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Mentawai festival lures tourists with unique culture, cuisine

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, November 3, 2018  /  09:54 am
Mentawai festival lures tourists with unique culture, cuisine

Mentawei pose in front of their traditional house in Siberut, Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra. (-/Ditto Birawa)

Pesona Mentawai Festival 2018 (Mentawai Charm Festival) is set to be held from Nov. 1 to 4 in Muntei village, South Siberut district, Mentawai Islands regency, West Sumatra, showcasing the region's unique culture and cuisines. 

Opened on Thursday, the festival kicked off with a Mentawai traditional clothing parade, followed by Urai Paruak, which is a singing and dancing performance by Mentawai’s shamans called Sikerei, and a mass dance routine by students from Siberut Island.

Cultural attractions such as Mentawai tattoo drawing, kabit (Sikerei’s attire) making, traditional bowhunting and a turuk langgai dancing competition will also be presented.

“The most unique attraction in this event is the crafting of ogok mania, a type of headband worn by the wives of Sikerei,” said Desti Seminora, the head of the Mentawai Tourism and Sports Agency on Tuesday as quoted by

Read also: The last Mentawai tattoo bearers

Tourists visiting the festival can expect to taste Mentawai cuisine sold at food stalls as well as marvel at a cooking show. 

To reach the venue, visitors can take the Mentawai Fast ferry from Muaro Padang port at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for a 3.5 hour trip to South Siberut. The boat for the return trip to Padang departs at 3:00 p.m.

After arriving at Mailepet Port, travelers can head to the festival's venue in Muntei village by using an ojek (motorcycle taxi), a 1 kilometer journey.

Homestays are available in Muara Siberut's capital city district and Mailepet village for visitors planning to stay the night. (iru/kes)