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Jakarta Post

The Nias people, cultural identity within the stone

Jakarta   /   Sun, October 5 2008   /  10:41 am

Melacak Batu Menguak Mitos: Petualangan Antarbudaya di Nias (Tracing Stones, Disclosing Myths: Intercultural Adventure in Nias)
Jajang A. Sonjaya
Impuls in cooperation with Kanisius, Yogyakarta
147
2008
Nias, which is administratively located in North Sumatra, is a cloistered small island where one of Indonesia's oldest civilizations has developed and continues to this day. The theory of cultural dissemination states Nias's ancestors came from Yunan, in the south of China, about 3.500 years ago. Such an assessment can be proven by examining the local inhabitant's material culture -- such as sword hilts and coffins -- and their traditional architecture, which is dominated by dragon-head motifs. Nias Island represents the glory of the megalithic age from Indonesia's perspective. Traditions which shaped their material cultur...