Bengkulu population consists of four main groups. The Rejang are the mountain people and form the majority. They are divided into two groups: the highland Rejang and the coastal Rejang, which have moved to the western lowlands. In the south live Serawai, which are related with the Pasemah in the highlands around Pageralam and Mount Dempo.
In the capital, there are many Malay people. Bengkulu province has been inhabited ever since the pre-historic times, which is proved in the findings of stone tools in the northern area, and the discovery of megalith constructions and old drums from the Dongson type in the south.
The isolated Enggano Island just of the southern beach, living another group habitat. For a long time the Engganese were protected by influences from outside, because of their remoteness, but eventually pocks and other diseases, which were brought to the island by Western expeditions at the end of the 19th century, struck them.
Around the end of the 19th century it is tried to bring fresh blood into the group, but that didn't succeed as well. During the reign of Soekarno, the island has temporarily been a prison island as well.
Last revised on October 24, 2009
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