The Minangkabau Highlands is a mountainous area in West Sumatra, around the three mountains (Mount Marapi, Mount Singgalang
, and Mount Sago
) in central Sumatra, Indonesia
. It is home to the Minangkabau people who refer it as Alam Minangkabau, or "the World
of Minangkabau". This area formed a kingdom known from at least the 7th century as Malayu. It is probable that wet rice cultivation evolved in the highlands long before it appeared in other parts of Sumatra, and predates significant foreign contact. Inscriptions in the area have been found from the rule of Adityavarman (1347–1375).
The Dutch began exploiting the gold reserves in the highlands in the 1680s. They dominated the trade in the area, severely restricting the trade outlets between the highlands and the ports on the coast between 1820 and 1899, bringing about a marked decrease in rice production. The highlands consist of three major valleys: Tanah Datar Valley, Agam Valley, and Limapuluh Valley.