The Magnificence of Mount Bromo in Java Island

As one of the most beautiful mountain in the island of Java, Mount Bromo is so crowded with tourists. There, you can see the desert that is so exotic, cool mountain atmosphere with a thick fog, a beautiful crater and sunrise views that so stunning.

 

The Tengger massif in Java, Indonesia, at sunrise, showing the volcanoes Mt. Bromo (large crater, smoking) and Mt. Semeru (background, smoking). The early morning fog surrounds the peaks, covering a plain of finest volcanic ashes. Source : Thomas Hirsch Author : Thomas Hirsch  GNU Free Documentation License
The Tengger massif in Java, Indonesia, at sunrise, showing the volcanoes Mt. Bromo (large crater, smoking) and Mt. Semeru (background, smoking). The early morning fog surrounds the peaks, covering a plain of finest volcanic ashes.
Source : Thomas Hirsch
Author : Thomas Hirsch
GNU Free Documentation License

 

Bromo name is taken from the word Brahma, the supreme god of Hindus. Mount Bromo is a volcano that still active and a very famous as a tourist attraction in Indonesia. Bromo has a height of 2,392 meters above sea level, and is located in 4 regions in East Java, namely, Pasuruan, Lumajang, Probolinggo and Malang.

Mount Bromo has a crater with a diameter of about 800 meters (north-south) and approximately 600 meters (east-west). While the danger area, a circle with a radius of 4 km from the central crater of Bromo.

Bromo incorporated in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) which includes Mount Bromo. TNBTS also includes Tengger tribe villages and the highest mountain in the island of Java, Mount Semeru.

If you come during the summer, you can see the sunrise and views of the mountains that wide stretches in the bright weather. The best time to come to Bromo is around the month of June to October.

Mount Bromo physical shape mesh between valleys and canyons with a caldera or a sea of ??sand, covering an area of ??10 square kilometers and there is a temple in the middle. To reach the crater of Mount Bromo and sea sand is not easy. If  not strong enough to climb by foot, we can rent horses with the price Rp 70,000 (7$).

 

Walking on the edge of Gunung Bromo volcano.  Author : Harri J from Doha ??????, Qatar GNU Free Documentation License.
Walking on the edge of Gunung Bromo volcano.
Author : Harri J from Doha ??????, Qatar
GNU Free Documentation License.

 

After that we had to climb 250 stairs, but do not worry, all the tiredness will pay off when it reached the peak. Seeing the beauty of the crater of Mount Bromo that secrete smoke and vast desert while waiting for the sunrise if we climb at dawn would look so beautiful. Moreover natural phenomenon Bromo is constantly extraordinary changing.

Once a year, Tengger residents of Bromo mountain, do Kasodo ceremony. The ceremony was held at the temple is located at the northern foot of Mount Bromo and continues up to the top of the mountain. Ceremony is held  every full moon on the 14th or 15 months Kasodo (tenth) according to the Javanese calendar.

Prepare enough warm clothes and head cap much needed to reduce the cold temperatures, considering the temperature there can reach 0 degrees Celsius.

 

Bromo eruption Source : Surabaya.detik.com
Bromo eruption
Source : Surabaya.detik.com

 

Even several times mount Bromo is erupted, the Center for Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center said people on the mountain slopes are safe and do not need to evacuate.

Mount Bromo has different characteristics to other volcanoes. This mountain has a low volcanic, would only issue a sands and ashes.

 

Mount Bromo Eruption

 

Legend of Mount Bromo

Ancient legend said there was a girl that lived in the affluent village near Mount Bromo, her name is Rara Anteng. She’s very pretty, friendly, humble, and diligent. She married a young man, Jaka Seger.

Jaka Seger and Rara Anteng were happy couple but they did not have a child. Therefore they pray to God. Soon an old man appeared and said, “you will have twenty-five children, but you have to sacrifice your son most small / young”.

Several months later Rara Anteng given gift of a baby. They were very happy. After a few years they  had twenty-five children. The youngest named Warih Kusuma.

