Bukittinggi Land: First Amazing Trip to Travel

Bukittinggi, which means "high hill" in both Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Minang, is the cultural centre of the Minangkabau people. This regency supports a university, a zoo, a museum of Minangkabau heritage, and an excellent market. True to its name, the city is located 930 metres above sea level, providing a markedly cooler climate than lowland Padang. Its pleasant breezes and friendly residents have attracted visitors for years. Among the regency's other attractions are

Jam Gadang
The Dutch constructed this clocktower, a Bukittinggi landmark that's a topped with a Minangkabaustyle roof, in1827. Mount Nerapi and Mount Singgalang, the two picturesque volcanoes that flank Bukittinggi, can be viewed from the tower's observation deck.

Ngarai Sianok
A very colorful and steep valley with panoramic lanscape of about 100-150 meters high One of the most majestic and easily accesible site near Bukittinggi where hundred meter cliffs tower above the canyon below. Visit it in the early morning around dawn when the canyon is at its most beautiful and meet villagers on the to market. The canyon is also a path way to the silver making village Koto Gadang-atraditional hamlet about four kilometers from Bukittinggi.

Detail Travelling to Bukittinggi

Delightful Hill Town With Scenic Vistas
The town of Bukittinggi (lit: “High Hill”) lies at the centre of the Agam valley-one of three valleys which together form the Minang heartland. While Padang is the modern commercial, educational and administrative centre of the province, Bukittinggi is the cultural capital of the Minang realm. The largest city in the highlands, Bukittinggi grew up around a Dutch post, Fort de Kock, built in 1825 during the Paderi conflict. This attractive, bustling town was the birth-place of many Indonesian intellectuals, cabinet ministers and diplomats-including Mohammad Hatta, the nation’s first vice-president. Although less than a degree south of the equator, Bukittinggi has a cool climate due to its elevation-900 meters above sea level. It rains frequently, but many tourists nevertheless find this to be the most hospitable city in Sumatra –everything is within walking distance, food and lodgings are good, there is lots to see and the residents are very friendly.

A walking tour
Bukittinggi’s principal landmark is the Jam Gadang (“Great Clock”) a clock tower with a miniature Minang house on top overlooking the main square. Visible from many parts of town, it is a good starting point for an exploration on foot. On Saturdays and Sundays, the lively Pasar Atas central market next door spills out into the streets. All kinds of fruits, vegetables, spices and meats (except pork) are sold in open-air stands run by assertive Minang ladies. There are sections for everything brightly coloured plastic wares seem to be the main attraction. Bargaining is a popular social activity here rather than a test of wills or an attempt to cheat the unwary traveller. Keep your sense of humour, and bargain hard if you are buying!
From here, walk up Bukittinggi’s “main-street,” Jalan Ahmad Yani, which is lined with antique and souvenir shops, restaurants and offices. Two unique stair-streets lead down from here to the right, to Jl. Cinduamato, and are lined with more souvenir shops.

To get a good view of the town and the surrounding area, climb up Jl. Cinduamato to Taman Bundo Kanduang park at the top of the hill, where a zoo and a museum are located. The name of the park refers to the legendary “Great Mother” symbolic of the matrilineal Minang. The zoo is crowded on Sundays, when it is the principal place in town to see and be seen, but the animals are kept in the rather miserable conditions.
The museum in the park is housed in a traditional Minang rumah gadang complete with thatched roof and flanking granaries. Inside are examples of wedding customs and tanduk headdresses in the shape of buffalo horns. A small fortune in fine gold jewellery is on display; for several centuries this area was the archipelago’s leading producer of the precious metal. The museum also displays old matchlock rifles used against the Dutch, as well as musical instruments.

Breathtaking panoramas
Bukittinggi was formerly called Fort de Kock, after the Dutch fortification erected at the edge of a steep-sides ridge here in 1825. Stone ruins and a few cannon are all that is left of the fort, known locally as the benteng, but there is a lookout tower that is an excellent spot to watch sunsets and take in a view of Mt. Marapi (“Fire Mountain”), which occasionally vents puffs of smoke. The view alone is worth the walk-to get here, take a path up from Jl. T. Umjar, near the corner of Jl. A. Yani. Another breathtaking panorama is available on the southwestern edge of Bukittinggi, which skirts the lovely Ngarai Sianok Canyon. Part of a tectonic rift valley running the entire length of the island, this canyon has sheer walls and a flat bottom, and offers a haunting early morning spectacle as dawn caresses the peak of Mt. Singgalang in the background, blankets of mist drift around the canyon’s 100-meter cliffs. A river meanders through rice fields below, disappearing in the hazy distance beyond. A lookout point known as Panorama Park overlooks the canyon and is a popular spot with locals who come to stroll in the afternoon air. A path leads down into the canyon, past Japanese built tunnels under the park. One can explore these tunnels, but a flashlight and quite are essential.

