The Mentawai, A Tribe Hidden Away On An Island in West Sumatra



These stunning images document the everyday lives of the men, women and children of the Mentawai tribe, an indigenous people in Indonesia that has managed to keep their traditional ways, far from modern society.

The Mentawai people, a native population in Indonesia, are famous for their decorative tattoos and for living a semi-nomadic life on the Mentawai Islands in West Sumatra.

Shot by professional photographer Mohammed Saleh Bin Dollah, the series captures a glimpse of life on the island, where the tribe clan is everything and any problem can be solved by a medicine man.


Inside the tribe: Two men of the Mentawai tribe, a native population in Indonesia, use guns to hunt and forage for food


Lifelong wisdom: An elderly Mentawai warrior  lifts a large handrolled cigarette while sitting in his house furnished with the skulls of prey


Familt unit: A woman kneels on the wooded floor of the communal Uma, whilst fixing a handmade fishing

The 42-year-old photographer from Kelantan, Malaysia, visited the tribe to document their way of life.

He said: ‘They all live completely in land and secluded from the modern world.


Tranquility: Two women of the tribe wear traditional handmade skirts to catch fish in the local river


All together: A young boy helps a woman to prepare what appears to be cassava or palm hearts as they stand in the river


All for one:The Mentawaian’s social life revolves around their clans, which vary in size between 30 to 80 members.


One for all, all for one: At the centre of life in a Mentawai clan is the communal long hous, where they all live together


Short rest:  A Mentawai woman takes a cigarette break during a fishing expedition to the local river


A Mentawai warrior brandishes a machete knife and his hunting equipment as he prepares to go spear fishing


Gone fishing: Two women of the tribe wear traditional skirts made from leaves as they go fishing using hand-held nets

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