History of The Malay Tribe


INDEPHEDIA.com - The Malays are an ethnic group in Asia who occupy the eastern coastal areas of Sumatra Island, the Malacca Peninsula and a number of areas on Kalimantan Island.

Currently, the Malay ethnic group is spread across the country of Malaysia, the southern part of Thailand (Pattani, Satun, Songkhla, Yala and Narathiwat), Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Then, the Malay ethnic group in Indonesia is found in the eastern and southern parts of Sumatra Island, the coast of Kalimantan, the Bangka Belitung Islands (Babel) and the Riau Islands (Kepri).

In its development, among the sub-groups descended from the Malay nation, there are several differences in elements of language, culture, art, and social diversity.

This is because the core Malay tribe previously spread to various parts of the region, assimilate and interact with other ethnic groups.

Historically, the ethnic Malay population is directly descended from Austroasiatic Austronesian people who speak Malayic languages.

The original Malays or also known as ancient Malays or Proto-Malays, are a group of tribes and peoples who have Austronesian origins.

This ethnic group is thought to have migrated to the Malay Archipelago over a long period of time, namely between 2500 and 1500 BC.

Etymologically, the word Malay was originally a place name (toponym), which refers to a location in Sumatra.

In literary works and saga, the word "Malay" probably comes from the name of one of the rivers on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, namely the Malay River.

Some people argue that the term comes from a word from the Malay language, namely "to drive".

The word ''melaju'' comes from the prefix ''me'' and the root ''rate'', which describes the strong currents in the river.

After the 15th century AD the Malay term began to be used to refer to ethnic names (ethnonyms).

As a place name (toponym), the Malay term and similar pronunciation since the 15th century AD which is an ancient toponym which generally refers to areas in the Malacca Straits.

The term Malay was once used by a source from China named Yijing or I Ching (I Tsing), a Chinese Buddhist monk from the Tang Dynasty.

I Tsing visited the archipelago in 688–695. He mentioned that there was a kingdom known as Mo-Lo-Yu (Malay).

Mo-Lo-Yu, according to him, is 15 days sailing from Sriwijaya and 15 days sailing from Ka-Cha (Kedah).

Not only Yijing or I Ching, the famous Venetian adventurer, Marco Polo, in his book Travels of Marco Polo mentions Malauir which is located in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. (*)

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