Hike to Kota Gadang
Kota Gadang is a village of silversmiths a few km from Bukittinggi across the Sianok Canyon. Walk one km down into the canyon, turn left and cross a small bridge over the river, and follow the trail up a long flight of steps. From here the village is ten minutes’ walk: ask for directions along the way. The speciality here is delicate silver filigree. You can buy pins in the form of orates flowers, tiny earrings in the shape of Minang houses, and a plethora of exquisite miniature objects. Larger items include model sailing ships, traditional Minang houses and the clock tower.

Resep Rendang Padang (Rendang Recipe)

Rendang Padang
1 ½ kilo daging sapi
12 gelas santan dari 3 butir kelapa
2 biji asam kandis
1 batang serai, memarkan
1 lembar daun kunyit
2 lembar daun jeruk purut
Garam secukupnya

1 ons cabe merah
15 buah bawang merah
6 siung bawang putih
5 buah kemiri
2 cm jahe
3 cm laos (yang ini tidak perlu dihaluskan, cukup di keprak saja)

Cara membuat:
~ Daging dipotong2 sesuai selera.
~ Dalam wajan: rebus santan dengan bumbu-bumbu yang dihaluskan plus daun-daun dan asam kandis.
~ Aduk terus sampai mengental agar santannya tidak pecah. Kalau sudah mulai keluar minyak masukan potongan-potongan daging
~ Aduk terus dan dimasak dengan api sedang. Kalau mau dihitamkan kecilkan apinya. (In)

Tips :
- Sedikit tambahan untuk resep tsb (supaya lebih enak,boleh di test):
* 1kg daging, kelapanya 3 butir dibuat santan kental, jadi kalau 1,5 kg sebaiknya 5 butir kelapa.
* Ditambah 3 lembar daun salam, juga untuk serai ditambah jadi 2 batang, daun jeruk ditambah menjadi 4 lembar
* Ditambah 2 sdm kelapa parut sangrai yang sudah digiling halus (sampai keluar minyak)
* Sedikit gula, bila suka
* Kalau ingin rasanya lebih sarat bumbu, cabe, bawang putih & merahnya boleh ditambah lagi
* Supaya lebih meresap bumbunya, sebaiknya daging diungkep dulu bersama dengan semua bumbu & daun, setelah air dagingnya kering baru masukan santan, diaduk terus sampai mendidih. Kecilkan api, masak sampai bermiyak (hitam) dengan sekali-sekali diaduk agar tidak lengket & matangnya merata. (Dew)

- Kebetulan kalau bikin rendang saya juga memasukkan sedikit asam kandis, tetapi rasanya tidak menjadi asam sama sekali kok (kali kalah sama rasa bumbu dan santannya), soalnya paling asam kandisnya 2 atau 3 biji. Kata orang sih, asam juga dapat berfungsi sebagai pengawet alami? (bener nggak sih). (An)

- Kadang ada orang yang bilang kenapa kalau masak rendang tidak bisa hitam seperti rendangnya orang Minang. Ibuku bilang, supaya rendang bisa hitam, kuncinya jangan pakai kunyit. Kalau pakai kunyit, biar masaknya lama dengan api kecil pun, rendang tetap kelihatan merah (seperti kalio).

- Supaya dedaknya banyak, santan juga harus banyak. Memeras santan untuk rendang, perasan pertama sebaiknya jangan ditambahkan air dulu.Peras kelapa dengan menggunakan kain/serbet khusus, supaya patinya keluar.

List of Minangkabau Cuisines

Minangkabau cuisine refers to the food of Minangkabau people in Indonesia. Minangkabau cuisine are among the most popular food throughout Malay archipelago bring by Overseas Minangkabau who opened minangkabau restaurant, mainly in Indonesian big cities. One of the most successful traditional restaurant chain in Indonesia are indeed developed by Minangkabau people.