One night Jaka Seger remember the message of the old man and talk to his wife. After that they head into the crater of Mount Bromo to pray to God because they can not sacrifice Warih Kusuma. Instantly the sky became dark and they heard the sound of thunder. They ran away from the crater.

Once the lightning had subsided, Warih Kusuma disappeared. They heard the sound of Warih Kusuma from inside crater, “Please let me go, but  give offerings every year”.

Finally Jaka Seger and Rara Anteng let Warih Kusuma go. Tengger name is taken from Jaka Tengger and Rara Anteng , since then Tengger residents always presents of livestock and agricultural produce at the Kasodo ceremony.

 

Bromo Mountain

 

Location of Mount Bromo


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“Gadang House”, The traditional house of Minang (Minangkabau) in Sumatera Island

Rumah gadang (Gadang House) is a traditional house that is the result of Minangkabau ethnic cultures who live in Bukit Barisan, along the western coast of central Sumatra island. Just as the house in the equatorial regions, rumah gadang generally built on pilings (the stage) has cavity at the bottom which is high enough so can provide fresh air especially in the summer.

 

Bukit Barisan
Bukit Barisan

 

In addition, Gadang house built lined up according to the direction of the wind from the north to the south in order to be free from the sun and wind.
Roof that is tapered is a typical architecture that distinguishes it from other tribes building in equatorial latitudes that.

 

Gadang Palace Freddy's doc.
Gadang Palace
Freddy’s doc.

 

Gadang houses have characteristic which are very distinctive. Essentially a form is quadrangle of beams that expands upward. Sharp lines and gentle curved sectional with lower middle part. Curved roofs are very sharp like buffalo horns, while the form of the house curved and  ramps like the ship hull. Roofs made from palm fiber.

 

Gadang roof Freddy's doc.
Gadang roof
Freddy’s doc.

 

If it is seen in terms of its function, Gadang houses show the adjustment to the tropical nature. Useful roof taper to release sediment on fibers that are layered, so that rain water will glide quickly on its roof.

Gadang highly exalted even considered sacred. As the venerable and considered sacred every person who come into gadang house would wash his feet first down the stairs. There is provided a wide flat rock, called “Batu Telapakan” which is also a place of water from rock called “Cibuk Meriau” and a bucket of water from the wood named “Taring Berpanto”.

Minangkabau society harmonize life in a natural, harmonious and dynamic, so that their life embraced dialectical theory which they call “bakarano bakajadian” (causal and effect), conflict and balance. Their work which menumental like rumah gadang also contains that philosophy.

 

About West Sumatera

Location of  Bukit Barisan in Sumatera Island


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More information about this house can be seen at Rumah Gadang (Wikipedia)

Traditional Flores House that made UNESCO amazed

At August 27, 2012 the UNESCO announced the Award of Excellence, which is the highest award in the field of cultural heritage preservation, for a special kind of Indonesian houses. The award is given to conservation projects in the last ten years for buildings that have been outstanding for more than fifty years.

The houses only can be  found in the small village “Wae Rebo” which is located in the district Manggarai on Flores Island. The houses of the of Manggarai tribe are called “Mbaru Niang” and look like cones.

 

pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com. Edited by koran arsitektur
pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com.
Edited by koran arsitektur

 

United Nations which in charge of culture and science said that the provision Award of Excellece to Mbaru Niang is a new recognition of the architectural conservation.

This traditional house beat the 42 other candidates from 11 countries in Asia Pacific, including the historic irrigation systems in India, Zhizhusi complex in China, and Khilingrong mosque in Pakistan.

Wae Rebo can be regarded as a rare type. Not many cone houses are left in Flores.

 

Pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com
Pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com

 

In Wae Rebo there are four Mbaru Niang in similar size, except one house that serves as the main house and is larger sized where all custom meetings are held. Each house has six to eight families. In their history, once there were seven houses arranged in a semicircle.

