Nias is a large island off the west coast of Sumatra. Despite its long history of interaction with the Islamized peoples of Sumatra, the people of Nias maintained their indigenous religion, as well as their political independence, until the early twentieth century. However, Nias religion has identifiable Hindu elements, presumably dating to the time prior to the Islamization of Indonesia. The high god of Nias was called Lowalangi, and was conceived as a cosmic herdsman who kept human beings as his pigs.