List of dishes

* Rendang, chunks of beef stewed in coconut milk and chili gravy
* Sate Padang, skewered barbecued meat that usually had peanut sauce
* Soto Padang, a soup of beef with Padang traditional recipe
* Sambal Balado
* Kalio
* Gulai Cancang
* Gulai Gajebo
* Dendeng Batokok
* Samba Lado Tanak
* Palai
* Gulai Itik
* Gulai Kepala Ikan Kakap Merah
* Asam Padeh
* Gulai Tunjang

List of snacks and drinks

* Lemang
* Tapai
* Bubur Kampiun
* Teh Talua, mixed of egg and tea
* Es Tebak, mixed of avocado, jack fruit, tebak, shreded iced with sweet thick milk
* Keripik Jangek
* Keripik Balado
* Keripik Sanjai
* Dakak-dakak
* Galamai
* Dadiah

Adat and Religion of Minangkabau

Animism has been an important component of Minangkabau culture. Even after the penetration of Islam into Minangkabau society in the 16th century, animistic beliefs were not extinguished. In this belief system, people were said to have two souls, a real soul and a soul which can disappear called the semangat. Semangat represents the vitality of life and it is said to be possessed by all animals and plants. An illness may be explained as the capture of the semangat by an evil spirit, and a shaman (pawang) may be consulted to conjure invisible forces and bring comfort to the family. Sacrificial offerings can be made to placate the spirits, and certain objects such as amulets are used as protection.

Until the rise of the Padri movement late in the 18th century, Islamic practices such as prayers, fasting and attendance at mosques had been weakly observed in the Minangkabau highlands. The Padri were inspired by the Wahhabi movement in Mecca, and sought to eliminate societal problems such tobacco and opium smoking, gambling and general anarchy by ensuring the tenets of the Koran were strictly observed. All Minangkabau customs allegedly in conflict with the Koran were to be abolished. Although the Padri were eventually defeated by the Dutch, during this period the relationship between adat and religion was reformulated. Previously adat was said to be based upon appropriateness and proprietary, but this was changed so adat was more strongly based upon Islamic precepts.

With the Minangkabau highlands being the heartland of their culture, and with Islam likely entering the region from coast it is said that ‘custom descended, religion ascended’ (adat manurun, syarak mandaki)

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Language of Minangkabau

The Minangkabau language (Baso Minangkabau) is an Austronesian language belonging to the Malayic linguistic subgroup, which in turns belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch. The Minangkabau language is closely related to the Negeri Sembilan Malay language used by the people of Negeri Sembilan, many of which are descendants of Minangkabau immigrants. The language has a number of dialects and sub-dialects, but native Minangkabau speakers generally have no difficultly understanding the variety of dialects. 

The differences between dialects are mainly at the phonological level, though some lexical differences also exist. Minangkabau dialects are regional, consisting of one or more villages (nagari), and usually correspond to differences in customs and traditions. Each sub-village (jorong) has its own sub-dialect consisting of subtle differences which can be detected by native speakers.The Padang dialect has become the lingua franca for people of different language regions.

The Minangkabau society has a diglossia situation, whereby they use their native language for everyday conversations, while the Indonesian language is used for most formal occasions, in education, and in writing, even to relatives and friends. The Minangkabau language was originally written using the Jawi script, an adapted Arabic alphabet. Romanization of the language dates from the 19th century, and a standardized official orthography of the language was published in 1976.

Despite widespread use of Indonesian, they have their own mother tongue. The Minangkabau language shares many similar words with Malay, yet it has a distinctive pronunciation and some grammatical differences rendering it unintelligible to Malay speakers.

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Oral traditions and literature of Minangkabau

Minangkabau culture has a long history of oral traditions. One oral tradition is the pidato adat (ceremonial orations) which are performed by panghulu (clan chiefs) at formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, adoption ceremonies, and panghulu inaugurations. These ceremonial orations consist of many forms including pantun, aphorisms (papatah-patiti), proverbs (pameo), religious advice (petuah), parables (tamsia), two-line aphorisms (gurindam), and similes (ibarat).

Minangkabau traditional folktales (kaba) consist of narratives which present the social and personal consequences of either ignoring or observing the ethical teachings and the norms embedded in the adat. The storyteller (tukang kaba) recites the story in poetic or lyrical prose while accompanying himself on a rebab.