In 2010, two aged cone houses have been demolished and rebuilt. In 2011, three cone houses were built, the villager have managed to restore back seven cone houses. All was done by local communities without outside interference. Originality and cultural richness of Wae Rebo are created without outside interference.

 

Pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com
Pustakadigitalindonesia.blogspot.com
Edited by Koran Arsitektur

 

UNESCO also gave an award to the Foundation for Foster House, which was pioneered by the eminent architect Yori Antar from Jakarta. First time Yori and his colleagues visited the village in 2008, without knowing exactly where the village is located. Only by pictures on some postcards they asked people around to take them to the village.

With his efforts, finally he succeeded to lead the architectural project in Wae Rebo, utilizing local traditions and empower local people to rebuild the traditional house in the west of Flores.

 

The beauty of Bunaken island that is recognized by UNESCO

Bunaken Island is famous for Forest Park in the middle of the ocean or sea which had entered the National Park and has the highest biodiversity in the world oceans.

Bunaken Island is located in the north of Sulawesi, precisely in the Bay of Manado, and is included the territory of Indonesia. The extent of approximately 8.08 km2, but if totalized, Bunaken island has an area of ??approximately 75,265 hectares with five islands in it, among others: the island of  Manado Tua, Siladen Island, Mantehage Island, Naen Island and some islands from Mantehage island protected within the Bunaken National Park.

 

Bunaken Island Wikipedia GNU Free Documentation License
Bunaken Island
Wikipedia
GNU Free Documentation License

 

The island of Bunaken to Manado Tua Island Source :Own work Author : Btv70  GNU Free Documentation License
The island of Bunaken to Manado Tua Island
Source : Wikipedia
Author : Btv70
GNU Free Documentation License

 

Bunaken National Park is representative for Indonesian tropical water ecosystems consisting of mangrove ecosystems, sea grass beds, coral reefs, land and coastal ecosystems.

The name “Bunaken” is known far abroad as one of the best dive sites in the world. Indonesia as a country with many islands in the world has plenty of magnificent beaches and marine biodiversity. In the Bunaken Marine Park the visitors will see the various forms of marine life which are beautiful and colorful.

 

Bunaken marine park at North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source :Wikipedia Author : Borgx Public Domain
Bunaken marine park at North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Source : Wikipedia
Author : Borgx
Public Domain

 

Bunaken Island lined up from the southeast to the northwest part of the island. In this region also exist Great Underwater Walls which are often called the Hanging Walls or giant rock walls that stand vertically and curved upward.

According to the records, there are about 91 species of fish and live in the Bunaken Marine Park, while coral reefs totaling 13 species domination by the majority of marine rocks.

There are 20 point dive for scuba diving that could be enjoyed by the visitors who want to get the sensation while swimming in the bottom of the sea with a variety of marine life around.

Other than that view of the ocean still can be seen not only through diving, but in a way by boarding semi submarine ships that can be found offshore Bunaken Island. This ships have walls of glass, so visitors can see the view of the sea.

Bunaken National Park was established in 1991 and on 2005 UNESCO made ??Bunaken becoming one of the world heritage and made the tourism in that area  more popular.

 

Bunaken Island sightseeing

 

Diving in Bunaken Marine Park 

 

 Location of Bunaken Island


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Batik cloth

Batik is the typical culture of Indonesia which has existed since the Majapahit kingdom. To further strengthen our understanding of batik, it helps us to know about the history of Indonesian batik. Batik is historically derived from the days of the ancestor, known since the seventeenth century, written and painted on palm leaves. At that time batik motif or pattern was still dominated by the shape of animals and plants, but in the history of its development, batik have evolved from painting motifs of animals and plants, turning on an abstract motif that resembles a cloud, temple reliefs, wayang, and so on.

