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South Moluccans / Suku Ambon
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Ambonese danseressen op koninginnedag TMnr 10028192.jpg
Ambonese women performing a dance on Queen's Day, 1921.
Regions with significant populations
Ambonese Malay, Indonesian, various Malayo-Polynesian languages
Christianity, Islam
Related ethnic groups
Melanesians, Polynesians, Moluccans

The Ambonese, also known as South Moluccans, are an Indonesian ethnic group of mixed Austronesian-Papuan origin. They are mostly Christians or Muslims. The Ambonese are from Ambon Island in Maluku, an island group east of Sulawesi and north of Timor in Indonesia. The predominant language of the island is Ambonese Malay, also called Ambonese language. It developed as the trade language of central Maluku, and is spoken elsewhere in Maluku as a second language. Bilingualism in Indonesian is high around Ambon City. They are an ethnic mixture of Southeast Asians and Melanesians people of New Guinea, as they speak a Malayo-Polynesian language.[1]

A typical Ambonese village consists of about 1,500 people who live in houses made of materials from woven sago leaves or plastered bamboo, wood, coral stones, on stone foundations;[2] they cultivate surrounding hillsides.[3]

The Ambonese have been heavily influenced by Islam and Christianity, and indigenous customs such as tattooing have largely disappeared.[3][4]


  1. ^ James T. Collins (1980). Ambonese Malay and Creolization Theory. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ASIN B007FCCSKG. 
  2. ^ John E. Dixon & Robert P. Scheurell (1995). Social security programs: a cross-cultural comparative perspective. Greenwood Press. ISBN 03-132-9654-5. 
  3. ^ a b "Grolier Incorporated". Academic American Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Grolier. 1989. ISBN 07-172-2024-9. 
  4. ^ Maarten Hesselt Van Dinter (2005). The World Of Tattoo: An Illustrated History. Centraal Boekhuis. ISBN 90-683-2192-7. 
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