Mentawai - beautiful and mysterious primitive tribe of Indonesia!
Though we live in the era of urbanization and super technologies, there are still a dozen primitive tribes on the planet. One such tribe can be found in Indonesia. Thanks to a photographer from Malaysia we have a marvelous chance to learn about their everyday life and traditions!
These people live isolated lives amid jungles on Mentawai islands, far away from cities or any other signs of civilization. They are an indigenous population of Indonesia and one of the current 300 ethnic groups of the country.
Mentawai people have always been isolated from the outer world and this fact, perhaps, explains why this primitive society has maintained its traditional culture. These people still do the same as their ancestors. They fish, gather bananas and raise domesticated animals. Their life mode is simple and doesn’t change over the course of time.
Mentawai people believe in spirits of nature, tell fortunes by guts of animals, and worship the sacred old man Teteu, the ferocious god of earthquakes. They tattoo their bodies and even file their teeth. Both procedures are quite painful, but all this is for the sake of beauty!
The Malaysian photographer, Mohammed Saleh Bin Dollah, got a wonderful opportunity to spend a month with the Mentawai tribe and here are his best pictures taken during his stay there.
This woman is teaching small children to make fishing nets in a big community house. Usually, there are about 60-80 people living in such houses called Uma.
Life of Mentawai people totally depends on nature and they treat it with great respect. If someone kills an animal or snips off a flower, he/she must apologize to the spirits of nature.
These people don’t use rods for fishing, only nets, spikes, and machetes.
The woman is trying to fix a fishing net. Every person here is closely connected with the community and should do something for a community on a daily basis.
This old man is wearing a traditional breechcloth made of tree bark, necklace, and head-dress.
A young woman with filed teeth and tattoos.
It would be wrong to say that civilization hasn’t influenced Mentawai people at all. For example, they often use European guns while hunting.
When local women go fishing, they always put on a special skirt made of banana leaves.
Local men are constantly smoking while working, hunting, or just resting.
Father is washing his little sun. Mentawai people are seminomadic and always settle near rivers or lakes.
A young family resting.
Mentawai boys playing with bamboo sticks.
A member of the tribe is inspecting local vegetable gardens. The tribe also grows edible plants.
Learn more with QuizzClub:
- Indein village – a magical place amidst Myanmar jungles with hundreds of temples!
- An abandoned Chinese village became a green paradise!
- Giethoorn - an idyllic Dutch village with no roads at all!
Have you ever heard about this primitive tribe? Tell us in the comments below!
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