- Austronesian peoples
caption=An Atayal tribal woman from Taiwan with tattoo on her face as a symbol of maturity, which was a tradition for both males and females. The custom was prohibited during the Japanese rule.
Indonesia: 222,781,000 (2005) Philippines: 87,857,473 (2005)
Malaysia: 12,290,000 (2006) [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html] Madagascar: over 5 million (1998) [http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Madagascar.html] East Timor: 947,000 (2004) New Zealand: 855,000 (2006) [http://www.stats.govt.nz/census/2006-census-data/national-highlights/2006-census-quickstats-national-highlights.htm?page=para025Master] [http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/62F419D4-5946-407A-9553-DA9E7A847622/0/09ethnicgroup.xls] Brunei: 724,000? (2006) Singapore: over 600,000 [About 13.6% of the Singaporeans are of Malay descent. In addition to these, many Chinese Singaporeans are also of mixed Austronesian descent. See also http://www.singstat.gov.sg/keystats/c2000/indicators.pdf] Solomon Islands: 478,000 (2005) Taiwan: 480,000 (2006) Fiji: 456,000 (2005) [http://www.fiji.gov.fj/uploads/FijiToday2005-06.pdf]
including other countries
Islam, Christianity, Native religions, HinduismThe Austronesian people or Austronesian-speaking people, are a population group present in Oceaniaand Southeast Asiawho speak, or had ancestors who spoke, one of the Austronesian languages. Coming from the same source, Malay, Formosan, Micronesian, Melanesianand Polynesian subgroupings all fall under the "Austronesian" category. Hence, Austronesians form a diverse group of peoples stretching 57% around the globe west-to-east, ranging 206° from 44°E in Madagascarto 110° W on Easter Island. The territories settled primarily by Austronesian peoples are known collectively as Austronesia.
Prehistory and History
The first Austronesian speakers are believed to have originated on the island of
Taiwanfollowing the migration of a group, or groups, of Pre-Austronesian speaking peoples from continental Asiaapproximately 10,000-6000 B.C. According to linguist Robert Blust, due to a lengthy split from the Pre-Austronesian populations, the Proto-Austronesian language and cultures emerged on Taiwan (Blust,1988).
Beginning around 5000-2500 B.C., the large scale Austronesian expansion began. Population growth primarily fueled this expansion. A society that gives prestige and a higher status to the descendants of a community's founder added more incentive to settle new lands.
These first settlers landed in northern
Luzonin the Philippinesintermingling with the earlier Australo-Melanesian population who had inhabited the islands 23,000 years previously. Over the next thousand years up until 1500 A.D., their descendants spread south to the rest of the Philippine islands, Celebes (modern-day Sulawesi), Borneo, the Moluccas(modern-day Maluku), and Java.
The Austronesian settlers in the Moluccas sailed eastward and spread to the islands of
Melanesiaand Micronesiabetween 1200 B.C.and 500 A.D.respectively. Those that spread westward reached Sumatra, the Malay peninsulaand what is now southern Vietnam by 500 B.C.(See Champa)
Melanesiaand MicronesiaAustronesians discovered remote Polynesiaby 1000 B.C., which unlike Melanesia, Micronesiaand the Malay Archipelagowere previously uninhabited, and settled its three extremities Easter Islandby 300 A.D., Hawaiiby 400 A.D.and New Zealandby 800 A.D.In the Indian Ocean sailing from from Celebes (modern-day Sulawesi) and Borneo, they reached Madagascarby 200 A.D.
Trade with India and China flourished within the first millennia A.D., which allowed the creation of
Indianized kingdoms such as Srivijaya, Melayu, and Majapahitand Muslim traders began arriving during the 10th centuryand brought with them Islamas well as the sultanates.
Europeans in search of spices later colonized most of
Austronesia, starting from the 16th century, with British and Portuguese colonization of Malaysia, Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of Indonesia and East Timor, and the Spanish colonization and, later, the American governance of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the British, Germans, French, Americans, and Japanese began establishing spheres of influence within the Pacific Islands during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Japanese later invaded during World War II. The latter half of the 20th century initiated independence of modern day Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and many of the Pacific Island nations.
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines enjoyed a high rate of economic growth during the authoritarian rule of
Suhartoand Marcos that were later established years after the independence of Indonesia and the Philippines. Due to political and economic pressures from within and outside the countries at the time, stagnation resulted for a short period. Marcos' regime was toppled in 1986and Suharto's rule ended in 1998and the economies of the two countries are finally recovering but problems and challenges remain.
Asian financial crisisin the mid-to-late 1990s largely devastated the economies of the Austronesian nations in Southeast Asia. Most economic indicators are back to pre-crisis levels as of 2006.
The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake hit Indonesia in
2004, killing 130,000 individuals there and producing a worldwide total of 230,000 casualties; it also displaced at least a million people.
Austronesian peoples consist of the following groupings by name and geographic location.
Taiwan. ex. Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Paiwan.
BorneoGroups, Kadazan, Iban, Murut,
**Central Filipino: Central and Southeastern
Luzon. ex. Tagalog, Bicolano
Cambodia, Hainan, Vietnam. ex. Chams, Jarai, Utsuls.
Igorot: Cordilleras. ex. Balangao, Ibaloi, Isneg, Kankanaey.
Lumad: Mindanao. ex. Kamayo, Manobo, Tasaday, T'boli.
