Haunting Tales from Banda:  A Dark History

Haunting Tales from Banda: A Dark History

On entering the deserted colonial manor on Banda Neira Island, I immediately felt a chill in the air. This was the former Dutch Governor’s residence, once famed for the elaborate parties held there. Now it was adorned only by the odd cobweb-cloaked chandelier. Its...
NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

“Naik Dango is a very special time for us, a time to celebrate our unique culture and pay tribute to the ancestors. We have been holding this event for 30 years and share it between three regencies – Landak, Kuburaya and Mempawah.” These were the words of Karolin...
Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

“I am Tenggerese, and our people are descendants of the 13th-century princes of the Majapahit Kingdom”, the flower seller said as he adjusted his bouquets. “Please leave these flowers on the crater rim and offer a prayer. This offering will make the gods of the...
A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra.

On Samosir Island, Lake Toba lies the little village of Ambarita. Tales abound there of rough justice, and possibly even cannibalism. While these are from long ago, more benign old ways live on, for example in the village’s traditional architecture, and an ancient...
Ancient Threads Woven in  Karangasem

Ancient Threads Woven in Karangasem

The long trek to the village of Jungutan, East Bali, the site of the Karangasem World Cultural Village Festival was well worth it. I met Miliwanga Wurrben, an Australian aboriginal elder and healer, in a most unlikely place. We came across each other in the remote...