Mentawai Culture

Mentawai Shaman – Jungle Knowledge Keeper

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Once upon a time the only film footage on Mentawai was in the form of Reimar Shefold’s contribution to the 1974 Disappearing World series, The Sakuddei. The film, as with the series overall, was based on the same audience-grabbing scheme that works like a charm to this day. “Ancient cultures are being obliterated by the […]

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Trekking to Save a Life – Mentawai Culture and Infant Mortality

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Canoe on the way down. Trekking on the way back. Motorboat all the way down to the coast. A busy day. The kid lived. I entered the hut (sapou) where the baby’s dad cradled him. He was maybe two months old but listless. Eyes slightly open, burning up. The gaping ulcers over several parts of […]

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Trekking Tour in Mentawai? Check out this Video Guide to Siberut Culture

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There’s plenty of videos out there about Mentawai these days, mainly about surfing. That’s no surprise since surfers make up the overwhelming majority of foreign visitors to the islands. There’s also a good deal of video and fim-making relating to the Mentawai cultural ‘hot zone’, namely a couple of river valleys in South Siberut. If […]

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Mentawai Culture is not Disappearing

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Repeat. Mentawai Culture is not disappearing. It is changing though, oh yes indeed. And it always has been, faster at some times, slower at others. Look, I’m just a bit tired of this old narrative, this old story-line that repeats this simply untrue old refrain that Mentawaian culture is in peril. It’s like Lady Gaga […]

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