Mentawai - Museum Volkenkunde
On now until 27 May 2018

Mentawai

Respect for nature and traditions.

The majority of the objects on display were collected by Reimar Schefold during fieldwork in the Mentawai Islands in 1967-1969.

In the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, communities still live according to their old traditions. The Mentawai believe everything has a soul: plants, animals, objects and of course people themselves. The people try to respect all things around them. Shamans are tasked with performing rituals to ward off danger and preserve harmony between humans and their environment. These days, this traditional way of life is coming under increasing pressure, however. Young Mentawai are questioning what elements of their culture they want to preserve, and why.