The Minangkabau are a race of people whose homelands are in Sumatra. They are also numerous in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The Minangkabau religion is traditionally Islam.

One curious custom of the Minangkabau is their matrilineal family structure.

Legend has it that two leaders of the Minangkabau set sail one day and ran aground. Their sons refused to help them, and their nephews pushed them out to sea instead.

From then on, the Minangkabau have the custom that property rights and authority was inherited from uncle to nephew. In other words, a man's heir is his sister's son.

As such, a clan is viewed from the woman's side - family property will remain in the same line of women.

"Minangkabau" means "winning bull", which is derived from the legend that to avoid a war with the Javanese, a fight between two bulls was proposed. The Minangkabau tricked the Javanese by sending a starving bull calf with knives strapped to his horns in to fight. The Javanese (and their bull) were surprised, and the bull calf when straight to the Javanese bull's underbelly, looking for milk. The Javanese bull was thus gored to death.

Minangkabau houses have curved roofs shaped like bull's horns as a reference to this legend.

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