 

Indonesian Batik

Batik Indonesia
Batik cloth
Source : Wikipedia
Maker : MartijnL
License : CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Netherlands)

 

The word “batik” is derived from the combination of two Javanese words “amba”, meaning “to write”, “titik” means “point”. Batik is one way of making fabric. Moreover batik can refer to two things. The first is the technique of coloring cloth using the night to prevent staining part of the fabric. In the international literature, this technique is known as wax-resist dyeing. The second is the fabric or clothing made by those technicque, including the use of certain motifs that have uniqueness. Indonesian Batik as the overall engineering, technology, and development-related motives and culture.

Through the merger of the painting with the art of decorating style clothing, batik art emerged as we know it today. The Indonesian nation that is culturally rich has led to the birth of various shades and types of traditional batik with the characteristics of their own specialization, such as batik Pekalongan, Yogyakarta, Solo (cities in Central Java) or other regions in Indonesia which patterns or motifs according to the specific region.

 

Traditional batik from Solo (Surakarta) Source : own photo Author or copyright holder : Thomas Bergholz
Traditional batik from Solo (Surakarta)
Source : own photo
Author or copyright holder : Thomas Bergholz

 

Traditional Batik from Yogyakarta Author : Thomas Bergholz Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Thomas Bergholz
Traditional Batik from Yogyakarta
Author : Thomas Bergholz
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.
Attribution: Thomas Bergholz

 

Batik Buketan from Pekalongan, Central Java. The name "Buketan" derived from European flower bouquet and floral motifs European Clearly displayed. The Buketan Batik originated during Dutch East Indies colonial era of Java. Source :Wikipedia Indonesia Maker : Bangko Gandrasta Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Batik Buketan from Pekalongan, Central Java. The name “Buketan” derived from European flower bouquet and floral motifs European Clearly displayed. The Buketan Batik originated during Dutch East Indies colonial era of Java.
Source : Wikipedia Indonesia
Maker : Bangko Gandrasta
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

 

During development, the art of batik was imitated by the people nearest and further expanded into the work of women in the household to fill their spare time. Furthermore, batik clothes that used only by the royal family then became a popular folk clothes, both women and men.

Types of Batik Based on Technique:

  • Batik Tulis (Writing Batik) is decorated with texture and batik style using hand in its making. This type of batik takes approximately 2-3 months.
  • Batik Cap  (Stamp Batik) is decorated with textures and patterns that is formed by stamp (usually made from copper). This type of batik process takes approximately 2-3 days.
  • Batik Painting is the process of making batik with a direct way to paint on a white cloth.

Batik is a craft that has high artistic value and has become part of the culture of Indonesia (especially Java) since long. Javanese women in the past made their skills in batik for a living, so in the past batik work is exclusively women’s work until the invention of “Batik Cap” which allowed the men to take a part of it.

World recognized batik as one of the heritage of mankind generated by the nation of Indonesia. Recognition and awards were presented officially by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Culture Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO designated Indonesian Batik as a Cultural Heritage for Humanity Oral and Intangible (Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity) since October 2, 2009. The recognition made ??on 28 September 2009 and official award on October 2, 2009 in Abu Dhabi.

UNESCO recognition was given primarily as an assessment of the diversity of batik which is full of deep philosophical meaning. Awards were also given for the government and people of Indonesia that has been protecting and preserving the cultural heritage from generation to generation.

 

Indonesian Batik, A Living Art

 

 

 To know more detail about batik can be found at : Batik (Wikipedia)


Saman Dance, one of the world cultural heritage from Indonesia

Saman dance is the dance from Gayo (Gayonese) Aceh, northern Sumatra island. Named Saman dance because it was created by a clerics named Sheikh Saman in XIV century AD from the highlands of Gayo. Saman dance is reflection of education, religion, manners, heroism, teamwork and togetherness.

 

Saman dance, from Aceh Source : id:Tari Saman Author : Fajriboy GNU Free Documentation License.
Saman dance, from Aceh
Source : id:Tari Saman
Author : Fajriboy
GNU Free Documentation License.

 

Saman dance uses two basic element movements, which are the applauses and a pat on the chest. In  Saman dance, after sometime the rhythm and movements  become faster and makes the Saman Dance more interesting.

