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The Mandailing is a traditional cultural group in Southeast Asia. They are found mainly in the northern section of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They came under the influence of the Kaum Padri who ruled the Minangkabau of Tanah Datar. As a result, the Mandailing were influenced by Muslim culture and converted to Islam. There are also a group of Mandailing in Malaysia, especially in the states of Selangor and Perak. They are closely related to the Angkola.
The etymology of 'Mandailing' is said to be a coupounding of the words mande, meaning 'mother', and hilang, meaning 'lost'. Thus, the name is said to mean "lost mother". Some research[clarification needed] has suggested that the Mandailing are the descendants of the Batak, who migrated to the south before the coming of the Portuguese and Dutch colonisation of Sumatra. There they converted to Islam and intermarried with Minangkabau and the Malay peoples. Mandailing society is patriarchal, employing family names, or marga,. The well known marga(s) in Mandailing clan are: Lubis, Nasution, Siregar, Hasibuan, Harahap, Dalimunthe (originally from Munthe), Matondang, Rangkuti, Parinduri, Pulungan, Rambe, Daulae(y), Pohan, Batubara (not to be confused with the Batu Bara people from the east coast of Sumatra), Barus and Hutajulu.
Mandailing is the name of region Luat Mandailing, which is now almost in Mandailing Natal Regency in North Sumatra. The first group who came to this region were the Lubis and Nasution, later followed by the Siregar, Harahap and so forth. Nasution and Lubis are the biggest groups in Mandailing clan. While other groups, such as Pulungan, Harahap, Matondang, Rangkuti, and others are the smaller groups of Luat Mandailing. Harahap and Siregar dwell almost in Luat Angkola, which now belongs to South Tapanuli Regency, situated between Regency and North Tapanuli Regency.
The Great Mandailing
The Mandailing people are also known as the great travellers as more and more of the Mandailings are migrating to the various regions in the country as well as around the world. Many of the Mandailings are playing the important roles of the nation. The Indonesian government considered the Mandailings as one of the main tribes in the country. Many Mandailings keep detailed family tree records as it has become the family tradition. It is reported that 98% of the Mandailing ethnic group are Muslim. There are approximately more than one hundred thousand Mandailings In Malaysia nowadays. Many of the Mandailings in Malaysia are visiting their ancestors in Mandailing Regency in Indonesia as it has been a tradition to keep the brotherhood and strong bond of unity among the Mandailings.
The Mandailings are vey rich in language where they have good or smooth sounds. Therefore, the Mandailings are well known as the smooth people.
The Mandailing classic of daun ubi tumbuk or mashed tapioca leaves, lush with bunga kantan, lemongrass and coconut milk flavour is the most famous food among the Mandailings.
They have a traditional ensemble of drums called Gordang Sambilan.