A theme in Minangkabau folktales is the central role mothers and motherhood has in Minangkabau society, with the folktales Rancak diLabueh and Malin Kundang being two examples. Rancak diLabueh is about a mother who acts as teacher and adviser to her two growing children. Initially her son is vain and headstrong and only after her perseverance does he become a good son who listens to his mother.Malin Kundang is about the dangers of treating your mother badly. A sailor from a poor family voyages to seek his fortune, becoming rich and marrying. After refusing to recognize his elderly mother on his return home, being ashamed of his humble origins, he is cursed and dies when his ship is flung against rocks by a storm.

Other popular folktales also relate to the important role of the woman in Minangkabau society. In the Cindua Mato epic the woman is the source of wisdom, while in whereas in the Sabai nan Aluih she is more a doer than a thinker. Cindua Mato (Staring Eye) is about the traditions of Minangkabau royalty. The story involves a mythical Minangkabau queen, Bundo Kanduang, who embodies the behaviors prescribed by adat.

Cindua Mato, a servant of the queen, uses magic to defeat hostile outside forces and save the kingdom.Sabai nan Aluih (The genteel Sabai) is about a young girl named Sabai, the hero of the story, who avenges the murder of her father by a powerful and evil ruler from a neighboring village. After her father's murder her cowardly elder brother refuses to confront the murderer and so Sabai decides to take matters into her own hands. She seeks out the murderer and shoots him in revenge.

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Architecture of Minangkabau

Rumah gadang (Minangkabau: 'big house') are the traditional homes (Indonesian: rumah adat) of the Minangkabau. The architecture, construction, internal and external decoration, and the functions of the house reflect the culture and values of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang serves as a residence, a hall for family meetings, and for ceremonial activities. With the Minangkabau society being matrilineal, the rumah gadang is owned by the women of the family who live there - ownership is passed from mother to daughter.

The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, upswept gables. Shuttered windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted floral carvings. The term rumah gadang usually refers to the larger communal homes, however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural elements.

Crafts and Cuisine

Particular Minangkabau villages specialize in cottage industries producing handicrafts such as woven sugarcane and reed purses, gold and silver jewellery using filigree and granulation techniques, woven songket textiles, wood carving, embroidery, pottery, and metallurgy.

The staple ingredients of the Minangkabau diet are rice, fish, coconut, green leafy vegetables and chili. The usage of meat is mainly limited to special occasions, and beef and chicken are most commonly used. Pork is not halal and therefore not consumed, while lamb, goat and game are rarely consumed for reasons of taste and availability. Spiciness is a characteristic of Minangkabau food, and the most commonly used herbs and spices are chili, turmeric, ginger and galangal. Vegetables are consumed two or three times a day. Fruits are mainly seasonal, although fruits such as banana, papaya and citrus are continually available.

Three meals a day are typical with lunch being the most important meal, except during the fasting month of Ramadan where lunch is not eaten. Meals commonly consist of steamed rice, a hot fried dish and a coconut milk dish, with a little variation from breakfast to dinner.Meals are generally eaten from a plate using the fingers of the right hand.[citation needed] Snacks are more frequently eaten by people in urban areas than in villages. Western food has had little impact upon Minangkabau consumption and preference to date.

Rendang is a dish which is considered to be a characteristic of Minangkabau culture, and is cooked 4-5 times a year.Other characteristic dishes include Asem Padeh, Soto Padang, Sate Padang, Dendeng Balado (beef with chili sauce).

Food has a central role in the Minangkabau ceremonies which honor religious and life cycle rites.

Minangkabau food is popular among Indonesians and restaurants are present throughout Indonesia. Nasi Padang restaurants, named after the capital of West Sumatra, are known for placing a variety of Minangkabau dishes on a customer's table along with rice and billing only for what is taken.Nasi Kapau is another restaurant variant which specializes in dishes using offal and the use of tamarind to add a sourness to the spicy flavor.

Performing Arts of Minangkabau

Traditional Minangkabau music includes saluang jo dendang which consists of singing to the accompaniment of a saluang bamboo flute, and talempong gong-chime music. Dances include the tari piring (plate dance), tari payung (umbrella dance) and tari indang. Demonstrations of the silat martial art are performed. Pidato adat are ceremonial orations performed at formal occasions.

Randai is a folk theater tradition which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights.It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers.Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales.Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions.Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.

