Busoa in Indonesia

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Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Busoa
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,100
World Population: 3,100
Primary Language: Busoa
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.50 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Tukangbesi of Sulawesi
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Busoa are an indigenous people who live on Buton Island in Indonesia. Buton Island was part of a Buton Sultanate from the 14th to 16th century. The Dutch ruled the island until 1949 when Indonesia became an independent nation. The Busoa's language is considered endangered with only about 3000 speakers. The national Indonesian language of Bahasa is taught in the schools of the Buton Island.

Where Are they Located?

The Busoa live in villages in the southwest corner of Buton Island, the 19th largest island in Indonesia. Buton is located in the Sulawesi Tenggara Province of Indonesia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lives of the Busoa are changing. They are becoming more and more a part of the modern Indonesian economy. The main product of Buton Island is bitumen also known are asphalt or tar. Bitumen is used to make roads and in other areas of industry. Busoa men work at the asphalt mines as well as in agriculture and fishing. Buton Island is known for its pineapples, maize, rice, coconuts, and sago flour. Sago is pulp found in certain palm trees. Teak forests provide wood for shipbuilding and furniture.

Most Busoa still live in villages. Some have moved to cities and towns in looking for economic opportunities and a better life.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of the Busoa are Muslims. Animism heavily influences their brand of Islam. The Busoa use charms and spells in hope or warding off the evil spirits that inhabit natural objects in their environment. Village shamans connect the Busoa with the spirit world and offer their services. The Busoa live in fear of offending the spirits and their ancestors.

There is a small group of believers among the Busoa. No current Christian resources currently are available in the Busoa's endangered language.

What Are Their Needs?

The Busoa need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Since the church is so small, outside assistance is necessary if the church is to grow beyond a tiny minority. Solar panels can help the Busoa who still live in villages to obtain power for appliances and cell phones. Medical teams can advance health of the Busoa. Bible translators can bring the Word of God to the Busoa in their heart language.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Lord sends workers to encourage the small church and train leaders.
Pray that whole Busoa villages and families come to Christ.
Pray that the Busoa would be delivered from their fear of evil spirits and embrace the love and grace of God found only in Christ.

Text Source:   Keith Carey