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Jakarta Post

The origins of Indonesians: New study suggests none are truly 'pribumi'

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, October 17, 2019   /  07:24 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
A visitor at Asal Usul Orang Indonesia (The Origins of Indonesians) exhibition at the National Museum, Jakarta, is reading information on the genes of one of the respondents participating in the research on genealogy mapping.(Historia.id/Fernando Randy)

For generations, Indonesians have discussed the dichotomy between pribumi, or native Indonesians, and “non-pribumi”, which historically has been used to distinguish those whose ancestral roots originate within the archipelago from those of “foreign” descent. But in a culturally diverse country with hundreds of ethnicities and languages, questions arise every time the term pribumi is used ─ including in political campaigns ─ who are native Indonesians exactly? Science, however, suggests that no Indonesians are truly native as newly released research on genealogy mapping has found that Indonesian people have mixed ancestral roots from different geographical origins in their DNAs. The study, conducted in collaboration with history magazine Historia.id and the Education and Cultural Ministry from July to September, took DNA samples from 16 respondents fro...