Indonesia has a variety of ethnic groups that have a unique culture. One of the unique tribes in Indonesia is the Sea tribe. The Sea Tribe or often also referred to as the Sea People are the indigenous tribes of the Riau Islands province.

Broadly speaking, the term Orang Laut includes “various tribes and groups residing in the islands and estuaries of the Riau-Lingga Islands, Pulau Tujuh, the Islands around Batam, and the coast and islands off the coast of East Sumatra and the southern Malay Peninsula. . “

Another term for the Sea People is the Straits. The Sea People are sometimes confused with another maritime tribe, the Pirates.

Historically, the Sea People were once robbers, but played an important role in the Sriwijaya Kingdom, the Sultanate of Malacca and the Sultanate of Johor. They guarded the straits, drove out pirates, drove traders to the ports of the Kingdoms, and defended their hegemony in the area.

Loncong Language resemblance to Malay and Malay is classified as Local. Currently they generally work as fishermen. Like the Bajau tribes of the Sea People are sometimes nicknamed “sea wanderers”, because they live moving around in boats.

The Sea People played an important role in supporting the success of the governments in the Straits of Malacca. In the time of Sriwijaya they acted as supporters of the empire. With the claim that the descendants of the Sriwijaya kings of the sultan of Malacca managed to gain the support and loyalty of the Sea People.

When Malacca fell they continued their allegiance to the descendants of the sultan of Malacca who later established the Sultanate of Johor. When the Dutch intended to invade Johor which began to rise up to rival Malacca – which in the 17th century was overthrown by the Dutch over – the Sultan of Johor threatened to order the Marines to stop the protection of the Marines on Dutch ships.

In 1699 Sultan Mahmud Syah, the last descendant of the Malacca-Johor dynasty, was killed. The Sea People refused to acknowledge the Bendahara dynasty who ascended the throne as the new sultan of Johor, because the Bendahara family was suspected of being involved in the assassination. When in 1718 Raja Kecil, a Minangkabau adventurer claimed the right to the throne of Johor, Orang Laut gave his support.

However, with the support of Bugis soldiers Sultan Sulaiman Syah from the Bendahara dynasty managed to regain the throne of Johor. With the help of the Sea people (the Bentan tribe and the Bulang Tribe) helped the Little King to establish the Siak Sultanate, after being expelled from Johor.

In the 18th century the role of the Sea People as guardians of the Straits of Malacca for the Sultanate of Johor-Riau was gradually replaced by the Bugis. Are you interested in reading this article? Come on, get interesting information and add insights from


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