Minangkabau: the Land of Buffalo Horns

What an Amazing World!

Istano Basa Pagaruyung (Pagaruyung Palace) in Batusangkar Istano Basa Pagaruyung (Pagaruyung Palace) in Batusangkar, West Sumatra

Chapter 2, Part 10

In the highlands of western Sumatra live a society with a unique culture where house roof is anything but unimaginative and women own the family’s wealth. In spite of being Muslims, their life is very much dictated both by the Quran and the matrilineal custom. Their dishes are always cooked in a generous amount and variety of spices – introduced by ancient traders who brought them from faraway spice islands – and are now easily found in all corners of modern-day Indonesia.

Minangkabau, an ethnic identity often associated with Minang or Padang restaurant all over the country as well as abroad, emerged in the 14th century when a Javanese prince by the name of Adityawarman went to Sumatra and established a new dynasty. A follower of Tantric Buddhism, the new king of Pagaruyung, named after the capital of the…

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