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The age old mystical Batak Tor-Tor Dance and the Sigale-gale Giant Puppet

Crossing the magnificent Lake Toba in North Sumatra to the stunning Samosir Island, one will not only be greeted with spectacular natural sceneries but also the mesmerizing culture of its indigenous people, the Batak ethnic group.

In the village of Simanindo, in the heart of the island, amidst artistic Batak’s Bolon traditional houses, you can observe the age-old mystical Tor-tor Dance perf

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Maengket: the happy Traditional Minahasan Song and Dance

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

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The Intricate Ikat Hand-woven masterpieces of Flores

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

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The ancient tradition of Tattooing on Mentawai: the Oldest on Earth

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

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Uma: The heart of Mentawai Culture

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

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Kerawang: Traditional Embroidered Crafts from Gorontalo

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

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The Mesmerizing Mask Dance of Cirebon, Indramayu and Losari

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

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Reviving the “Sasando”, unique Musical Instrument of the East Nusatenggara Islands

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

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Local Genius saves Nias Traditional Houses from devastating earthquakes

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

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Zapin Dance: Enjoying the Riveting Malay Dance in the Riau Islands

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

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