumbang) of the woman, and is one of the most serious violations that a man can commit. The sleeping space of the unwed daughter is referred to the 'depth of the maiden' (kedelomon gediy lapai), and is constructed higher than the other floor levels. It is referred to as the 'sprout' or 'branch' of the home (ujung rumah), marking her place as the future of the family, and is equally forbidden to be passed through by men.

The sleeping space of the husband (tegekakot tenggi) is built higher than the wife's, lower than the daughter's, and level with the rest of the flooring. The sleeping space of male children (besenting or besulunta) is on the same level as their fathers. The husband is more strongly associated with the framing of the home, which is referred to as the 'bones or skeleton of the family' (penohan tulang bububungon). It symbolizes his duty to protect the safety and rights of his wife and children. Husbands are also associated with the rafters of the roof, and particularly with a sacred spot called the pagu. This is where a man stores his sacred religious items, which may include a dream pillow, and the ritual mat and clothing used during ritual atop wooden platforms called balai. It is considered male religious space, and is not allowed to be touched by women and children. Near this sacred spot is the place where a family hangs their bundle of cloth, which depending on the sacredness, power, and religious purity of a man, is believed to influence the accumulation of family wealth. Roofs are made from the leaves of serdang or benal trees, while sturdy meranti bark is used to construct the flooring and walls.


The wider network of Orang Rimba social relations can be characterized according to kindred, with a strong intergenerational emphasis arranged according to three primary generation levels, 'child, parent or grandparent' (Freeman 1961). There are strong bonds of 'intragenerational unity' couched in terms of siblingship, and 'intergenerational asymmetry', which imply relationships of authority, respect, and obligation (Sather 1996: 90). There are of course strict rules surrounding inclusion and exclusion into the kindred, which depends upon whether a person is Orang Rimba or outsider, and restricts anything but brief and shallow encounters with the latter, and completely cuts off the option of marriage. Within the Orang Rimba kindred of relations, which is generally confined to neighboring river interfluves, cousin marriages pull cognates in danger of becoming non-cognates back into a network of kin and social relations, and builds bonds of solidarity between people of the same generation level, within the confines of very asymmetrical relations of affinity (Sather 1996: 90).

As is the case with other Malay-speaking peoples, physical proximity has a lot do with the strength of primary kinship and kindred relations, and is particularly relevant in the context of dispersed uxorilocal residence, which often weakens the primary mother-brother relationship. (1) More generally, the emphasis on determining kinship relations to the second and third degrees of closeness (and beyond), creates a situation where everyone is related to each other in one manner or another. In the rare instance that they are not, a person is often referred to by a generation-level kin term, which places them within the kindred of relations. These types of relations create an extremely diverse or infinite level of kin relations, which can be called upon according to place and generation level, and imply notions of subordinate, respect, and authority. Most importantly, these relations create notions of obligation and reciprocity to assist one another in a network of share relations whenever a person is need of assistance. Similar to other egalitarian bride service societies, social relations are largely defined by issues of gender, age, adulthood, seniority, and relations of affinity, but also by one's generation level (Collier 1981; Marshall 1959; Rosaldo 1980).

The general term for children is budak (Ma. servant, youngster), which denotes their position as minors in the context of social relations and customary law, and their subordinate position in relation to parents and those of higher generation levels, who are in a position of authority and should be shown respect. Parents and those of higher generation levels are strongly obliged to provide for them and protect their interests and safety from those outside their community. Bitdak is also a common term used in reference to females of all ages (bitdak betina 'women' budak lapai 'maiden'), which doesn't necessarily imply that they are subordinate in all types of social relations, but like children, does mark their status as minors in the context of customs, law, and religion. It more generally denotes their vulnerability in relation to a dangerous outside world, and all outside males who are not immediate kin. Women usually cannot be fined for their misconduct, unless it is in the context of share relations with their husbands or in the context of divorce. They are also not believed to accumulate sin, which for men can influence their status in the afterlife. Men are expected to provide for them and protect their interests and rights, with primary obligations falling to maternal uncles/brothers and father/husbands.

Children are often referred to by their given names, which are highly personal, and have an association with their birth deity. They are sometimes used amongst people of the same age grade, and those who have a close or intimate relationship with one another. As one grows older they are rarely used and almost always replaced by kin terms or teknonyms, which denote gender, marital and adult status, generation level, and mark one's place and social status as junior or senior in relation to others in the community (Geertz 1973; Geertz 1964). After reaching adulthood, it is often considered offensive to refer to someone by his or her given name, particularly when addressing someone of a higher generation level. On the intra-generational level, kin terms that denote siblingship are arranged according to birth order as 'younger sibling' (adik), 'elder sibling' (kakok) and eldest sibling (kakok tuha), which create relationships of subordinate and superior and imply related notions of authority, respect, and obligation. Cousins (pupu) and more generally those of the same generation level will also refer to each other with these terms, which implies a relationship of siblingship and unity amongst those of the same generation level. It is also the permitted range of allowable marriages.

Regardless of one's age, relationships that cross generation levels are those of subordinate and superior, and imply related notions of respect, authority, and obligation. They are also closed or forbidden marriages. Parent level kinship terms are arranged according to gender (bepak, induk, ibung, mamok), with father occupying the position of an outsider in post-marital residence, and expected to provide for his nuclear family, parents-in-law and wife's extended family. Mother's adult brothers and maternal uncles have a position as insiders, and as authority figures who are obliged to protect the rights of their mother, sisters, and sister's female children (nakon). Maternal uncles are further differentiated according to their birth order as youngest (pamok) and eldest (uwak), which for the latter, implies seniority in the relationship and stronger obligations to manage issues surrounding their sisters and sister's children. Cross-generational kinship terms used by parents in reference to their children ('son' kolup and 'daughter' kubek) are also arranged according to gender, while the youngest daughter (besunye) is further differentiated according to her birth order. Youngest daughter is always lavished with affection by her parents, and because of this, it is expected that the in-marrying husband should perform a lengthier period of bride service and pay a higher cost of bridewealth.

For members of the opposite sex, relationships that cross generation levels are characterized by a degree of social distance, as they hold the potential to verge into the realm of incestuous relations. In addition to primary incest taboos with parents and siblings, incest taboos also extend to relationships that cross generation levels, which regardless of distance, are unallowable marriages. As Fischer notes, the term sumbang or 'incest' is an important concept for people in Sumatra, one that has a much broader range of meaning than its most narrow reference to the primary incest taboos (Fischer 1950: 222). For most societies in Sumatra, the concepts surrounding sumbang are arranged according to different levels of severity, and can include adultery, intimate relations out of wedlock, and more generally whatever the society considers to be inappropriate relations between the sexes, with the seriousness increasing as one gets closer to the range of unacceptable marriages.

The Orang Rimba use of the term is very broad and much more sensitive than most, if not all peoples in Sumatra. In addition to the above, sumbang can include violating a female physical or social space, which may include accidentally coming upon them alone in the forests, encountering females while they are bathing in the river, passing too closely while walking along a path or within the camp, or looking at them in the wrong way. Sumbang can also include passing through female sleeping space in the home, or touching any of their objects without permission, particularly their sleeping mat or clothing. Additionally, it may include harvesting any forest resources associated with women without first asking their permission. Through analogy a man can find himself committing sumbang or violating women and their rights in a variety of different ways, with the cloth fine increasing whenever it can be determined that there is a generational relationship at play, according to the degree of distance. Thus, while the Orang Rimba kindred of relations creates an infinite network of support and share relations, it also creates a tangled web of cross-gender kindred violations between men and women, which are actively debated and manipulated through legal hearings in order to determine the fine paid by the accused male, from his mother and/or sister's store of cloth. Legal hearings surrounding male violations of women are a recurring cycle in Bukit Duabelas.

The right to participate in the camp decision-making process comes with one's passage into adulthood or being rerayo, which can only be achieved through marriage. For the male, adulthood implies an obligation to provide for his wife, children, and in-laws, to engage in proper share relations in the camp, and to hone their intellect (akal) and begin participating in community legal hearings. It also implies an obligation to maintain proper relations with the gods by following religious prohibitions and by beginning to participate and engage in the domain of religion and ritual. For the female, adulthood allows her to establish her own household, begin managing some of her inheritance, such as fruit and honey trees, and receive some of the family cloth in order to establish her own family store of cloth. Adult women are also allowed to begin displaying their 'passions' (nafsu) in their relationship with their husbands, the larger camp, and within community legal hearings. After marriage, a man and woman are no longer addressed by their given names or non-adult teknonyms, but initially as 'father/mother in waiting' (bepak/induk mentarow). Their more complete entry into adulthood is achieved after the birth of their first child, after which they are referred to as 'father/mother of eldest child's name.'

Precedence in relations falls to the wife's kin, while in-marrying husbands initially occupy a rather subordinate position, even in relation to their wife's unmarried non-adult brothers. For husbands, affinal kin terms mark their subordinate place within a network of asymmetrical relationships to provide for their in-laws. The general term that parents use in reference to their children's spouse is manantu, with additional terms used to mark priority in relations between those of sons and daughters. A son's spouse is referred to simply as daughter in-law (mengkanak betina), while daughter's spouse, who will move into and contribute to the camp, is referred to as 'head' child in-law (mengkanak tuha). Maternal uncles refer to the husbands of their sister's female children as 'dangling subordinate of the chief (anak buah kontan), who can be called upon for assistance, food, work, or to perform other tasks. As with cosanguineous kinship terms, intragenerational terms of affinity used in reference to spouse's siblings (ipor) are arranged according to their order of birth, in relation to the spouse, and include: 'spouse's eldest sibling' (kekakok tuha), 'spouse's elder sibling' [kekakok), 'spouse's younger sibling' (mengadik) and 'spouse's youngest sibling' (adik ipor). For an in-marrying husband, these terms mark the order of precedence and obligation inherent in the relationships with his brother and sisters-in-law.

With the passage of time, a husband will establish his place in a camp and acquire seniority in relation to other in-marrying husbands through age, and by accumulating experience and expertise in the domains of law and religion. Eventually, after his wife's parents pass away and parents become grandparents (nenek jenton/betina), camps will fission, and a male will eventually become the senior male in his camp and ease into the less stringent position of social, political, and religious authority. As one ascends to the third generation level, they are looked after by their children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. Grandparents are often assigned a male suitor performing bride service, who will hunt for them, build their home, and manage their fields.

Great grandparents (puyang) are perceived to be one step below the exalted status of ancestor (moyang), although both of these terms are usually only used in reference to those who have passed on. As is the case throughout the region, the living are strongly prohibited from mentioning the given names or living teknonyms of the dead, which they believe can insult, offend, or anger the dead or the ancestors and lead to misfortune (Geertz 1973: 360; Geertz 1964). Death is again the last step in social status, or rather the transition to the spiritual status of an ancestor, and a veneration of one of the lesser gods. Orang Rimba death names are fairly simple and are based on the terms ndihang meaning 'the late' or 'deceased' and melekat meaning 'angel,' which is followed by a term which denotes their marital status and gender while living, and the name of the river nearest to the location where they passed away. Thus, children are referred to as ndihang keciq, unmarried males and females as ndihang bujang/gediy, and married men and women as ndihang jenton/betina. Senior and big shaman are referred to as angel (melekat), which again is followed by terms that mark their marital status, gender, and the river nearest to the place where they passed away.


As with the Malay, the Makekal Orang Rimba express the different levels of authority in their community through an abbreviated nested ladder analogy (bejenjang naik betanggo turun), which can be extended to fit their system of hierarchical titles held by camp headman, and their position under the Malay village of Tanah Garo.

the environment is one with god

the community, the headman

a wife, her husband

the household, sisters married brother

halom sekato tuhan,

raykat sekato penghulu,

bin i sekato laki

rumah tanggoh sekato tengganai

Within the nuclear family, father (bepak) is considered a provider, and the caretaker of his wife and children. While he has authority over his wife, his children, and the internal matters of his own household (bubung or rumah tanggo), within the larger camp he is perceived as an outsider and is involved in rather asymmetrical relationships with his in-laws. To some extent, the husband's children and the legal matters surrounding his larger household fall more under the authority of his wife's adult brothers (formally referred to as tengganai), particularly her eldest brother, but as marriages are dispersed they are rarely present. The rights that a husband obtains in the customary forests of his wife only come through marriage and are often downplayed by in-laws, particularly by the wife's unwed brothers. Some of the husband's broader obligations to their wives and in-laws within the context of uxorilocal residence and bride service are expressed in the following adat couplet.

collect what is far, balance what

is long, and carry what is heavy

hunger and sickness must be

diminished by providing food, these

are the rules of uxorilocal residence

and/or bride service

monyompat nang jowu mikul

nan g rintang dukung nang ber'at

capur nang momori

makon, sakit nang bopuru batko

pongaturon berincluk semang

Husbands are expected to provide a steady flow of game and other foods for their nuclear families, wives' parents, and on secondary level to other in-laws. They receive constant pressure from their wives and in-laws whenever falling short or perceived to be lazy. They are also expected to open fields, help their parents-in-law open their fields, and periodically collect forest products or perform other work to obtain village goods, and to increase their family store of cloth. Wives wield their 'passions' on a daily basis to pressure their husbands to pick up their work efforts or to manipulate their interests in whatever the case may be. This can include yelling, arguing, beating, threatening divorce, crying, and making them feel bad or insulting and shaming them in front of others. These relations tend to ease a bit as a husband begins to establish his position and authority in the camp through age, seniority, and knowledge of law and religion. One of the ways husbands establish their place in the camp is through a system of sharing.

The rules that regulate many of the rights to manage and share different types of foods are based upon the gender-related work patterns of the nuclear family. According to custom, 'all that is collected or obtained by the husband, returns to be managed and distributed by the wife, and all that is collected by the wife returns to be managed and distributed by the husband.' While this arrangement appears to imply a degree of equality in the husband/wife relationship, it also results in extraordinary sharing rights for the women, which include game, the most socially significant item that can be shared.

Within one's network of share relations, someone in the parent generation level is obliged to share with those of lower and higher generation levels without expecting much in return, while relations between those in the same generation level are equal. Husbands usually engage in equal sharing relations with other husbands, according to seniority, while there is a degree of inequality within the share relations of a husband and his wife's kin, particularly with the wife's unwed brothers. Unmarried brothers often demand sharing from their sister's husbands without giving much back in return, or for that matter doing much work around the camp. To a certain extent, this behavior is accepted as they are natal residents who will eventually transition into a subordinate set of relationships with their affines. It is also perceived as their right as the 'stalk' of their sisters, and their role as the waris di atas batin.


The relationship between brothers and sisters (mother/sons, maternal uncle/sisters female children) is perceived to be the primary and most important set of kin relationships, despite the fact that it is often weakened after marriage due to dispersed marriage and strong obligations to affines. Brothers (sons, maternal uncles) are perceived as insiders in their natal camps and forests, and are expected to serve a role as the guardians and protectors of the women (mothers, sisters, sisters female children), and to represent their rights and interests to all outsiders. They are also expected to perform the role of an authority figure to their sister's children, and help to negotiate and arrange important life stage ceremonies. The relationship between brothers and sisters is nurtured from a very young age, which along the Makekal is reflected in metaphoric appendages attached to the end of children's names. The given names of male children are followed by the term tampung, meaning the 'stalk' of a plant, while the names of female children are followed by bungo, meaning 'flower.' As this metaphor or analogy implies, throughout one's life a brother is obliged to be the primary support network for his sister.

Within this relationship, the mother, sisters, and sisters' female children are referred to as the 'female kin who sit at the door of debt' (waris perebo nang duduk de pinta utang). Debt indirectly refers to the obligations of a son to his mother and sisters, but more directly refers to the women's rights to manage immoveable inheritance in their forests such as fruit and honey trees, and more particularly the family cloth. Brothers (sons/ maternal uncles) are referred to as the 'the kin who stand over the innerness' of the women (waris di atas batin) and the 'kin who sit at the door of debt as warriors' (waris di atas batin nang duduk de pinta baling). The waris di atas batin perceive it as their duty and obligation, through aggressive posturing and the rule of law, to protect the interests of their women from all outside Orang Rimba males who are not immediate kin. Their protective and posturing role is expressed in the following adat couplet.

you must be shy, polite, and fear the

male kin who sits as the protector, so that

the women can't be stabbed with a knife,

cut with a knife, enslaved,

lied to, harassed, or made stupid

haruy mailt haruy sopan, santun dengen

waris di pintu de baling, maeh liopibisa

orang kelosko orang pancung de

umbasko orang tipu orang dayo orang

umbitk orang umbasko

In the traditional context, women are not supposed to leave the forests, and it is perceived as the duty of the waris di atas batin to ensure that they are shielded from any interactions with outsiders. In addition to protecting the women from non-Orang Rimba, who in the past may have been associated with slave raiding or disease, in the forests their role is much more concerned with preventing improper relations with Orang Rimba males. In addition to verbally confronting, intimidating, or using their fists, any outside males who are caught in cases with their women are subject to legal hearings, where the accused male can be fined in sheets of cloth.

Legal hearings involving improper conduct with women or infringing upon their rights are a constant occurrence in the forests, and while many of these cases involve bachelors and maidens, they are certainly not confined to them. Most adult men will find themselves involved in cases throughout their lives, particularly in reference to improperly harvesting primary forest resources without the permission of the female owner. In addition to restricting improper interactions between men and women, these rules and their related hearings are more generally intertwined with regulating proper social relations in their communities, which are based around women, and through legal analogies can extend to a number of different domains of social life. Thus, a man who violates adat customs, is disruptive, or harvests primary resources in the forests without first receiving permission from the woman or group of women to which it belongs, may find himself in a legal case, which through analogy he has violated, defiled, or committed incest with a woman. These issues are closely intertwined with camp power relations between the women, their brothers and in-marrying adult husbands. They also appear to be related with either reacquiring or increasing the family store of cloth, which through marriage and a constant cycle of legal hearings involving men is continuously moving from household to household.

After moving to the camps of their wives, brothers are expected to serve as the legal representatives of their sisters, and whenever called upon, return to their natal forests to manage important affairs. These obligations are expressed in the following adat couplet.

the wide of the river comes and goes

the long bend of the river is looked after

you cannot leave the group of women

they cannot be forgotten

or they are left to be stolen from

the sons/brothers can still be called upon

sural lebor haruy diulang

rantu panjang de lendu

piado ketingalon war'is perebo

lelak telupos

tinggal kemalingon pado waris perebo

tetep pepangilon waris di atas batin

By fulfilling their obligations and maintaining good relations with the women, sons and brothers not only ensure that their family rights are protected, but also maintain a positive network of support relations and receive access to their mother and sisters store of cloth, whenever they find themselves involved in a legal hearing.

Despite the social importance ascribed to the brother-sister (mother/son, maternal uncle/sister's female children) relationship, it is often diminished after marriage due to dispersed marriages and stronger obligations to relationships with in-laws. Unless a man marries near his natal camp, he is usually only able to handle urgent matters involving his natal women, which may include arranging or attending important life stage ceremonies and negotiating the marriage of his sister's female children. In these cases, the aggressive posturing role of the waris di atas batin often falls to women's unmarried brothers when they come of age, with primary obligations falling to the eldest unmarried brother. This often results in a rather tense and sometimes disrespectful relationship between unmarried brothers and in-marrying husbands, despite the latler's adulthood, age, and seniority. Unmarried brothers are usually persistent in defending the interests of their mother and sisters in the relationships with their husbands. They often make a point to stress their natal ties and rights within their customary forests, and downplay that of their brothers-in-law. Throughout my stay, bachelors would verbally confront their sisters' husbands whenever they were chided for being lazy and not contributing to the camp, involving themselves in too many legal hearings involving women, or following cultural and religious prohibitions.

Within their camps, sisters' unmarried brothers are valued in their role as protectors, and through their posturing, give additional leverage in their relations with their husbands. Outside their camps, they are perceived as a disruptive threat to women, particularly to maidens, and throughout their youth often find themselves involved in legal cases during their visits to other camps. When involved in too many cases, this can burden and lead to a tense relationship with their mother and sisters, and quickly diminish the family store of cloth. As non-adults, they are also unable to perform the legal duties in their role as waris di atas batin, which involves taking men to court and fining them for infringing upon women's rights, and of course increasing the family store of cloth. The absence of the mother's adult brothers from everyday camp life also allows in-married husbands the opportunity to acquire a degree of respect, status, authority and influence as the legal protectors of women within the domains of adat law and in religious matters. It also allows them a degree of authority over their unmarried brothers-in-law through their ability to wage legal and religious related threats whenever their behavior falls outside the boundaries of customary law.


Each camp or associated grouping of camps is led by a headman (penghulu) who is democratically chosen by its members, largely based on age, seniority, and his knowledge of customary law. In particular, the leaders should have a vast knowledge and the ability to manipulate seleko adat legal analogies, embedded in the form rhymed couplets, proverbs, metaphors, and aphorisms. While legal cases can be held on a wide range of issues, the majority are concerned with arranging marriages, enforcing inappropriate cross-gender relations, and defending women's rights to forest resources. The manipulation of customary law in community legal hearings (rudingon) lies strongly within the domain of adult males. Females always attend and actively participate, however, it is not considered appropriate for them to manipulate seleko adat legal analogies in the context of a legal hearing, nor do they formally determine the outcomes.

Over this simple system of leadership, there is a system of hierarchical village titles held by many of the penghulu along the Makeklal River and other river regions. This places them within a nested order of leadership under their Malay patrons in the village of Tanah Garo, and through them, the hierarchy of the former kingdom, and these days, provincial government. From the village standpoint, these titles traditionally served to facilitate the trade in forest products, to arrange collection teams and meeting points, and to enforce the obligations inherent in this relationship. However, village patrons are of little relevance to their social relations in the forests, and rarely participate in their internal legal matters unless it is an important matter involving the outside world. Obtaining village titles and the attached status and authority they imply is very important and relevant to them, and to their internal system of leadership and law. Participation in community legal hearings and obtaining a title can be a means for an adult male to achieve status and a limited amount of authority within his community. Despite this hierarchy of titles, their system of law is extremely democratic. Titles do not give a leader the direct authority to determine the outcome of a hearing without the consensus of the larger community. While a man can be fined for insulting, abusing, or disagreeing with the leader's final decision, the headman or titleholder who resides over the case can also be fined or removed from his position if he diverges from the opinion of the larger community, or if the community believes he is not performing his duties properly.

Community legal hearings are always attended by the larger community and involve the active participation of adult men, as well as the women. They are more generally a microcosm of male-female relations and the ultimate display of male intellect (akal) and female passion (nafsu). During any legal case, there is an order of speaking that begins with the senior titleholder and shifts to others according to their age, seniority, title, and gender. In a soft but stern tone, and with complete control over their emotions, adult men take turns arguing the case through a series of nested analogies, metaphors, and aphorisms embedded in the rhymes and rhythm of seleko adat. In between the poetic rationality of the men, the flow is abruptly interrupted by the women, who display the full range of their emotions and passions to manipulate the case, the opinions of others, and the amount of cloth being wagered to their advantage. At times this can include boldly yelling out their argument in anger, jumping to their feet and collapsing to the ground, and pounding the dirt. This can quickly shift to buttering up the crowd in a soft and seductive tone, or breaking out in tears, sobbing, or threatening to kill themselves. After these outbursts, the men, with complete control over their emotions, will go back into their own rhythm of debating the case through the winding analogies of seleko adat. While the adult men, together with the headmen or titleholder, ultimately determine the outcome of a case, it is the strong voices, dramatic displays, and passionate opinions and interests of the women who ultimately sway and have a significant or the dominant impact on the outcome of a case.


Types of Marriage

According to custom, a true marriage can only occur after the completion of bride service, which many say can formally last around seven or eight years. If successfully completed, there is no obligation for the bachelor to pay bridewealth. While most bachelors will perform lengthy periods of bride service that may last a season or two, these days, few ever get around to successfully completing it according to their in-laws standards. In these cases, they always combine their work with bridewealth paid in sheets of cloth. Within one's network of kindred relations, first cousin marriages (kebonoron 'the truth') are preferred, as they are often familiar, nearby and hold the potential to intensify relations with neighboring camps. These types of marriages are referred to as 'juwok dengen palau,' two types of fish that are delicious to eat. The males prefer parallel cousin marriages, as they hold the potential to keep all parties within their camp and customary forests, but they rarely occur as they hold the potential to reduce the stringent demands made by in-laws during bride service and throughout a marriage.

Cross cousin marriages are also preferred and much more common, as they hold the potential to intensify relations with mother's adult brother. If a marriage does occur where no kin relations are involved, which is extremely rare, the most important issue is that they are nearby, so the male can maintain some kind of relations with his mother and sisters. Along the Makekal, most males will try to find a potential wife who lives along the upstream or downstream portions of the river, or along one of its neighboring interfluves: the Air Hitam River to the south or the Kajasung River to the east. It is less common for people along the Makekal to marry someone in the southeast region of Bukit Duabelas, as it is several days' walk. Marriages with Orang Rimba outside of Bukit Duabelas are even rarer, primarily because they are far, and that maintaining any relations with their natal camp would be difficult. They also say that camps outside Bukit Duabelas may have different systems of customary law, and that arranging bride service and bridewealth would be difficult.

Marriages between kin who cross generation levels are considered incestuous (sumbang), and are strictly prohibited within the first and usually second degrees of distance. These marriage's are referred to as 'pancit dengen memiang,' two types of fish that smell bad, are rarely eaten by men, and are prohibited to be eaten by females and children. Cross generation marriages are grudgingly permitted in further degrees of separation (from the 2nd and 3rd degree on), but also lead to an increased payment of cloth for bridewealth. More generally, generation-level restrictions are highly negotiable, as long as they are not within the first and usually second degrees of distance. The birth order of daughters can also influence the payment of bridewealth. A marriage with a youngest daughter (bunsunye) is referred to as a 'cutting the swing' marriage {mancung tali buoyon), and is expected to fetch a longer period of bride service, and a higher payment of bridewealth. The reason for this is the extra care and affection that parents put into raising their youngest and last child, and the greater sorrow felt in parting with her. It is also usually the last chance a family will have to receive the services and payment from a male suitor.

The Orang Rimba prohibit all marriages with outsiders, and while a man may occasionally leave the forests and marry a villager. I wasn't aware of any instances of this occurring with the women. In the rare case of intermarriage, or for that matter living in the village, entering Islam, and thus becoming Malay the person is banished from the Orang Rimba community. While they may visit their family in the forests, they are forbidden to spend the night in a camp or attend any religious related events or ritual. The transition to becoming Malay is rarely a permanent one.

Bride Service and Bridewealth: becoming a 'parasitic plant on the mother'

Upon entering adolescence, the males will usually begin to travel around to different camps outside their community forests (merantau), attending different life stage ceremonies or seasonal subsistence oriented pursuits (collecting honey, opening a swidden field) in order to catch the eye of a maiden and prove their worth by engaging in work with male members of her family. One socially acceptable way for bachelors and maidens to express their desire or lack of desire for a relationship is by singing love poems to one another (Sager 2008). During this time, bachelors often find themselves involved in community legal hearings involving improper interactions with maidens, in which it must be determined whether the couple marries (timbang hopi kawin) or the bachelor pays a cloth fine and moves on. In a clean case where there are no cross-generation level relations involved, the fine for deciding not to marry is usually around twenty sheets of cloth, but varies according to river region. When it is determined that a relationship crosses generation levels, and they often do, then the hearing goes into a convoluted debate into the degree of incest involved, in which the cloth fine is increased accordingly.

In the ideal situation, and if both sets of parents (orang besen) are interested in advancing the relationship, before such a case occurs the parents of the bachelor will present small gifts to the parents of the maiden. If accepted, the male moves to the female's residence to perform a period of bride service (berinduk semang), which is metaphorically referred to as becoming 'a parasitic plant on mother's family'. During this time, the suitor is obliged to perform 'free work' (budi beso) for the maiden's parents and extended family, which does not imply an obligation to return any form of reciprocity. Some of his tasks may include opening swidden fields, building homes, climbing honey trees, hunting and providing game, collecting forest products, or any other work. At the lowest rung in the pecking order, in-laws can call upon the suitor at any time, according to their relations to the maiden's parents, to perform or help them out with their work. Throughout this period the suitor is usually hazed by his unmarried brothers-in-law, senior husbands, and in-laws. In instances where the maiden's parents have primary obligations to provide for their own parents, the male suitor may be assigned to provide game, build a home, or clear their swidden.

While many elders say the successful completion of bride service was more common in the past, these days it is rarely, if ever, completed. Usually the family of the maiden will attempt to extend the period as long as possible until the suitor finally forces a 'push-pull' (tarik-rento) marriage by stealing some of the female's belongings. In these cases, which these days and to some extent may have always been the norm, a party from the bachelor's side, usually his father, brothers, the camp headman, and lhe titled legal representative or defendant (mangku) of their region make the trip to the maiden's camp in order to negotiate a payment of bridewealth with the male representatives of the maiden's family, which usually include their mother's brothers, father, brothers and camp headman. It is considered the obligation of the maiden's senior maternal uncle (uwak) to return and take the lead role in these negotiations, although a younger maternal uncle (pamok) can also substitute. The maiden's father also plays an important role in these negotiations. The bridewealth is debated according to the amount of bride service the bachelor has performed, and the kinship relations at play, with any cross-generational ties increasing the price.

The Law of the Beating (adat memhunuhbunuhon)

After the bridewealth has been paid, the family of the maiden conducts a formal ritualized beating (memhunuhbunuhon, 'massacre') of the bachelor and maiden in order to compensate for the shame that they have inflicted on the maiden's family for not completing bride service. Before the beating, the male representatives of both families exchange a formal series of seleko adat couplets, which clarify the rules of the beating, and warn of the fines involved if the boy is seriously injured. The beating is usually dished out by the important members of the maiden's family, which usually include her mother, mother's sisters, and mother's brothers, who do so with their fists, rattan canes or bamboo sticks. The number of family members participating from the maiden's side usually depends upon and is slightly higher than the number of representatives who have made the trip from the bachelor's side, who in turn are allowed to try to defend the bachelor and maiden without the use of any sticks or weapons. The titled representative of the bachelor monitors the beating to ensure that it does not get out of hand, and lines members of the maiden's family if the boy is seriously injured. In addition to compensating the family of the maiden for any shame induced by not completing bride service, the ritual beating is the couple's initiation and passage into adulthood, and in a very firm way, marks the new husband's position of subordination and obligation to his affines.

After the ceremonial beating, the headman of the female's camp usually performs a brief non-religious marriage ceremony in front of the larger community, where he explains to them through the words of seleko adat, the rules and obligations of being adults or rer'ayo. This includes going through the rights and obligations of the relationship between the husband and wife through the laws of the household, the laws of uxorilocal residence, and the husband's obligations to his in-laws. The headman also explains the laws of engkar. Throughout a marriage, it is strongly prohibited for the couple to move from the community forests of the wife. Doing so is termed engkar or 'breaking the pledge,' in which case the husband must pay a fine of 500 sheets of cloth to his in-laws in order to compensate for the life of the woman. This in turn severs the female's relations with her natal camp, her rights to any immoveable inheritance (fruit and honey trees, cloth), and right to live in or access any of the resources found in her customary forests.

The couple will initially live in a small hut next to the bride's parents, and until the birth of their first child are referred to by others in the community as 'father or mother in waiting' (bepak/induk mentarow). Their new status as rerayo or adults gives them the rights and obligation to participate in matters concerning the camp within the realm of community legal hearings. The couples more complete entry into adulthood arrives with the birth of their first child, after which they are referred to as 'father or mother' of their 'eldest child's name.' This event is also marked by a change in the way that women wear their sarongs. After the birth of their first child, women will no longer wear their sarongs high over their breasts, but rather leave them open (buka koin) or rather down low wrapped around their waists, exposing their breasts as a sign to others that they are now married adult women and mothers. This also marks their full rights to manage their inheritance, such as fruit and honey trees, and receive a portion of their mother's cloth. It also allows them the authority to wield their passions toward their husbands and other men within the everyday life of the community, and within the realm of rundingon, in defense or to increase their own family stores of cloth.

As is the case with the male loin cloth, the pattern of female dress is obviously pointed out by the surrounding Malay as a major difference between their peoples, one which they believe to be primitive, and according to Islamic morals and etiquette, improper. Women's breasts are a very open and symbolic display of female adulthood, rights and power; however, women's bodies are ever the focus of attention in a sexually provocative way, and in quite the opposite manner mark their boundaries with men. In addition to avoiding contact and maintaining physical proximity, men will also often avoid direct eye contact with a female and their bodies. Aside from the fact that Orang Rimba women expose their bodies, breasts, and their passions, the very restrictive nature of their cross-gender relations is certainly beyond that of the surrounding Malay.

