Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, with its capital is Banda Aceh. Located at the northern end of Sumatra, it is close to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India and separated from them by the Andaman Sea.
There are 10 indigenous tribes in this region, the largest being the Aceh tribe, accounting for approximately 80 to 90% of the region's population.
Aceh is thought to have been the place where the spread of Islam in Indonesia begun, and was a key factor of the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia. Islam reached Aceh (Kingdoms of Fansur and Lamuri) around 650 AD, and was gradually accepted by people in the region. In the early seventeenth century the Sultanate of Aceh was the most wealthy, powerful and cultivated state in the Malacca Straits region. Aceh has a history of political independence and resistance to control by outsiders, including the former Dutch colonists and the Indonesian government.
Several weeks ago I heard news saying that Aceh's national heroine Cut Nyak Dhien actually wore a headscarf. But then I found a website saying that the pictures of a woman wearing headscarf was of the wife of Panglima Polim (also an Acehnese hero). Headscarf or no headscarf, Acehnese women are brave souls who always defend their rights.