The Mentawai, the ‘Flower-Men’

Indigenous ethnic groups of Mentawai are in the Mentawai Islands, off the coast of Sumatra (Indonesia). They live in the jungles of Siberut and the road access to get there was not easy, across muddy roads with trunks and roots of trees that it was necessary to overcome.

The Mentawai are known as the ‘Flower-Men’, because they are dressed in flowers and also in tattoos to present themselves nice and beautiful in the eyes of spirits.

They live in the uma, the name given to the communal home of Mentawai. This one used to be near a river, built on the ground on pillars and with materials from the jungle.

The Mentawai is a people very linked to Nature, where the men devote themselves to hunting and processing the sago palm, their main source of income. From its branches to make the roofs of the houses, to the barks to produce baskets or for getting some worms in order to eat them.

It became quite an experience! An experience and learning of resistance and survival in the jungle.

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