After the beating, the couple is allowed to participate as adults in camp decisions and within legal hearings. However, their complete status as adults arrives only after their marriage is sanctioned before the gods during a religious marriage ceremony held during the annual season of fruits. For the new husband, this event marks the beginning of a religious life, which together with his new right to actively participate in community legal hearings, allows him another avenue to acquire rights and a limited amount of authority within the community of his wife.

Polygamy and Divorce: 'pollinating the flowers' and 'cutting the rattan'

As with the surrounding Malay, polygamy (bermadu 'to pollinate the flowers or collect honey') sometimes occurs. However, given prior obligations to in-laws, bride service is never performed, and because of this, most families are unwilling to offer their unwed daughters to someone who already has a wife. When polygamy does occur, it is often with the widowed sister of the first wife, or in a case where an affair out of wedlock has led to a pregnancy. When a man does take a second wife, a religious ceremony is never held, nor is the husband required to make a payment of bridewealth. Instead, a small ceremony occurs called the 'law of the response' (adat besesambuton) in which the first wife establishes her precedence and seniority in the relationship by receiving a cloth payment from the second wife, and afterward gives her a ritual beating for the shame that she has inflicted. In contrast to the ritualized beating of the bachelor and maiden, this event only involves the two wives and no other family members. After the ceremonial beating, the second wife establishes a separate household near the first wife, while the husband floats back and forth and is obliged to provide for both. In some cases, a husband may take more than two wives, but this is rare as it includes a great deal of obligation on the husband's part to provide for additional families.

Grounds for divorce can include the failure of either party to fulfill their obligations in a marriage, which for the husband includes obligations to provide for the extended family of his wife. Throughout a marriage, the wife will threaten divorce on a regular basis in order to pressure her husband to step up his work efforts. In the context of Orang Rimba marital relations, this does not necessarily imply that the relationship is on the verge of collapse. If the relationship does reach a boiling point for whatever reason, then a divorce hearing can be held before the community to decide who is at fault and who will be required to pay the cloth fine. The manner in which each party argues their case in a divorce hearing is usually on the grounds that the other is lazy, greedy, has violated gender-related sharing rules, or has engaged in an affair out of wedlock. The fine is usually higher if the male wins the case, to provide compensation for his contributions to his wife's camp. After the hearing, they perform a small ceremony referred to as 'cutting the rattan' (bototoruwoton), where the headman goes through a formal series of seleko adat couplets, after which the couple hold opposite ends of a piece of rattan, which is cut down the middle, symbolically severing their ties, and the husbands ties to his in-laws. Whether or not the husband wins the case, he usually returns to his natal camp in shame where he is again dependant on his mother and sister's cloth to arrange a future marriage.

In cases where an Orang Rimba male divorces a village wife, the transition in and out of the Orang Rimba community is rarely a permanent one. If a man does become Malay, he is allowed to return to life in the forests after a divorce as long as he resumes the numerous prohibitions required of the community, such as not using soap, eating village domesticates, and so on, so that he doesn't disturb the communities delicate relations with the gods. In the vast majority of these cases, the man will eventually return to live in an Orang Rimba community.


Orang Rimba kinship and social organization demonstrate their ties to Malay and Austronesian-speaking peoples throughout the region. The manner in which many of these concepts are put to use is very different and is arranged in a way to fit their unique way of life in the forests. Some of the broader differences in their social relations, for instance brother-sister relations, relate to their small camps, mobile economy, dispersed residence patterns, and asymmetrical relations of affinity, which take place in the context of an egalitarian network of share relations. This results in a set of social relationships which is not unlike many of the bride service societies throughout the world. As with the surrounding Malay, the primary and most precedent set of kinship relations is between brothers and sisters, and mother's brothers and sisters' children. The importance of the brother-sister relationship is expressed through botanic metaphor (brother/stalk, sister/flower), and within numerous seleko adat couplets that express the great obligations inherent in this relationship. Dispersed residence patterns and the strong obligations that in-marrying males have to provide for their in-laws often weakens this relationship and leads to a shift in the priority of male relations to their in-laws. The precedence ascribed to the brother/sister and mother's brother/sister's children relationships, even though they are greatly diminished, may suggest distant ties to more settled Malay-speaking peoples, possibly in a context where mother's brother was able to maintain more fluent ties with natal kin. These days, the birth order of maternal uncle is rarely distinguished through use of distinct kin terms.

The stringent demands made of husbands during bride service, and more generally residence in wife's camp, is expressed through the botanic expression of being a 'parasitic plant on the mother,' which is quite literally how in-laws perceive the subordinate position of in-marrying males. The ritualized 'beating' of the male suitor at marriage is not only compensation for the shame inflicted for not completing bride service, but is also a rite of passage into adulthood and an opportunity for affines to mark the subordinate position of the husband in his wife's camp. From a legal perspective, moving away from wife's residence is perceived to be on the same scale as murder or committing incest with one's parents or child. Divorce is expressed through botanic analogy as 'cutting the rattan,' which not only severs a man's ties to his wife, children and his wife's kin, but to some extent takes away his full status of adulthood. This shameful experience sends a male back to his natal forests, where he is again dependent on his mother and sister's bundles of cloth to arrange a future marriage.

