Day by day with the tribe of Mentawai

Living with the Indigenous ethnic groups of Mentawai located in the Mentawai Islands, in the jungle of Siberut in Sumatra (Indonesia) was another experience of coexistence with a tribe.

A boat took me one hour upriver to a point where you started walking. The goal was to live with Mentawai families who live far apart from each other.

It was difficult to move through the jungle. The distances were long and the terrain very abrupt. The roads were not of firm ground, but muddy and with trunks and tree roots that had to be tricked.

Once you arrived at the uma, the name that the mentawai houses receive begins to penetrate in their day by day. Every morning the elders feed the pigs and the young men are engaged in hunting, processing the sago palm and making the kabit, the loincloth worn by men.

They are known by the name of ‘Flower-Men’, because they are decorated with flowers and also with tattoos to present themselves beautiful and pleasant to the eyes of the spirits.


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