Dayak, Lawangan in Indonesia

Dayak, Lawangan
Photo Source:  Greg n Trees 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Dayak, Lawangan
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 135,000
World Population: 135,000
Primary Language: Lawangan
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.03 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Banjar of Kalimantan
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Lawangan Dayak are one of several people groups in the Dayak cluster. They live in the southeastern section of the island of Borneo in the Kalimantan Province of Indonesia and speak the Lawangan language, which is shared with one other Dayak people group.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Lawangan make their living through hunting, fishing, farming, raising livestock and making handicrafts. Life among the Lawangan revolves around the village. Their farmland surrounds the village. Extended families live together. Each family often has a few goats, chickens and a water buffalo. Village elders make judicial decisions and deal with outsiders. Some men have a working knowledge of Bahasa Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia.
Families arrange marriages within the Lawangan group. Per Islamic custom, men can have up to four wives if they can afford them; however, most men have only one wife. The Lawangan tend to have large families, as children (especially boys) are seen as blessings of Allah. Some villages have schools for the children, but the more remote villages frequently do not have schools. The children work with their parents in the fields.
The stable crop of the Lawangan is rice. They also cultivate coconuts, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruits and palm trees. If they have a surplus, they trade and buy things they cannot make for themselves like cell phones and appliances. Men also make their living fishing and hunting animals like wild boars.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The official religion of the Lawangan is Sunni Islam, but they also mix in beliefs and practices of animism. Their arts and culture reflect their beliefs in the spirit world. They follow traditional Dayak beliefs, called Kaharingan. In addition, some follow Nyuli beliefs, including the idea of a resurrection after death.
The Lawangan worship the spirits of their ancestors, which are called duwata. Every family worships its own duwata that acts as their household gods. The Lawangan live in fear of the spirits and their ancestors. They work to appease the spirits in order to avoid disaster. Each village has a shaman who provides the Lawangan with charms and amulets to ward off the influence of the evil spirits.
A small fraction of the Lawangan claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

Many Lawangan villages need teachers and schools. They also need modern medicine and solar panels to provide electricity.
The JESUS Film and portions of Scripture are available in the Lawangan language.

Prayer Points

Pray that the few believers among the Lawangan would find each other and grow in the faith, as both disciples and disciple makers.
Ask the Lord to send loving workers to the Lawangan to bring them the gospel and to help with their needs for education and medicine.
Pray for translation of the Bible and other resources into Lawangan.
Ask God to raise up a growing, multiplying church among the Lawangan and to provide pastors and Bible teachers.

Text Source:   Joshua Project