image Magical Mentawai (2): A Glimpse of an Old Tribal Life

Sikerei Amanggaresik had no longer hunt to survive like his ancestors did, the men had no longer mix several herbs to create poisonous arrows for hunting, the women had no longer catching fish in the river for meals, the younger generation of Mentawai people had no longer use kabit (loincloth made from the bark of a tree). But sikerei still remembered the old tradition like his father taught him, all the way back to the line of his ancestors. He showed us, outsiders, a glimpse of an old tribal life.

The old tradition probably had lost its practical use now, the age of hunter-gatherer life had passed. But few Mentawai people today, especially sikerei, like Sikerei Amanggaresik, still preserves it, he must, for he is one of the last guardians of Mentawai tradition, the last defender of his ancient and noble heritage. The tradition was the reason why their ancestors had survived and lived in harmony with mother nature for hundreds of generations before the dawn of modern age.



  1. Your post about the Mentawai is also very good. How did you get a chance to see their traditions? Did you make some arrangements from home or did you just arrive at Siberut Island and find a guide on the spot?


    • My friend arranged the trip, he booked the boat for a few days for our trip. The boat captain was also a guide and mediator for the indigenous tribe.


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