8 Most Common Indonesian Surnames

Indonesians give their children Indonesian names in various ways. With more than 17,000 islands and a variety of local languages and languages, Indonesia does not have one specific rule in naming. Some certain tribes have clan names passed down from parents to their children. Other tribes do not know family names.

The concept of family names is unknown in some Indonesian cultures, such as Javanese culture. Therefore, many people to date have only one name, namely the name of the gift. If they then go or settle in countries that require each resident to have at least two names (name of giving and surname), difficulties can occur. The solution that is usually taken is to repeat the name twice.

Some other cultures have rules regarding family names or clan names. In the Batak and Minahasa cultures for example, the name of the father’s clan is passed on to his children (patrilineal) for generations. In Minangkabau culture, married men will be given a title behind their name, while for women in general they do not hold titles. Arab-Indonesian people also give family names behind their names, for example Hambali, Shihab, Assegaf, etc. To see more about common Indonesian surnames, you could follow these following parts.

1. Javanese Surnames

There is actually something unique about naming Java. From the writer’s observations there is actually a certain pattern in naming the Javanese people in ancient times that formed like naming clans. According to the author the naming pattern is similar to Chinese culture.

As we know in ancient times the Javanese people used names that were mainly three syllables like Sukarno, Suyatno, Marjoko etc. And his nickname is the last two syllables of the name such as Karno, Yatno, Joko etc. Usually the first syllable is also passed on to their children, for example people who start with the name Su, so their children also start with Su, the person who begins, the children also start with Nga. The following is a list of possible Javanese clans:

• Su / Soe: Su Kar-no, Su Har-to, Su Mar-no, Su Yat-no, etc.
• Wi: Wi Do-do, Wi Ran-to, Wi Yo-ko etc.
• Dar: Dar Yan-to, Dar So-no, Dar Ma-ji etc.
• Mar: Mar Yes-in, Mar Jo-ko, Mar Ya-ti, etc.
• So: So Li-hin, So I-mah, So-kin, etc.
• Pra: Pra Bo-wo, Pra No-to, Pra Jo-ko etc.
• Nga: Nga Di-o, Nga Ti-ni, Nga Di-yem etc.
• Han: Han Do-ko, Han Jo-yo etc.
• Wa: Wa Ho-no, Wa Ti-yem etc.
• Kun / Koen: Kun Co-ro, Kun Do-yo etc.
• Kus / Koes clan: Kus Wo-yo, Kus Na-di, Kus Man-to etc.
• Rus / Roes clan: Rus Mi-ni, Rus Yo-to etc.
• Marga Ju / Djoe: Ju Ma-di, Ju Pri-yo etc.
• Pur genus / Poer: Pur Wan-to, Pur Yat-no, etc.
• Po: Po Ni-jan, Po Ni-yem etc.

All of the above clan names can be written using Javanese letters. Unfortunately, currently the naming of these three syllables is rarely used by Javanese because they are considered not modern. The author is quite curious whether there has been any research on this matter. Maybe for those of you who are involved in the cultural sciences, you can do a study on naming Javanese.

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2. Batak Surnames

If you meet Batak people, then the first thing you think about most often is the clan. Yes, the Batak tribe does consist of many clans that spread throughout the country. The Batak people still hold the custom that is firm about the ancestral message which requires putting the clan behind its name. The point tends to be intended to make it easier to find genealogical origins as well as family name / surname. It’s just that the clan has a larger and broader pedigree than just a family name. Here are the list of common Batak Surnames that you would possibly hear in Indonesia:

• Ginting
• Naingolan
• Nababan
• Tambunan
• Tarigan
• Pasaribu
• Rajagukguk
• Sihombing
• Siregar
• Simatupang
• Panggabean
• Situmorang
• Simanjuntak
• Sibarani
• Siahaan
• Lubis
• Hutapea.

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3. Chinese-Indonesian Surname

Chinese-Indonesian tribes before the New Order era on average still had Chinese characters with 3 characters. Although a Chinese person in Indonesia does not know Han’s character, but usually Chinese names in Indonesia are still given by means of romanization. Because the majority of Chinese in Indonesia are migrants from Hokkien, Chinese names with Hokkien dialects are more common than other dialects.

Chinese surname is given patrilineally (from father). If a Chinese woman is married to a man surnamed, he will continue to use his father’s clan. The following are Chinese-Indonesian clans.
• Name of child: Kwik Kian Gie
• Father’s name: Kwik Hway Gwan
• Mother’s name: The Kwie Kie

On his birth certificate, the child’s name will be written: Kian Gie, a child from Kwik, Hway Gwan and The, Kwie Kie, or all names written in full, Kwik, Kian Gie, a child from Kwik, Hway Gwan and The, Kwie Kie (between names and names family separated comma). Both of the above methods are correct, so the child is full name Kwik Kian Gie

Children born without a father will only get the surname of their mother. On the birth certificate the name of the child will be written: Kian Gie the child from The, Kwie Kie So the child is full name The Kian GieThen the Javanese, Balinese, and some Madurese, as well as Sundanese also often use names derived from Sanskrit.

