Mentawai Tribe


At Siberut, there are at least 30,000 people of Mentawai tribe, who live isolated from the modern community. The Mentawai tribe is said to have migrated to the Mentawai islands from Nias island to the north, living an isolated life here for centuries until been “discovered” by the Dutch in 1621.

The tribe has its own language, culture, customs and some still profess a belief in animism. Mentawai people has very humble and simple appearence , where Mentawai men wear only a loincloth made from the bark of the gum tree, while women only wear a simple skirt made of palm or banana leaves.

Besides clothing, they also recognize a certain "timeless clothing"; their proud and characteristic Mentawai tribal tattoo, which sometimes entails tattooing the whole body in the traditional way, following a variety of tribal rituals. It is a common to see Mentawai people covered from head to toe in tattoos. Their main food is sago and they raise pigs and hunt monkeys for their daily food.


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