Ceremonies and Festivals

Minangkabau ceremonies and festivals include:

* Turun mandi - baby blessing ceremony
* Sunat rasul - circumcision ceremony
* Baralek - wedding ceremony
* Batagak pangulu - clan leader inauguration ceremony. Other clan leaders, all relatives in the same clan and all villagers in the region are invited. The ceremony will last for 7 days or more.
* Turun ka sawah - community work ceremony
* Manyabik - harvesting ceremony
* Hari Rayo - Islamic festivals
* Adoption ceremony
* Adat ceremony
* Funeral ceremony
* Wild boar hunt ceremony
* Maanta pabukoan - sending food to mother-in-law for Ramadhan
* Tabuik - Muslim celebration in the coastal village of Pariaman
* Tanah Ta Sirah, inaugurate a new clan leader (Datuk) when the old one died in the few hours (no need to proceed batagak pangulu, but the clan must invite all clan leader in the region).
* Mambangkik Batang Tarandam, inaugurate a new leader (Datuk) when the old one died in the pass 10 or 50 years and even more, must do the Batagak Pangulu.

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Culture of Minangkabau

The Minangs are the world's largest matrilineal society, in which properties such as land and houses are inherited through female lineage. Some scholars argue that this might have caused the diaspora (Minangkabau, "merantau") of Minangkabau males throughout the Malay archipelago to become scholars or to seek fortune as merchants. As early as the age of 7, boys traditionally leave their homes and live in a surau (a prayer house community centre) to learn religious and cultural (adat) teachings.

When they are teenagers, they are encouraged to leave their hometown to learn from schools or from experiences out of their hometown so that when they are adults they can return home wise and 'useful' for the society and can contribute their thinking and experience to run the family or nagari (hometown) when they sit as the member of 'council of uncles'.

This tradition has created Minang communities in many Indonesian cities and towns, which nevertheless are still tied closely to their homeland; a state in Malaysia named Negeri Sembilan is heavily influenced by Minang culture.

Due to their culture that stresses the importance of learning, Minang people are over-represented in the all walks of life in Indonesia, with many ministers from Minang and the first female minister was a Minang scholar.

In addition to being renowned as merchants, the Minangs have also produced some of Indonesia's most influential poets, writers, statesmen, scholars, and religious scholars. Being fervent Muslims, many of them embraced the idea of incorporating Islamic ideals into modern society. Furthermore, the presence of these intellectuals combined with the people's basically proud character, made the Minangkabau homeland (the province of West Sumatra) one of the powerhouses in the Indonesian struggle for independence.

Today both natural and cultural tourism have become considerable economic activities in West Sumatra.


The traditional historiography or tambo of the Minangkabau tells of the development of the Minangkabau World (alam Minangkabau) and its adat. These stories are derived from an oral history which was transmitted between generations before the Minangkabau had a written language. The first Minangkabau are said to have arrived by ship and landed on Mount Marapi when it was no bigger than the size of an egg, which protruded from a surrounding body of water. 

After the waters receded the Minangkabau proliferated and dispersed to the slopes and valleys surrounding the volcano, a region called the darek. The darek is comprised of three luhak - Limapuluh Koto, Tanah Datar and Agam. The tambo claims the ship was sailed by a descendant of Alexander the Great (Iskandar Zulkarnain).

A division in Minangkabau adat into two systems is said to be the result of conflict between two half-brothers Datuk Ketemanggungan and Datuk Perpatih nan Sabatang, who were the leaders who formulated the foundations of Minangkabau adat. The former accepted Adityawarman, a prince from Majapahit, as a king while the latter considered him a minister, and a civil war ensued. The Bodi Caniago system formulated by Datuk Perpatih nan Sabatang is based upon egalitarian principles with all panghulu (clan chiefs) being equal while the Koto Piliang system is more autocratic with there being a hierarchy of panghulu. 
Each village (nagari) in the darek was an autonomous "republic", and governed independently of the Minangkabau kings using one of the two adat systems. After the darek was settled, new outside settlements were created and ruled using the Koto Piliang system by rajas who were representatives of the king.

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History of Minangkabau

People who spoke Austronesian languages first arrived in Sumatra around 500 BCE, as part of the Austronesian expansion from Taiwan to Southeast Asia. The Minangkabau language is a member of the Austronesian language family, and is closest to the Malay language, though when the two languages split from a common ancestor and the precise historical relationship between Malay and Minangkabau culture is not known. Until the 20th century the majority of the Sumatran population lived in the highlands. The highlands are well suited for human habitation, with plentiful fresh water, fertile soil, a cool climate, and valuable commodities such as gold and ivory. It is probable that wet rice cultivation evolved in the Minangkabau highlands long before it appeared in other parts of Sumatra, and predates significant foreign contact.

