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The Village in the Middle of the Siberut Forest

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

The Mentawai culture is being expurgated by modern life. As we speak, in some villages local culture has almost reached extinction point. Yet the people of Simatalu on Siberut Island are still complying to their old traditions. In March, with the support from the Rainforest Journalism Fund at Pulitzer Center, Tempo correspondent Febrianti had a look at and recorded daily life in Simatalu village.
Simatalu residents coming home from their fields./photos: Tempo/Febrianti. tempo : 167973117046

THE aroma of ripe fruit wafted in the air as we entered the deep forest region of Simatalu, West Siberut, Mentawai Islands, in West Sumatra in mid-March. As we walked, toktuk durian fruit—the soft-prickled durian specific to Mentawai—again and again fell onto the dirt track we were traversing as they ripened on the tree, oozing a tangy aroma from its yellow flesh. On the river banks, rambutan trees had turned bright red with the abund


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