Traditional clothing for Saman dance are shirt and trouser, hat-shaped rolls, and a scabbard (sarong) and they are colorful. Clothes have to slightly loose in order to dance freely.
And there is still sarong worn below the belly with variety kinds of belts.

Saman dance is not only popular in Indonesia but also overseas and  it is often played in foreign countries.

On November 24, 2011 UNESCO officially recognized Aceh’s traditional Saman Dance as an intangible element of world cultural heritage, which needs UNESCO’s urgent protection

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) named on Saman Dance as the best ASEAN cultural preservation effort at the 25th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence 2012 (Wikipedia).

 

Saman Dance – Gayonese Traditional Dance – Sumatra, Indonesia

 

Saman Dance by UNESCO

Cirebon Mask Dance (Tari Topeng Cirebon), West Java

The art of dance became one the richness cultur that is owned by Indonesia. Each region has a dance with its own uniqueness.

Mask Dance from Cirebon in West Java is a dance that is full of meaningful symbols which are expected to be understood by its audience. Symbols can be a value of leadership, love, or wisdom.

 

Mask DancerPublic domain
Mask Dancer
Public domain

 

Mask dance  was developed a lot in Cirebon in West Java. It became famous because of the expression of movements. The dancers covered their face with a mask when dancing, that is why it is called by the name Mask dance. This dance is usually performed by one or several beautiful dancers, the singers, and some men who play musical instruments.

Symbols and meaning of a Mask Dance performance are delivered through the mask colors, sum of masks, the number of gamelan players and naturally through the dance itself.

Mask Dance Movement which is played by the dancers in each performance is different, depending on the theme that will be displayed.

After some swirling movement the dancers cover the face with a cloth that contains the mask,  then put the mask on the face as a symbol that the show has begun.

A similar process is performed when the dancers change the mask with a red mask. Uniquely, along with the change of the mask, the music accompanying  will become loud. The loudest music is played when a red mask is worn by the dancers. These movements are a form of opening dance in the mask dance performances.

 

Cirebon Mask Dance

 

The one of mask dance maestro was Mimi Rasinah, an active dancer and teacher of studio art at The Mask Dance Mimi Rasinah located in the village Pekandangan, Indramayu . Since 2006 Mimi Rasinah was suffering from paralysis, but still excited to performe, dancing and teaching mask dance until the end of her life. Mimi Rasinah died in August 2010 at the age of 80 years.

 

Mask Dance Maestrothe GNU Free Documentation License ,
Mask Dance Maestro
the GNU Free Documentation License

 

Rasinah Topeng Cirebon (Cirebon Mask) Documentary

 

Location of Cirebon, West Java


Lihat Peta Lebih Besar

Various Mask Dance information can be found at wikipedia

 

Cemetery Trunyan, unique burial customs in Bali Island Indonesia

Terunyan is a village located in the district of Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Batur Lake, Bali, Indonesia. In this area there are traditional funerall that are quite unique. Residents who had been died were burried in the great stone which has 7 pieces cavity.

 

Batur Volcano and Lake, Lesser Sunda Islands, IndonesiaAuthor : TropicaLiving Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Batur Volcano and Lake, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Author : TropicaLiving
Licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

 

The body is only fenced by a sufficiently woven bamboo. Uniquely after days though not embalmed, the bodies are not spreading a foul smell.

Custom village of  Terunyan is set procedure to bury their communities. In this village there are three  graves (sema) that are intended for three different kinds of deaths.

When one Trunyan resident died in natural way, the body will be covered with a white cloth, consecrated, and then laid without buried under a big tree called Taru Menyan (incent), at the location that is called Sema Wayah . However, if the cause of death is not natural, such as accident, suicide, or murdered, the  body will be placed in a location called Sema Bantas. Meanwhile, to bury babies and young children, or people who’ve grown but not married, will be placed at Sema Muda .

 

Trunyan, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali, IndonesiaGNU Free Documentation License .
Trunyan, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali, Indonesia
GNU Free Documentation License .