Adityawarman, a follower of Tantric Buddhism with ties to the Singhasari and Majapahit kingdoms of Java, is believed to have founded a kingdom in the Minangkabau highlands at Pagaruyung and ruled between 1347 and 1375, most likely to control the local gold trade. The establishment of a royal system seems to have involved conflict and violence, eventually leading to a division of villages into one of two systems of tradition, Bodi Caniago and Koto Piliang, the later having overt allegiances to royalty.

By the 16th century, the time of the next report after the reign of Adityawarman, royal power had been split into three recognized reigning kings. They were the King of the World (Raja Alam), the King of Adat (Raja Adat), and the King of Religion (Raja Ibadat), and collectively they were known as the Kings of the Three Seats (Rajo Tigo Selo).The Minangkabau kings were charismatic or magical figures who received a percentage of gold mining and trading profits, but did not have much authority over the conduct of village affairs.

In the mid-16th century, the Aceh Sultanate invaded the Minangkabau coast, occupying port outlets in order to acquire gold. It was also around the 16th century that Islam started to be adopted by the Minangkabau. The first contact between the Minangkabau and western nations occurred with the 1529 voyage of Jean Parmentier to Sumatra. The Dutch East India Company first acquired gold at Pariaman in 1651, but later moved south to Padang to avoid interference from the Acehnese occupiers. In 1663 the Dutch agreed to protect and liberate local villages from the Acehnese in return for a trading monopoly, and as a result setup trading posts at Painan and Padang. 

Until early in the 19th century the Dutch remained content with their coastal trade of gold and produce, and made no attempt to visit the Minangkabau highlands. As a result of conflict in Europe, the British occupied Padang from 1781 to 1784 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, and again from 1795 to 1819 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Late in the 18th century the gold supply which provided the economic base for Minangkabau royalty began to be exhausted. Around the same time other parts of the Minangkabau economy had a period of unparalleled expansion as new opportunities for the export of agricultural commodities arose, particularly with coffee which was in very high demand. A civil war started in 1803 with the Padri fundamentalist Islamic group in conflict with the traditional syncretic groups, elite families and Pagaruyung royals. A large part of the Minangkabau royal family were killed by the Padri in 1815. As a result of a treaty with a number of penghulu and representatives of the murdered Minangkabau royal family, Dutch forces made their first attack on a Padri village in April 1821.

The first phase of the war ended in 1825 when the Dutch signed an agreement with the Padri leader Tuanku Imam Bonjol to halt hostilities, allowing them to redeploy their forces to fight the Java War. When fighting resumed in 1832, the reinforced Dutch troops were able to more effectively attack the Padri. The main center of resistance was captured in 1837, Tuanku Imam Bonjol was captured and exiled soon after, and by the end of the next year the war was effectively over.

With the Minangkabau territories now under the control of the Dutch, transportation systems were improved and economic exploitation was intensified. New forms of education were introduced, allowing some Minangkabau to take advantage of a modern education system. The 20th century marked a rise and cultural and political nationalism, culminating in the demand for Indonesian independence. Later rebellions against the Dutch occupation occurred such as the 1908 Anti-Tax Rebellion and the 1927 Communist Uprising. During World War II the Minangkabau territories were occupied by the Japanese, and when the Japanese surrendered in August 1945 Indonesia proclaimed independence. The Dutch attempts to regain control of the area were ultimately unsuccessful and in 1949 the Minangkabau territories became part of Indonesia as the province of Central Sumatra.

In February 1958, dissatisfaction with the centralist and communist-leaning policies of the Sukarno administration triggered a revolt which was centered in the Minangkabau region of Sumatra, with rebels proclaiming the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI) in Bukittinggi. The Indonesian military invaded West Sumatra in April 1958 and had recaptured major towns within the next month. A period of guerrilla warfare ensued, but most rebels had surrendered by August 1961. In the years following, West Sumatra was like an occupied territory with Javanese officials occupying most senior civilian, military and police positions.The policies of centralization continued under the Suharto regime. 

The national government legislated to apply the Javanese desa village system throughout Indonesia, and in 1983 the traditional Minangkabau nagari village units were split into smaller jorong units, thereby destroying the traditional village social and cultural institutions.In the years following the downfall of the Suharo regime decentralization policies were implemented, giving more autonomy to provinces, thereby allowing West Sumatra to reinstitute the nagari system

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