Focus UPG: Dondo of Indonesia

My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty. (Mal 1:11)

Map source: Copyright © IPN – Indonesian People Network. Used with permission.

Who are they?

The Dondo live in the districts of Baolan, Dondo, Galang and North Dampal in the Toli-Toli regency of Central Sulawesi. They tend to live in groups which are scattered over this entire area. Generally, they prefer to live by the riverbank in the jungle. The population of Dondo is about 16,000 people. They are one the Least and Unreached People Groups in Indonesia.

What language do they speak?

The Dondo speak the language of Dondo. According to the Dondo people themselves, this language is different from the Toli-Toli language. The Dondo language is part of a larger linguistic grouping called the Nothern Tomini subgroup which also includes the Lauje and Tomini languages.

What do they do for living?

Farming, fishing and hunting.

How their lives look like?

The traditional house of the Dondo is built on a raised platform and made from wood, bamboo and rattan. Houses are raised off the ground as high as two meters. The houses are rectangular, roughly five by seven meters. Usually they have only one door and a ladder at the front of the house. Roofing is made from the leaf of the sago palm. In the past, Dondo was a sultanate. The Dondo sultan and his nobles and aides were chosen through their ancestral lines. During those times, there were four classes among the people: royalty, nobility, commoners and slaves. At 16 years old, a Dondo person is considered an adult. This status is symbolized by the young person having his or her teeth filed in a community ceremony. After marriage, the new bride and groom may choose to live with either the husband’s or the wife’s family. According to the Dondo custom, a man may have more than one wife. Divorce is permitted if the couple is no longer compatible. However, the divorce has to be witnessed by a traditional leader (Kapitalau).

What do they believe?

The Dondo have embraced Islam for many generations. However, many Dondo continue to practice animism, especially those who live in the highlands. Historically, the Dondo kept the body of a deceased family member inside a sago palm trunk that had been scraped out. The burial took place in the yard of the family residence and the family members bid farewell to the spirit of the deceased by sleeping around the grave for several days.

Do they have God’s word and resources?


(source and for more detail: Joshua Project)

How can we pray for them?

  • Ask God to send His workers to reach out and share the Good News with the Dondo people.
  • Ask God to prepare their hearts, open their ears and show to them Himself.
  • Ask God to rise up His churches to go and reach out to them.
  • Ask God to open the way and make the way for His workers to go.
  • Ask God to make the way that the people of Dondo will have His word in the language they understand best.
  • Ask God how He wants you and your church can be part of His work to reach out these people.

(More prayer ideas you can visit: Prayerguard)

Thank You for praying for them today!

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