Why the name ‘Minangkabau’?

Where did the name Minangkabau come from? Well, legends say that the name of these West Sumatran people is tied to their fondness of the water buffalo and came from a story of one particular, victorious buffalo. The story begins with an invading army tromping it’s way into West Sumatra and demanding submission to its power. The locals suggested to the opposing powers that, instead of suffering through a long and painful war, the two sides should have a buffalo fight and the victor of that battle would be considered the winner of the war. The invading army agreed to these terms. On the day of the buffalo battle the invading army showed up with an absolutely massive bull to fight for their side. While the locals showed up with only a tiny calf. What the invading army did not know was that the local peoples had starved the small calf for days and also sharpened its horns to dangerous points. When the battle began the starved and confused calf ran towards the bull thinking it was a female and tried to eat. The sharpened horns of the calf ripped open the massive bull and the locals, the Minangkabau, were named after this victorious (menang) buffalo (kerbau).

Who wants this adorable thing running under their belly with sharpened horns? Any takers? Anyone? Bueller?


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