Since the policy of the Soeharto government in the New Order era, Chinese people have been prohibited from using Chinese names in the state administration. So that the majority of them have Indonesian names alongside Chinese names. In its Indonesian name, the Chinese often slipped the name of their clan and family. Some examples: Sudono Salim (clan: Liem), Anggodo Widjojo (clan: Ang).

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4. Minahasa Surname

The Minahasa clan refers to the name of the family or clan used behind the first name of the Minahasa / Manado community. In Eastern Indonesia the clan name is also commonly called fam, which shows the influence of the Dutch language, familienaam which means “family name”.

The Minahasa clan is taken from the family name used by the head of the household (male parents), thus generally the child’s name from a family will be added to the surname of the father behind him. If a woman is married, the surname of her husband is inserted between the first name and the original family name of the woman.

This practice shows the influence of remaining Spanish and Portuguese culture in Minahasa. The family will use the two clans as their official name. So, for example a man surnamed “Assa” married a woman who surnamed “Damongilala”, then the family was called “Family Assa-Damongilala”, even though their children would only use the name “Assa” as their clan :

• Andui
• Gerung
• Kaunang
• Pangalila
• Tambunan

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5. Minangkabau Surnames

The term tribe in Minangkabau society is somewhat confusing for other ethnicities outside Minangkabau. Some interpret it as a tribe or ethnicity, but there are also those who interpret the term tribe in Minang culture as a clan like the Batak, Ambon, Toraja, and Minahasa tribes. For Minangkabau people, the tribe is a sub-clan derived from the maternal line, not patrilineal as the clan rules on the Batak tribe or other tribes in Indonesia.

For Batak or Mandailing people, if they come from the same clan, for example Sitorus or Nasution, it means brothers. On the basis of not much different, in Minangkabau society, fellow tribes are not permitted to marry.

In connection with naming, there are some Minang families who raise the name of the tribe as their child’s last name, such as Koto, Piliang, Caniago, Tanjung, Sikumbang, and others. However, some others assume, using the name of the tribe or clan will eliminate their identity, because it imitates the habits of the Batak people who use the clan behind their birth name. Therefore, naming this kind is not popular among Minangkabau people.

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6. Hadhramaut Surname

Hadhramaut are Arab tribes from Yemen. The Hadhramaut are a tribe descended from the Hadhramaut bin Qahtan (in the Bible called Hazermawet bin Yoktan). In Indonesia, this tribe can generally be found in Maluku. Here is an example of the name Hadramaut surname in Indonesia.

• Al Atas
• Al Bahar
• Al Fariz
• Assegaf
• Ba Abdullah
• Hassan
• Makarim
• Muntahar
• Pahlevi
• Shahab/ Shihab
• Sungkar
• Syakieb
• Syarief
• Zahir

These names above might usually positioned in front of someone’s names. However, in other conditions, it also positioned in backward of the name.

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7. Surname of Dayak Tribe

Dayaks also have surname, like the Minahasa, Ambon, Minang, Toraja and Batak people. The term clan in the central and eastern regions of Indonesia is called fam, while for Minang people are called a tribe, meaning that it shows a group, the origin of the area, sub-clan, origin of the ancestry or family name. The Dayak Ngaju people in Central Kalimantan, from Dayak Katingan, Kapuas, Mengkatip, Bakumpai, Mendawai and Maanyan, actually also have a clan name.

A small portion of the Ngaju Dayak community now seems to think it is not too important to show their true identity by including the clan behind the name. But some others consider that including the name of the clan is important, because it shows their identity and origin. Here are some examples of the Dayak tribe surname.
• Asang
• Darun
• Djatta
• Lambung
• Lampang
• Riwut
• Unting
• Usin
• Manuwu
• Anggat

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8. Toraja Tribe Surname

The Toraja tribe is a tribal community on the island of Sulawesi. The Toraja also use the family name or clan / fam, which is placed behind the name, like the Minahasa tribe, Ambonese tribe, Batak tribe and others.
• Lilipadang
• Limbong
• Lolobua
• Londongbuntu
• Maimpo
• Manapa
• Mangiri
• Mapandin
• Masiku
• Mass
• Matande
• Mangiwa

After reading these kinds of surnames, you can imagine how many surnames does Indonesia have. This country is so epic. It is full of diversity you will never find in another city.

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