People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Punan Bungan, Hovongan in Indonesia

Punan Bungan, Hovongan

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,600 Hovongan Ethnic Religions 5.00 % 1.00 % No No   

Punan Bungan, Hovongan in Indonesia

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Hobongan people are a semi-nomadic group of people living in north central Borneo. In the past they were known as the headhunters of Borneo. The coastal people considered them to be animals and said that they had tails. However, in the past two generations much has changed for the Hobongan people as they have come into contact with the outside world. They now use boats and outboard motors to make frequent trips to the nearest towns. They wear modern clothing and build cement houses and carry cell phones. They have also been exposed to the Gospel and today there is a church among the Hobongan people.

Where are they located?
The Hobongan are living at the headwaters of the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. They form five villages located on five different rivers.

What are their lives like?
Although the Hobongan practice swidden agriculture, their primary economic activity is searching for jungle products that can be sold in the markets downriver. The most significant of these is gold mining. Because of this they are constantly traveling and live away from the village for significant lengths of time. Family is the primary unit of their culture, and they work and travel as families. They prize children highly and give a high measure of respect to older people. Many of the older people are still illiterate, but most of the young people have had some formal schooling and can read. The staple of their diet is rice and meat from the animals that they hunt in the jungle.

What are their beliefs?
The Hobongan were animists, believing that the world was controlled by evil spirits. And in turn, with certain rituals and incantations, they could have a measure of control over these evil spirits. In short their lives were ruled by fear of these evil spirits. With increased contact with the outside initially the Hobongan accepted the Roman Catholic religion, at least in name. But this did not change their animistic worldview. It has only been since they have heard and accepted the Gospel that some have truly renounced animism.

Prayer Points
* Pray for the growth of the Hobongan church so that they can be fully independent, teaching their own congregations and children.
* Pray too that they would be challenged to reach out to other people groups who still do not have access to the Gospel.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

Searcy, Rachel. Personal experience as Bible translator among the Hobongan.

View Punan Bungan, Hovongan in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Kalimantan Barat (Kapuas Hulu regency) and Kalimantan Timur provinces; border area, far northeast corner near Sarawak.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Punan Bungan, Hovongan
People Name General: Punan Bungan
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108175
Joshua Project People ID: 14477
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,600
Population all Countries: 1,600
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Borneo-Kalimantan
People Name General: Punan Bungan
Ethnic Code: MSY44e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Hovongan (1,600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hov    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity5.00 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions95.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant80.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic10.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Punan Bungan, Hovongan in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Borneo-Kalimantan     Asia, Southeast    
      Punan Bungan Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Punan Bungan, Hovongan in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Hovongan  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: