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Posts Tagged ‘tribes’

MENTAWAI TEETH SHARPENING RITUAL

It has been quite an extraordinary month here in Mentawai, and one particular reason for this was baring witness to a ritual I’d presumed had long been extinct: the sharpening, or chiseling of human teeth. There are various theories pertaining to the actual purpose for this act and, depending on the region you make your enquiry, perhaps all have some element →


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 →


SUPPORT AGAINST INDIGENOUS DISPLACEMENT

To reveal a little more of what this project hopes to achieve and to give those interested in supporting its cause a chance to do so, I'm launching a two-week fundraising campaign selling t-shirts to raise money for the not-for-profit indigenous education initiative. To see the entire range of men's and women's t-shirt designs and to learn exactly how you'll be →


FISCAL SPONSOR

As Worlds Divide has been approved by the Documentary Australia Foundation as a project suitable for philanthropic support and is now provided fiscal sponsorship. Meaning any financial support given toward the project's completion will be fully tax deductible here in Australia. Which, given the 'real damn close' stage the project is now at, could prove somewhat beneficial. You'll find the →


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 →


WHAT IS REALLY BEST FOR THE COMMUNITY?

Portrait of a Mentawai shaman, Sikerei, and his family

Infant mortality is indeed a sensitive subject and, for all things related, difficult to know how best to approach when discussing on a public platform. My dilemma, after having observed an unexpected sense of functionality in a people coping with losing what I’d consider to be an abnormally high number of infants, is that as a result of this I →


MOVING FORWARD

Mentawai shaman proud of the rainforest

The project is at a stage where I’ve begun contacting and presenting to those I hope can help take it that next step toward release. Which is extremely exciting. Interestingly, I’m observing that people are generally really busy. Meaning that for many opportunities I await response. Admittedly I’m not as aggressive in pushing for people’s time as I perhaps →


GETTING TO KNOW THE SHAMAN, SIKEREI

I wanted to share this sequence of images with you and so thought I’d accompany it with a few observations I find interesting about the Mentawai shaman, Sikerei. Firstly, to become Sikerei is to devote ones life to teaching, healing, and protecting the people; this is their role. One important component of this role involves learning from their predecessors the →


PROJECT OVERVIEW

To clarify exactly what this project entails and hopes to achieve I have formulated a vision board; a simple step-by-step infographic identifying the problem, how this was found, the solution, and a pathway to achieving its long-term goal. I have posted a copy of this here for you to examine. As you can see, the film, BUI MAREUREU BAAP As Worlds →


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 →


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, →


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 →


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 →


TEST SCREENING

This week saw the first test screening of BUI MAREUREU BAAP as worlds divide. Thanks to all the members of Melbourne's Doco3000 group that gave their time and valuable feedback, a great amount was gained from the discussion that followed. Stay tuned for further developments.


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