 

Explanation why the bodies were placed with neat in the grave odorless, even naturally buried and still occur decomposition of the corpses, it is caused by the Taru Menyan tree (Taru Incense Tree), which can release fragrance and is able to neutralize foul smell of corpses. Taru means fragrant incense. The Taru incense tree only grows in this area then known as a  Tarumenyan and more famous by the name Terunyan that is believed to be the origin of the village name. (Wikipedia)

In cemetery Trunyan, there are boards “Welcome to cemetery Trunyan Village”. Thereafter through the board then you will come across a small gate and the stately trees namely Trunyan trees.

The dead bodies there are just laid and covered in white cloth, and the bodies of which are visible only the legs and heads, fenced with woven bamboo that is plugged in the form of cone. The Wonders of nature in there is the dead bodies not cause a foul smell and also safe from insects such as flies, worms, and other activities as we met in the flesh rotting.

Trunyan Village, also known as a Fragrant Wood Village, means Village of Fragrant Tree (Nyan Tree). So Terunyan tree means the fragrant tree. Local people believe that the Trunyan tree can suck up odor corpses in the cemetery.

Not everyone can be buried in the cemetery of Trunyan. The Trunyan cemetary is devoted only to people who are considered death in an normal condition (clean) and had already married, but although the death is normal, but not yet married then it should not be buried in the cemetery of Trunyan, so also the death due to accident and sickness then it also not allowed.

There were only 11 graves used for 11 bodies, if there will be a new body to be buried, then the old body will be replaced with a new body, and the old body will be moved to another place but still in the cemetery area.

Belongings of the dead also saved around their buried place.

 

Trunyan Village in Bali

 


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The uniqueness of Maluku islands – East Indonesia

The Maluku Islands stretch from the Island of Halmahera in the north to the south of the Far East. Maluku is a region which is blessed not only because of the wealth of beautiful natural but also the Maluku (Moluccas) had always been known with honest and courageous character people.

There are many customs, arts and culture of Maluku, which is not known by many people. One of the traditional events that has been made are “PUKUL SAPU LIDI”, (Beaten by Broom stick),  implemented by the King of Mamala in Ambon – Maluku, where the event is held in every 7 (seven) days after the Day of the Great Islamic “Eid”.

 

Beaten by broom sticksFOTO ANTARA/Jimmy Ayal/ed/09.
Beaten by broom sticks
FOTO ANTARA/Jimmy Ayal/ed/09.

 

This ceremony includes the extreme events. In this ceremony, each participant will be whipping up the other participants alternately using sticks (Lidi) from palm tree, that has a length 1, 52 meters, on one condition that it should not be hit into the face or a vital part of the opponent.

The whole body of participants are bruised and bleed, but they do not look in pain. Whip injuries can even be cured quickly by using traditional ingredients made ??with coconut oil so it dries quickly and the wound healed.

 

Playing beaten broomcentroone.com
Playing beaten broom
centroone.com

 

This event has been running since a few hundred years ago in this area, so that almost all the people around the island of Ambon and foreign travelers who know the tradition are definitely attend the event and watch this show.

 

Attractions of broom stick beaten

 

Besides the tradition of the broom, there is another tradition that is often called “BAMBO GILA” (Crazy Bamboo), which is known by the people of Maluku and other parts of the community where the tradition of BAMBOO GILA is known is derived from the Moluccas, but there are still many society from other areas that still dont not know about it.

 

Crazy Bamboo AttractionKompas.com By : Anom manik agung
Crazy Bamboo Attraction
Kompas.com
By : Anom manik agung

 

Prepared first a piece of bamboo with a length about 2.5 meters and diameter of 8 cm before the game starts,

After giving a spell on the bamboo, the handler then shouted “crazy, crazy, crazy.” Attraction crazy bamboo began. The dancers will move swiftly, following the movement of wild bamboo. In fact, the player’s body will be swayed even fell up, because wild movement of the crazy bamboo. They will make a series of movements, and linking their fingers to each other with agility of leg movements that is included walking, jumping and running following the sound of dynamic musics. Attraction crazy bamboo will end with the players which are fall unconscious in the show arena. The unique of this show, magical power of bamboo does not go away before being fed fires.

