Mentawi Island Social Inquiry

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Mentawi Island Social Inquiry by Mind Map: Mentawi Island Social Inquiry

1. Culture

1.1. Housing

1.1.1. Modern Housing With pressure from the outside world, the Mentawai have been striving to live in modern homes. Unfortunately, modern homes quickly fall into disrepair in the harsh jungle environment. In addition, Umas are also disappearing, increasing the rate of the Mentawai's assimilation.

1.1.2. The Rusuk While the Uma (as well as the lalep) is the most significant structure, there exists another major house type: The Rusuk, which is any house that does not contain an altar.

1.1.3. The Lalep The lalep is a family living structure. They contain their own altars, like the Uma. Laleps are built surrounding an Uma, making the Uma and it's surrounding laleps the basic living unit in Mentawei Culture.

1.1.4. The Uma The Uma is the mainly the stucture of the Mentawai Islanders. As well as a communal living space, these structures also serve as the primary setting of clan ceremonies and rituals. Each Uma has it's own altar, and also a sacrificing priest, or Rimtaa. The Uma is used as a dancing floor, council house, reception center, and also as a sleeping place for the men, during religious celebrations. This building is so important, that, once built, a long religious celebration (or punen) is begun. In former days, a human sacrifice was also conducted under the center pole (This was done to appease their Earthquake god).

1.2. Tattoos

1.2.1. The Mentawai often tattoo their bodies, the most famous tattoo of the Sikeiries is the one where a Mentawai legend tells of a boy who turned himself into the first sago tree, then turning into the tree of life. People's bodies are covered in tattoos to emulate the tree's form.

1.3. Food

1.3.1. The Mentawai mainly eat fish, or iba. With the help of domesticated dogs, the Mentawai will also hunt monkeys and deer. Depending on the island, the Mentawai may also hunt boar (as in Siberut) or grow rice. The Mentawai men will farm sugar cane and banana trees. Taro, a tropical Asian plant, and sago, a starch from palms, may also be a part of the Mentwai’s diet

1.4. Religion

1.4.1. Shamans, or Sikeireis, feature prominently in Mentawei society. They are the only ones allowed to ritual clothing, and to perform the ritual dances. The Mentawai people subscribe to Jarayak, a form of animism that stresses the existence of nature spirits, souls and ghosts. The nature spirits are those of the sky, the earth, the sea, and the jungle. There is also the grandfather, the god of earthquakes. Ghosts are malign spirits, and they are blamed as the cause of most death and sickness in Mentawai society. People have souls, and so do all animals and plants. In addition, even inanimate objects have souls (known as kina). Mentawai rituals and punen surround the appeasement and avoidance of these various spirits.

1.5. Clothing

1.5.1. In the jungle, modern clothing doesn’t last very long. Most clothes rot right off the body (and can even lead to skin diseases), and shoes quickly become useless as they become filled with mud. For these reasons, the Mentawai wear very little in their day to day life. Their clothing is of a primitive standard, but it suffices for their environment.

1.6. This represents culture because you can see the Mentawai dressing up in cultural costumes and doing a cultural dance.

1.7. This is culture because it is a picture of their housing and in the details you can see examples of their culture and style.

2. Social

2.1. Social Structure

2.1.1. It use to be perfect with no war, no crime, no thirves and no adultery. Now low local government-appointed political leaders are overshadowing the influences of clan heads and sikeries to make it a modern society and care about other things more than tradition like electricity and television.

2.2. Schooling

2.2.1. The children go to government schools because they are promised that the skills they learn will provide them a bright future.

2.3. This is social because it shows how the people live.

2.4. Health Care

2.4.1. SurfAid has been working in close collaboration with Mentawai Health Department officials. These efforts provide community members with simple, but effective, means of preventing malaria, and cutting-edge technology for detecting and treating malaria when necessary.

2.5. This is social because it shows the children learning about Malaria which has to do with health and their education.

3. Econimic

3.1. One of the ways they get income is from tourism, with tourists coming to surf or some coming to visit the indigenous cultures

3.2. This shows for example a tourist surfing which helps the Mentawai get their income.

3.3. 20% of the oil palm plantations are run by local people through co-operatives which creates job opportunities.

3.4. Everytime there is a natural disaster a lot of their things are lost or destroyed.