Oct 20, 2018 Last Updated 2:53 AM, Oct 1, 2018

Photo essay: At play on the Mentawai Islands

Published: Aug 05, 2018

Maskota Delfi

The Mentawai Islands are famous for their consistently excellent waves which attract surfers from around the world. A range of tourism companies facilitate tours of varying degrees of luxury. Some surfers choose to stay off land for as long as possible, with chartered vessels providing all the necessary provisions. This means some surfers have few direct encounters with the local economy. The tattoo practices of the Mentawai Islands are also a point of attraction. The photos in this collection show another side to the Mentawai Islands – children at play. Children slide down mud tracks into rivers, play klereng (marbles) or invent games using recycled goods. The river becomes a space of play where the life skills of using a boat and swimming become outcomes learned through play. Playing with tyres, or on boats or learning the skills of volleyball are activities far from the grandeur of Jakarta’s stadiums and the discourses of the benefits of sport as espoused by politicians. Playing is an essential element of learning, socialising and enjoying the good life.

Children playing marbles on Siberut Island. (Photo: Rian Alfianda)
The geographic features of Siberut become a site for play and for learning life skills. (Photo: Rian Alfianda)
Discarded goods are reinvented for play. (Photo: Rian Alfianda)
Trekking is a popular attraction for domestic and international tourists. (Photo: Rian Alfianda)
Playing volleyball, Siberut. (Photo: Hafis Rafi Insani)
Teteu Lumang from Ugai. (Photo: Maskota Delfi)
Beaches like this one at Masilo Island make the Mentawai Islands an attractive destination for adventurous tourists. (Photo: Maskota Delfi)

 Maskota Delfi is a member of the International Indonesian Forum for Asian Studies at Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatra.

Related articles from the II archive
White rice of black sago?
Surf Aid groundswell builds
Traditional village institutions

Inside Indonesia 133: Jul-Sep 2018

Latest Articles

Review: The killing season

Oct 01, 2018 - FRANK BEYER

More than 50 years on, mis-truths about the 1965-66 killings and what motivated them prevail in Indonesia. Geoffrey Robinson's and other books and films on the issue, based on archival research...

Essay: Harmony versus hate

Sep 19, 2018 - DUNCAN GRAHAM

Masykuri Bakri doesn’t fit the stereotype for a moderate Muslim leader

Islam-inspired renewable energy

Sep 04, 2018 - KRISTINA GROßMANN & ARAHMAIANI FEISAL

Muhammad Djawis Masruri with Arahmaiani Feisal/ Source Kristina Großmann

A collaboration between a teacher and farmers in Central Java is unlocking the potential of an indigenous biofuel source

Forbidden smoke

Aug 28, 2018 - RIZANNA ROSEMARY

Source/ Flickr Creative Commons/ d_mcplum

Banda Aceh’s anti-tobacco efforts are unfairly focused on women smokers

The red thread

Aug 19, 2018 - MATTHEW WOOLGAR

Kontras

A recently uncovered report reveals how anti-communist paranoia stoked abductions of pro-democracy activists in the last days of the New Order

Subscribe to Inside Indonesia

Receive Inside Indonesia's latest articles and quarterly editions in your inbox.

 


Lontar Modern Indonesia

Lontar-Logo-Ok

 

A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar