On a side step, I saw this fascinating video of Joey Lawrence trekking through the Mentawai with waaaay too much equipment to photograph the remnants of this rare and rich way of life (ignore how this is a huge advertisement - I swear I could have done just as well with my cranky old Sony DSLR).
"Hello people from the entire world! Come to the islands of Mentawai quickly. Right now, the Mentawai are still alive. I am still alive. But when I die, you will not see my culture any more."Cultures like the Mentawai are dying out. A series of photographs show the old grandfather (I presume) with their grandchild, the elder in the traditional garb and the younger donning common western clothes. There must be a handful of cultures that still keep so true to how they have existed for centuries. It is this same handful of cultures that slips out of one's grasp like sand from the palm of one's hand.
One can only hope that the hauntingly moving chants and traditions are carried onto those with the Donald Duck T-shirt and muscle tees. Maybe.
Throughout China I've seen an enormous disregard for historic artefacts - there's just so much of it and the pressures of the current age quite easily stamp them out. Often is the sight where an old stone abode crumbles to the weather to be replaced by a really ugly new and much taller building. But that is for another blog.