The People

Yogyakarta is often referred to as the cultural heart of Indonesia, and its people, the friendliest. A beautiful city, Yogyakarta boasts such amazing attractions as the mighty Borobudur Temple, the Hindu Temple complex of Prambanan, and the Kraton to mention a few. It is a city that leads the way […]

The Faces of Yogyakarta: Central Java

The Mentawai administration will relocate dozens of hamlets in five villages of Mentawai Island regency away from the shore due to the threat of tsunami, a local politician said. Mentawai Island Legislative Council Speaker Kortanius Sabeleake said residents had asked the administration to help them in relocating their houses and […]

Mentawai Villages to be Relocated: Sumatra

First published in 2003, Encounters With The Dani, a history of contact with the Dani tribe, is a book worth revisiting. It was written, photographed and designed by Susan Meiselas, one of the most influential and important documentary photographers working today. Meiselas, who studied anthropology before she became a professional […]

Book Review: Encounters with The Dani

Lamafa, a local term for a whaler in Lamalera village, along with its whaling tradition, was already around hundreds of years ago, before Catholic missionaries entered East Nusa Tenggara in 1500s. To reach the village, visitors fly 30 minutes from Kupang, the capital city of East Nusa Tenggara, to Lewaleba […]

The Legend of Lamafa

I am always delighted to see starlit skies. Indonesians are blessed because our country is positioned in such a way we can enjoy a clear night sky. Every night we can enjoy the complexity of the cosmos’s ecosystem and the brilliant array of the starry equatorial sky. I often sit […]

Batak Mythology

A picture not only tells a thousand words for the people of Lamalera, a village in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara. It also serves as a tool to preserve their ancestral heritage and the environment from which they earn their living. In the eastern part of Indonesia, where the fruits of […]

Conserving Culture: Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara

Dari Sabang sampai Merauke berjajar pulau-pulau/ Sambung-menyambung menjadi satu, itulah Indonesia/ (From Sabang to Merauke, the islands are lined up in rows/Connected as one, that’s Indonesia). Those lyrics are from the song Dari Sabang Sampai Merauke, which is taught to students across the nation. It has the ability to excite […]

A Future for Merauke’s Children: Flores

There are two kinds of ikat (woven textiles) in East Sumba — hinggi, which is intended for use by men, and lawu, a songket (embroidered piece) or sarong made of fabric interwoven with gold or silver thread for women. Aside from being used as items of clothing worn daily, these […]

The Weavers’ Ritual: East Sumba, West Nusa Tenggara

The 2,500-year-old Malay tradition of chewing nuts from the areca palm (Areca Catechu) may be deemed backward by the younger generation in Sumatra and Java but for Papuans, especially in Jayapura, it is a popular social pastime for young and old. In the Papuan capital, one can easily find people […]

Chewing Areca Nuts: Papua