 

Crazy Bamboo AttractionFoto: ANTARA/ Fanny Octavianus
Crazy Bamboo Attraction
Foto: ANTARA/ Fanny Octavianus

 

Attractions of Crazy Bamboo

 

Maluku Islands

 

Location of Maluku Islands-East Indonesia


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Mentawai tribes, ancient tribes which are Isolated from Sumatra Island Indonesia

Mentawai tribes are a group of people who live and settle in the Mentawai islands of West Sumatra. Until now Mentawai cultures relatively still original, because they are  isolated from the mainland of Sumatra and have not been influenced by other cultures.

 

Mentawai men displaying a traditional greeting.
Source : http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl
Author : Christiaan Benjamin Nieuwenhuis
Public domain

 

Mentawai Islands are located in West Sumatra, composed from the island of Siberut, Sipora, North Pagai and South Pagai. Siberut Island is the largest but less in the population compare with the three other islands. Communication and transport problem caused Siberut Island mildly retarded in development. Mentawai Islands which separated from the mainland of Sumatra are estimated since 500,000 years ago in the Pleistocene age by rising sea levels. Since then the islands are isolated.

Siberut is becoming increasingly popular as an area to visit the ancient cultures. It is well known for its virgin rainforest, inhabited by a number of animal species which is not found anywhere else in the world, among them rare monkey species. Beautiful coral reefs are found offshore.

Siberut is only a relative small island and has the internal variation in language, culture in life style and in recourses are substantial. There is no clear indication of when man first arrived on Siberut, but anthropologist suggest that the bataks of the north Sumatra that is first settled on the island several years ago. In many ways, the people of  Siberut are the most ancient people among people  in Indonesia.

Most of traditional Mentawai people live in the inland, along the banks of the river in the upstream. The main food is Sago, which grows in the swamps of nature and also create their own swamp by retaining water in the root networks, when they want to plant on the flat land, but  every time they cut down the sago tree to be processed into food, they will replace it with a new sago trees. Fish, shrimp and pork are the most common source of protein that they eat.

From the first, Mentawai tribes always apply to live integrated with nature. Destroy nature and hunt wild is believed to bring disaster for the life of the Mentawai tribes.

Simplicity of life the Mentawai tribes can be seen from the way they dress. In general, clothes of  them still traditional. Mentawai men still wearing “kabit” which cover lower body, made of wood skin,  while the upper body was left naked without wearing a piece of cloth.

Another case with the women, to cover the lower body, they dangle a banana leaf midrib to form like a skirt. While for the the upper body, they knit up palm leaf shaped like a shirt. If there Mentawai tribes who wear fabric glove or clothes, there were only a few people.

 

Mentawai people (Wikipedia)

 

The Tribes in Mentawai islands are also famous because of their tattoo and they called it Titi. Titi is one part of artistic expression and the symbolic status of the Mentawai tribes.

Previously tattoos was popular among adult men and women of Mentawai. This time only a small Mentawai tribes which were tattooed. Some of them can be found in the interior of the island of Siberut.

Needles that are used are made from animal bone or sharpened wood  and would hit it into the body so that it will create the lines that are the main tattoo motive of Mentawai tribe. Colorants that is used comes from charcoal which is stuck on crock. Usually in making tattoos is started from hands, arms, legs and body. For several days, the newly tattooed skin will swell and bleed.

Reputedly, Mentawai tattoos are included the oldest tattoo art in the world, even older than the Egyptian tattoos.

 

Mentawai people

 

Mentawai Tribe Tatoos

 

Mentawai Tattoo Revival

 

 

Mentawai Islands Regency – Indonesia


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Culture, issues, nature and wildlife in Indonesia