Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

Rituals and Heritage of Mount Bromo

“I am Tenggerese, and our people are descendants of the 13th-century  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 mountain very...
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...
The Magic Eels Of Ambon

The Magic Eels Of Ambon

On a sailing voyage through the Maluku Islands, I found myself in Ambon. The Portuguese sailed into these waters in the 16th century with their tall ships, on a quest to conquer the islands. They built forts and attempted to monopolise the spice trade, which was...
Lembata, a Jewel in the Solor Archipelago

Lembata, a Jewel in the Solor Archipelago

Sitting between Timor and Flores, Lembata is the largest island in the Solor Archipelago. Small villages dot the landscape, and tourism is still very low-key. The island has a rich tradition of weaving using natural dyes. Village life often seems to move to the gentle...
Celebrating Indigenous Dance and Rituals at Gawai Festival

Celebrating Indigenous Dance and Rituals at Gawai Festival

The crocodile appeared on the stage in the form of a human. The dancer writhed and slithered, accompanied by the deep tones of the didgeridoo. This opening dance at the 2018 Gawai Festival was received with loud cheers from the crowd.The Gawai festival committee had...