Acehnese - Orientation

The Acehnese are a group numbering more than 2.6 million who inhabit the northern portion of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They are distinguished from their neighbors primarily by their adherence to the Muslim (Sunni) faith. Acehnese may be divided into two subgroups: the hill people (who are physiologically homogeneous proto-Malays) and the lowland coastal people (who are physiologically heterogeneous). The Acehnese language belongs to the Malay Subfamily of the Indonesian Branch of Austronesian and is most closely related to the Cham languages of Indochina; most Acehnese also speak Bahasa Indonesia.

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