Sumatra Tribe MAP

Sumatra has an extensive martial history. The region has a diverse set of ethnic tribal groups who are sometimes allies and at other times enemies. It was visited by traders from Asia, india, and Europe, many of whom tried to dominate or subjugate the people. Aceh (also referred to as Atjeh, Atjin, Acheen, Achin) is at the northern tip of Sumatra in Indonesia. 

It is believed to be one of the oldest kingdoms in Indonesia:

Hindu and Buddist influence from India may have reached Aceh as early as the first century. 

Sixth century A.D. Chinese chronicles spoke of a kingdom on the northern tip of Sumatra named Po-Li. 

It is believed that Islam likely first entered the Indonesian archipelago through Aceh sometime between the 8th and 12th century. 

  • With at least six busy trading ports, visited in 1292 by Marco Polo on his voyage to China, the weapons of Sumatra have been influenced by Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese and Islamic designs. 

The Dutch fought the Aceh in northern Sumatra for thirty years, beginning in 1883. It was a bloody, guerilla war with atrocities committed on both sides.

Click on map at left to see full size map of Sumatra showing locations of the major ethnic groups and tribes.

See Also:  Knives and Swords of Sumatra