After marriage and the birth of a first child, a woman begins wearing her cloth wrapped around the waist as a sign to others of her full status of female adulthood. She begins to display her dramatic passions in the everyday life of the camp in order to pressure her husband to step up his work efforts and provide for the household, her parents, and extended kin. One of the ways that a husband can increase his standing in the camp is by becoming a good hunter and provider, and through his participation in a network of share relations. He may also become more religious, more stringently follow religious prohibitions (on soap, food, restricting interaction with outsiders), and demand that others, particularly the women's unmarried brothers, do the same. Another avenue is to hone his 'intellect' and establish a reputation for his knowledge of customary law within the context of legal hearings, in defense or to increase his family store of cloth. Adult females also participate in these hearings, and upon entering adulthood begin to hone a very different set of skills in their 'passions,' to manipulate the interests of men, and to defend or increase their store of cloth.

Because marriages are dispersed, in most cases the guardian role of the brother is carried on by unmarried non-adult brothers, which tends to result in some tension in the relationship with their sisters' husbands. The weakened mother-brother relationship also allows for in-marrying husbands, who they perceive as outsiders, to take the reins within the domains of law and religion in the camps of their wives without much influence from mothers' adult brothers, who whenever present are considered the legal authority of these matters in their natal camps. Most legal matters are concerned with arranging marriage, and with enforcing and fining males for their improper interactions with women, or through analogy their rights to forest resources. Thus, while the Orang Rimba kindred of relationships create an infinite network of support and share relations amongst different camps in the forests, they also create a tangled web of cross-sex kindred violations for males, with the cloth fine debated in reference to their relations to the female and the degree of sumbang at stake.

The manner in which the Orang Rimba restrict interactions with the core of their society has traditionally served to protect the health, safety, and maintain the autonomy of Orang Rimba adat within the context of an assimilative Malay world. Within their own social worlds, these issues are closely intertwined with power relations between the great rights of the 'passionate' women, their 'aggressive' and unruly non-adult brothers, and their 'intellectual' and 'religious' oriented adult husbands and brothers-in-law. These issues are also closely intertwined with either reacquiring or increasing cloth, which through a constant cycle of legal hearings is continuously moving from household to household. Cloth is a form of wealth, which is needed to arrange marriages and pay fines incurred by males, but is also a symbol of the great rights and 'passions' of the female and the 'intellect' of the male, and the ability of both to defend the integrity and chaste of women and their rights and claims to forest resources.

DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5149


(1.) Malay social organization in the lowland regions of Jambi is very similar to Malay in Peninsular Malaysia as described by Banks (Banks 1983). For accounts of different variations of kinship found among Malay-speaking peoples throughout Sumatra see: Besemah and Guinai in the highlands of South Sumatra (Collins 1979; Sakai 1999); Redjang of South Sumatra (Jaspan 1964); Petalangan of Riau (Rang 2002); Minangkabau in West Sumatra (Thomas 1977); and Aech in North Sumatra (Bowen 1984).


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Steven Sager

Royal Thimphu College
Figure 1 : Orang Rimba Kinship Terminology

moyang           (beyond great grand   PPP +
                 parents, ancestors)
puyang           (great grandparents   PPP
                 or ancestors)
nenek            (grandparents)        PP
nenekjenton      (grandfather)
nenek betina     (grandmother)
bepak            (father)              F
induk             mother)              M
ibung            (aunt)                FZ, MZ
mamok            (uncle)               FB, MB
uwak             (eldest maternal      M eldest B
                 uncle) (youngest
pamok            maternal uncle)       M youngest B
dulur            (sibling)             Sb
kakok tuha       (eldest sibling)      eldest Sb
kakok            (elder sibling)       eSb
adik             (younger sibling)     ySb
pupu              (cousin)             PSbC

laki             (husband)             H
bini             (wife)                W
orang besen      (both sets of
                 parents of a
orang hubanon    (spouse's parents)    SpF. SM
manantu          (child's spouse)      CSp

moyang           (beyond great grand   mengkanak tuha
                 parents, ancestors)
puyang           (great grandparents
                 or ancestors)
nenek            (grandparents)        mengkanak betina
nenekjenton      (grandfather)
nenek betina     (grandmother)
bepak            (father)              anak buah kontan
induk             mother)
ibung            (aunt)                ipor
mamok            (uncle)
uwak             (eldest maternal
                 uncle) (youngest
pamok            maternal uncle)
dulur            (sibling)             kekakok
kakok tuha       (eldest sibling)      kekakok tuha
kakok            (elder sibling)       mengkadik
adik             (younger sibling)     adik ipor
pupu              (cousin)             orang tuha (parents)
laki             (husband)             nakon (nephew/niece)
bini             (wife)
orang besen      (both sets of         cucun (grandchildren)
                 parents of a
orang hubanon    (spouse's parents)    cicip (great "")
manantu          (child's spouse)      piyud ("" and below)

moyang           (beyond great grand   DH
                 parents, ancestors)
puyang           (great grandparents
                 or ancestors)
nenek            (grandparents)        SW
nenekjenton      (grandfather)
nenek betina     (grandmother)
bepak            (father)              SbCSp
induk             mother)
ibung            (aunt)                SpSb [WB,
mamok            (uncle)               ZH, BW,
uwak             (eldest maternal      WZ]
                 uncle) (youngest
pamok            maternal uncle)
dulur            (sibling)             SpeSb
kakok tuha       (eldest sibling)      Speldest Sb
kakok            (elder sibling)       SpySb
adik             (younger sibling)     Spyngest Sb
pupu              (cousin)
                                       youngest D
laki             (husband)             SbC
bini             (wife)
orang besen      (both sets of         CC
                 parents of a
orang hubanon    (spouse's parents)    ccc
manantu          (child's spouse)      ccc
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Author:Sager, Steven
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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