Madagascar. ex. Betsileo, Merina, Sakalava, Tsimihety.
Malaysia, Brunei, Pattani, Singapore, Sumatra.
Melanesians: Melanesia. ex. Kanak, Ni-Vanuatu.
Micronesians: Micronesia. ex. Carolinian, Chamorros, Palauan.
Moken: Myanmar, Thailand.
Bangsamoro( Mindanao, Sulu archipelago). ex. Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug.
**Northern Filipino: Northern
Luzon. ex. Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan
Polynesians: Polynesia. Fijians, Māori, Native Hawaiians, Samoans.
Visayas. ex. Aklanon, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray.
According to a recent
Stanford Universitystudy, there is wide variety of paternal ancestry among the Austronesian peoples. Aside from a few European introgression found in the Malay Archipelago(especially in Borneoand the Philippines) as well as in French Polynesia, the vast majority of Austronesian peoples are of autochthonous descent.
They constitute the dominant ethnic group in
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, the Pattani region of Thailand, and East Timorinside the Malay Archipelago, in Melanesia, Micronesiaand Polynesiainside Oceania, in Madagascar, and in the Cham areas of Vietnam, Cambodia, and China (the remnants of the Champakingdom which covered central and southern Vietnam).
An estimated 380,000,000 people around the world are thought of to be of Austronesian descent.
The culture of Austronesia has been influenced by a variety of different nations, particularly that of
India, China, and the Western world.
Many countries have been Westernized to varying degrees. The cultures of the
Philippines, Northern Marianas Islands, and Guamhave been largely affected by Hispanicization and Americanization. That of French Polynesiahave been affected by Francization. Austronesians living in Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Micronesia, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Western Samoahave also undergone Westernisation, although at a lesser degree.
The early Austronesian peoples considered the sea as the basic tenet of their life. Following their diaspora to
Southeast Asiaand Oceania, they used ships to migrate to other islands. Boats of different sizes and shapes have been found in every Austronesian culture, from Madagascar to Polynesia, and have different names.
In Southeast Asia, head-hunting was particularly restricted to the highlands as a result of warfare. Mummification is only found among the highland Austronesian Filipinos and in some Indonesian groups in Celebes and Sumatra.
Writings among pre-modern Austronesians were limited to the Indianized states and sultanates in
Malaysia, Indonesia, and The Philippines. However, prehistoric petroglyphslike the Rongorongoand Angono Petroglyphsmay suggest otherwise.
Writing systems include
abugidasfrom the Brahmic family, such as Baybayin, the Javanese script, and Old Kawi. Other writing systems include Jawi, an abjadderived from the Arabic script, as well as the modern alphabetsderived from the Latin alphabet(ex. Hawaiian alphabet, Tagalog alphabet).
Indigenous religions were initially predominant. Mythologies vary by culture and geographical location, but are generally bound by the belief in an all-powerful Divine being. Other beliefs such as
Ancestor Worship, Animism, and Shamanismare also practiced. Currently, many of these beliefs have gradually been replaced. Examples of native religions include: Anito, Gabâ, Kejawen, and the Māori religion. The moaiof the Rapa Nuiis another example since they are built to represent deceased ancestors.
Southeast Asian contact with India and China allowed the introduction of Hinduism and BuddhismFact|date=February 2007. Later, Muslim traders introduced the
Islamicfaith during the 12th century. The European Age of Discovery, with their motto "gold, glory and gospel", brought Christianityto various parts of the region. Currently, the dominant religions are Islam (Indonesia, Malaysia, southern Thailand, southern Philippines, Brunei), Hinduism (Bali and Fiji) and Christianity (Philippines, Timor Leste, Eastern Indonesia, Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar).
Body art among Austronesian groups is common, especially tattooing. It is particularly prominent in
Polynesiancultures, from where the word ' tattoo' derives. One such example is the moko of New Zealand Māori, but tattooing is also prominent among Austronesian speaking groups in Indonesia, Borneoand the Philippines. Decorated jars and other forms of pottery are also common.
Peoples closer to the Asian mainland are largely influenced by the Chinese, Indian and Islamic forms, and much modern Austronesian art is influenced to some extent by Western forms or by the use of Western tools. Some elaborate landscaping has been produced, such as the
Banaue Rice Terracesof the Philippines. Similar terraced forms exist elsewhere in the region, for crop-growing and defensive purposes.
Prevalent within the Austronesian cultures that had close trade relationships with India and China were musical styles that had developed with both indigenous as well as foreign elements. In Indonesia,
Gamelan, a type of orchestra that incorporates Xylophone and Metallophone elements, is widely known as the region's cultural music tradition. In the Philippines, another gong-drum ensemble known as Kulintangis prevalent, as well as the "Gangsa" gong-chime ensembles of the northern Luzoncordilleras. Slit drumsare prevalent among maritime Southeast asian and Oceanic Austronesian groups.
List of Austronesian countries by linguality
*Bellwood, Peter, "Man's conquest of the Pacific: The prehistory of Southeast Asia and Oceania", 1979
*Bellwood, Peter, "Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago", 1986
*Bellwood, Peter, James J. Fox, and Darrell Tryon eds., " [http://epress.anu.edu.au/austronesians_citation.html The Austronesians : historical and comparative perspectives] ", Australian National University, 1995
# [http://epress.anu.edu.au/titles/austronesians.html Books, some online, on Austronesian subjects by the Australian National University]
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