Acehnese people

Acehnese people
Ureuëng Acèh
اورڠ اچيه

Acehnese couple circa 1939
Total population
3.526.000[1] - 4.200.000[2]
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia: 3.404.000 (2010)[3] - 3.445.000 (2015)[4]
 Malaysia: 80.000-120.000 (2009)[5]
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Kluet, Cham, Kyat Malays, and other Chamic speaking peoples

The Acehnese (also Achinese) are an ethnic group from Aceh, Indonesia in the northernmost tip of the island of Sumatra. The area has a history of political struggle against the Dutch. Their language, the Acehnese, belongs to the Aceh–Chamic groups of Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.

The 14th century Suruaso inscription was found in Tanah Datar Regency (West Sumatra), and written in two languages, Old Malay and Tamil. The Tamils were also assimilated with Acehnese people, and many of them has physical resemblance to that of Tamils. However, they do not practice Tamil culture or speak Tamil language anymore.

They were at one time Hinduised, as is evident from their traditions and the many Sanskrit words in their language.[6] They have been Muslims for several centuries and are generally considered the most conservative Muslim ethnic group in Indonesia with the implementation of Sharia law in their home province of Aceh.[7][8] The estimated number of Acehnese ranges 3,526,000 people[9] and at least 4.2 million people[10]

Traditionally, there have been a large number of Acehnese agriculturists, metal-workers and weavers. Traditionally matrilocal, their social organisation is communal. They live in gampôngs, which combine to form districts known as mukims.[11]

Aceh came to international attention as being the hardest-hit region of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake with 120,000 people dead.

Overseas Acehnese

Main article: Overseas Acehnese

Due to conflict since Dutch invasion to Aceh until Martial Law in Aceh and 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, many Acehnese fled abroad. The most significant number of Acehnese can be found in Malaysia[12][13] and Scandinavia[14] countries. Acehnese immigrants also can be found significantly in Singapore,[15] Thailand,[16] Australia,[17] United States[18] and Canada.[19]



Seudati Dance performed at Samalanga, Bireun, Aceh, 1907.

Traditional Acehnese dance portrays the heritage culture, religion and folklore of the common folk.[20] Acehnese dance are generally performed in groups; either in standing or in sitting position, whereby the group of dancers will be of the same gender. If seen from the musical standpoint, the dance can be grouped into two types. One is accompanied with vocals and physical percussive movements of the dancers themselves, and the other is simply accompanied by an assemble of musical instruments.[21]

Traditional cuisine

Mie Aceh, an Acehnese fried noodles.

Acehnese cuisine is known for its combination of spices just as it is commonly found in Indian and Arabic cuisine such as ginger, pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel.[22] A variety of Acehnese food is cooked with curry or curry and coconut milk, of which is generally combined with meat such as buffalo meat, beef, mutton, fish, and chicken.[23] Several types of traditional recipe uses a blend of cannabis as a flavoring spice; where such cases is also found in some other Southeast Asian cuisines such as in Laos.[24] However today, those substance are no longer used.[25]

Notable persons

For more details on this topic, see List of Acehnese people.

See also


  1. Acehnese. ©2016 Joshua Project. Retrieved on July 8, 2016.
  2. Acehnese. Encyclopædia Britannica. ©2016 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved on July 8, 2016.
  3. Changing Ethnic Composition: Indonesia, 2000-2010 page 14
  4. Acehnese in Indonesia. ©2016 Joshua Project. Retrieved on July 8, 2016.
  5. Fallon, Karla S. (2009). Making Noise: The Politics of Aceh and East Timor in the Diaspora, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, page 87.
  6.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Achin". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 144–145.
  7. "Aceh fully enforces sharia". The Jakarta Post. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  8. "Aceh to implement tougher law, punishments from Friday". The Jakarta Post. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  9. "Acehnese". Joshua Project. 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  10. "Acehnese". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  11. Chisholm 1911.
  12. Effendi Hasan (2008). Nasib masyarakat Aceh di Malaysia. Modus Aceh.
  13. Arip Budiman (19 May 2010). "25.000 Pengungsi Tsunami Aceh Di Malaysia Harus Pulang". Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  14. Tanjung, Eka (5 June 2005). "Masyarakat Aceh di Skandinavia". (in Indonesian). Hak Cipta Radio Nederland. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  15. "Bagaimana GAM Melobi Internasional". Archived from the original on 24 October 2009.
  16. Chaidar, Al (4 September 2008). "Aceh Negeri Bayangan". Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  17. Warga Aceh di Australia prihatin Kondisi Aceh
  18. Fuad Ariyanto-Farouk (17 September 2007). "Ingin Mati di Kampung, Rela Lepas Rumah-Mobil di Harrisburg". Jawa Pos.
  19. Lisa Ruth Brunner, Jennifer Hyndman & Chris Friesen. "Aceh-Malaysia-Vancouver: Settlement Among Acehnese Refugees Five Years On" (PDF). The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  20. Proyek Penelitian dan Pencatatan Kebudayaan Daerah Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan (1977). Geografi Budaya Daerah Istimewa Aceh. Proyek Penelitian dan Pencatatan Kebudayaan Daerah Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan; Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan. p. 58. OCLC 14166322.
  21. Margaret J. Kartomi (2012). Musical Journeys In Sumatra. University of Illinois Press. pp. 288–291. ISBN 978-025-203-671-2.
  22. Rosemary Brissenden (2007). Southeast Asian Food: Classic and Modern Dishes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-7946-0488-9.
  23. Patrick Witton (2002). World Food: Indonesia. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-7405-9009-0.
  24. Alan Davidson (2002). The Penguin Companion to Food. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-1420-0163-5.
  25. Ahmad Arif, Budi Suwarna & Aryo Wisanggeni Gentong (2 April 2013). "Inilah Rahasia Kelezatan Kari Aceh". Kompas. Retrieved 31 October 2015.

External links

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