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Posts Tagged ‘story’

THE MENTAWAI SPIRIT

Although impossible to convey here the depths of what an indigenous people lose when displaced from their land and culture, I’d like to share with you a few observations alongside a series of photographs captured by friend and photographer, Chris Hopkins. The aesthetic contrast between the resettled and non-resettled peoples in Mentawai was what first grabbed my attention - in particular, →


STORY: HOW TO BUILD A MENTAWAI UMA

Storytelling is a fundamental component of all indigenous cultures and heavily intertwined within their native educational systems. For Mentawai, according to Sikerei, "Our stories teach us about our history and how to survive here. They carry the wealth of Mentawai through the generations. This is our fortune." Over the years I've documented a variety of these cultural tales and edifying conversations →


HOW EFFECTIVE IS TRADITIONAL MEDICINE?

Medicine wrapped in leaves

Continuing on from recent articles discussing how the indigenous Mentawai community deals with illness and loss of life, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the practices of traditional Mentawai medicine; those who are trained to administer it; and the impacts caused by an increased lack of community access to it. Firstly, it‘s worth mentioning that traditional medicine has been →


LIFE AND DEATH IN MENTAWAI

Each time I return to Mentawai I discover something new about the people and about the way they deal with the often-confronting circumstances that arise during their lives. This recent experience presented all that and more. Arriving in the port town of Siberut, Arla and I were greeted by news that my friend Aman Masit Dere was ill. His condition though →


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, →


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