The many traditional dances seen around Indonesia are not only a means of entertainment or form part of rituals, but they also reflect the uniqueness specific to each ethnic group and local culture of this vast country. There are hundreds of ethnic groups inhabiting the archipelago and each has a distinctive dance. One of these is the Maengket Dance from North Sulawesi. This combination of dance a
While an encounter with the legendary reptile on Komodo Island or witnessing the sheer beauty of the three colored Lake Kelimutu are already unforgettable experiences by themselves, the island of Flores still has a lot more to offer beyond its rugged terrains. One of these is its wonderfully Ikat Hand-Woven fabrics, crafted by the finest hands on Flores.
This traditional work of
Among the many Indonesian traditional tribes, the Mentawai, living on the remote Mentawai island-group off the coast of West Sumatra, distinguish themselves by their most intricate and elaborate tattoos covering the entire body.
To the Mentawai islanders, the art of body tattooing is not only an artistic expression but is part of one’s life cycle where tattoos signify age, social statu
Uma is the name for the traditional house built by the indigenous tribal communities of the Mentawai Islands in the province of West Sumatera. Although it looks simple, the Uma is not only important as a place of dwelling, but as a cultural center as well.
An Uma is typically occupied by 5 to 7 descendants from the same family, following patrilineal lineage. Women living in the Uma are usu
Although perhaps not as popular as the traditional Batik from Java, Songket from Palembang or Ulos from Medan, the openwork embroidery found in province of Gorontalo, north of the Bay of Tomini, in Sulawesi, is of equally high artistic value. The uniqueness of the work, intricate beauty of the motif, quality and artistry possessed by a single piece of Kerawang makes it an increasingly valuable cul
Among Indonesia’s masks dances, the Tari Topeng from Cirebon is one of the most renowned.
The town of Cirebon, once a thriving kingdom and busy harbor town, lies on the north coast of Java, right on the border between West Java and Central Java. Its culture, therefore, mixes West Java’s Parahyangan elements with traits inherited from the Central Javanese Mataram kingdoms.
In the Cirebon
One of the most unique traditional musical instruments of the East Nusatenggara Islands is the “Sasando”. However, with modernization its popularity has waned, but now new efforts are made to revive this ancient instrument and to have it blend in with modern musical instruments.
Originally played by the people of Rote island, located south of the island of Timor , Sasando is a stringe
The island of Nias, located in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of North Sumatra, lies exactly on the fault line where the Eurasian plate meets the Indo-Australian tectonic plate, making the island prone to earthquakes.
In the last devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami of December 2004, followed by another one in 2005, Nias lost no less than 900 lives. But experts have now di
Zapin Dance is a Malay dance which is imbued with religious and educational messages. The dance has its roots in the Malay culture and traditions of Riau that hold diverse values in their lives. This traditional dance is highlighted by its beautiful diverse movements originally born out of the skillful movements of the feet as originally performed by Arabic and Persian males. The Zapin Dance in In
Mak Yong is a Malay performaning art that incorporates ritual, dance, drama, song and traditional instrumental music in a captivating form of folk theatre. Mak Yong has taken root in communities in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It is believed that this form of theatre originates in southern Thailand, which was then brought to Bintan in the Riau Islands via Singapore.
In the Riau islands, Mak