Mentawai people are the native people of the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra province, Indonesia. They live a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the coastal and rainforest environments of the islands. The people are characterised by their heavy spirituality, body art and their tendency to sharpen their teeth, a practice they feel makes one beautiful. Tattooing on the island is an identity and a personal or communal reflection of the people’s relationship to nature. It’s made by a shaman called sikerei.
If you would like to discover more about their culture I invite you to watch the film « As Worlds Divide » of Rob Henry here