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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

NEW MENTAWAI UMA

I’ve just returned from a relatively short trip back to the Islands, which, as always, was wonderfully uplifting. The motive for this particular journey came via an invitation to attend a cultural celebration held for the construction of a new Uma (long house), which was built last year by Sikerei, Aman Masit Dere and his son, Aman Kacau. As is →


KEY DOCUMENTS

To give a brief update on the project, I’d like to share with you the news that two key documents, which are particularly vital to establishing the project’s direction and further development, have now been completed. The first of these documents, the Indigenous Mentawai Community Research Report, presents a detailed analysis of the baseline survey alongside secondary/pre-existing research data; establishing a →


KEY INFORMATION, UPDATED

Given that the teaser and synopsis featured here on the film’s website no longer represented what the film is actually about, in light of the recent realisation and subsequent changes to the story, I've now replaced them with versions that actually do. Which you can view here below or otherwise in the designated areas found on the website, as per →


MENTAWAI SONG: SIKEREI

In light of the information presented in the previous post, and indeed the disposition its inspired, I wanted to post something a little more light-hearted, like a song. Well, a mixture of two songs actually. With the more predominant praising the healing and shamanistic abilities of Sikerei – as illustrated by the visuals shown in the video; and the →


TWISTS AND TURNS

To suggest there’s been a lot happen with this project over the past few years, in terms of the number of developments moving forward, backward and, more often than not, in circles, would be somewhat of an understatement. In fact, when considering the unconventional path it’s followed – particularly when knowing that, as I am still learning, it’s a path →


TO DIVERT THE ATTENTION FOR A MOMENT…

Dear reader, Whilst I’ve found working on the analysis report and program these past few weeks to be incredibly fascinating, and exciting too – allowing me to simulate what I presume to be the practices of a university student – I’ve now reached a point where, to progress, I must digress. The focus, in the hope of re-establishing productivity via the →


SO WHERE ARE YOU AT NOW?

Right, a reasonable question, sure… I’ll try and be brief. The film, which is currently at a stage I'm hoping is very near to that which is required, is in the hands of a few select individuals who, given their film related experience, I'm hoping can provide me a frank indication of exactly where I stand – in terms of →


MENTAWAI CEREMONY

Although I did, rather prudently I thought, opt against carting the weight of a video camera and array of thought-to-be essential accessories back to the islands for the recent Baseline Survey activity; I did in fact manage – utilizing the advanced capabilities of the modern-day still – to capture a few moments during a ceremony given for the death of →


ASK THE COMMUNITY

Briefly updating on the progress of the Mentawai Support Program, we've just returned from the Islands where we were able to support an incredible team of young enthusiastic Mentawai in successfully conducting a Baseline Survey – an activity crucial to understanding the wants, needs and perspectives of the community; and what strategies, if any, they would like implemented to help →


TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT…

Whilst pondering how best to encapsulate a brief update on the film, I found myself looking back over the various evolvements that have unfolded since my returning from Mentawai almost two years ago; and, in the end, decided that perhaps I’ll just begin there. So, basically, at that stage, whilst I did foresee the importance in utilizing the development of this →


INDULGE IN IMAGERY

Mindful that my updates here often transpire into excessively long-winded expositions - which, when considering the browsing pace of the greater community, are perhaps exhibited at the expense of engaging readers - as a reprieve for those who've been following along, please enjoy the simplicity of casting your eyes over a few images I feel are worth sharing... A young Mentawai →


MASURAK BAGATTA, THANK YOU

Had I ever imagined the scenario of my arriving unannounced on a remote island, where, knowing next to nothing of the language, culture, or lifestyle, a native people would welcome me in, treat me as one of their own and teach me the skills necessary to survive in their jungle habitat; I suspect I would have thought this the most →


DONATIONS ARE IN

All June donations for the Mentawai Support Program have been collected and are to be presented to GLOBALQUEST next week. Some very exciting results, so do stay tuned! And in the meantime...


SUPPORT MENTAWAI AND OUR FUTURE!

As we adapt our lives to the conveniences of modernity and particularly toward a reliance on the availability of information at the press of a button, are we considering the fact that through this advancement also arises an opportunity for a younger – technologically savvy – generation to be heard, to influence change, and to pave the way for our →


THE FILM IS COMING, SLOWLY

It has been some time now since the previous post here, which – for a person who obsesses upon hastily relieving himself of the displeasureable guilt conduced by knowing that a very achievable task has yet to be tackled – this has proved somewhat burdensome. To entertain you with a reason for this negligence though… basically, over the past few months, →


MENTAWAI TATTOO REVIVAL

The traditional tattoos - which, for various cultures worldwide, where their tribal markings have been nothing short of fundamental in shaping their identity, their culture, and their existence - are now vanishing, rapidly… and in many cases leaving behind no visual evidence for future generations, whatsoever. After thousands of years being passed from generation to generation, these intricate, purposive markings, →


THE MENTAWAI DOCTOR, SIKEREI

Possessing an incomparable knowledge of the plant and animal life surrounding, the Mentawai Shaman, the Sikerei, preserve a great understanding of how almost every species found there can, or can't, be utilized in support of their existence; which, when residing on the island of Siberut, one of the world's richest biodiversity hotspots, this is, for lack of a better term, →


ANDI

Where do I begin then, I wondered, after fastidiously critiquing then dismissing several written introductory attempts through discontentment, or better yet, unworthiness. Nervous perhaps? Likely. Gosh, I want to introduce here a person, a friend, who (unknowingly) played a monumental role in that which lead to my being where I am today - mentally, so it is of some importance →


STATUS OF THE FILM

In other news, and after briefly catching up with myself over the weekend, here's what I had to say regarding the films progress: "How is the film coming along, Rob?" "Well, it" "Coming along well?" "Yes it is well, however" "That's wonderful to hear, Rob, but when will the film be finished?" "WELL BASICALLY, I've completed as much of the post-production as →


THE MENTAWAI

Whilst anthropologists, missionaries and tourists have been visiting the archipelago for some time now, it's rather interesting to consider that in the 21st century - in a country as accessible as Indonesia, that there still remains a people that have yet to witness the most basic of modern-world items.


COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAM

Alongside the film, I am working on the development of an Indigenous community support program, which will focus on the Siberut region. Having had very little experience in the not-for-profit organizational sector personally, and knowing that outside support will play a critical role in realizing this, I was extremely grateful to Matthew and Anastacia from SURFAID INTERNATIONAL who generously →


FISHING

Landing in this new island habitat saw a sudden and significant change to my diet. The transition period for the first month would result in diminished energy levels; provoking a need to learn the art of fishing – an important survival skill for those residing by the ocean. Fortunately Si Hen and a couple of experienced fisherman in the village →


OVERWHELMED

Editing is underway… slowly. I’m finding it very difficult to sit in front of the computer for extended periods and, for whatever reason, I’ve taken to running in the bush. If my head becomes sore it suggests that I run - so I do. I’ve been running further and further everyday, and I quite enjoy it. I might even invest →


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