Also known as: Mentawaian; Pagai; Sipora

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Traditional Culture(1875-1900)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 164, 192-193
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 192-193
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 193
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 192, 216-217
God(s) Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 192
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 229

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 166, 192, 205

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 192
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 226
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 191
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 166
Loeb (1974), pp. 159
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 159
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 8

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 192-193

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 229
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Mitchell & Tilson (1986), pp. 253
Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Loeb (1929a), pp. 235-242

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blevins (2008)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blevins (2008)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 172
Schefold & Beierle (2000)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 190-191
Loeb (1929a), pp. 229-230
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 161
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 173-177
Suzuki (1958), pp. 8

Rites

Piercing Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 167-169
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 167-169, 169
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 167-169
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 168
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 167-169
Social Environment +
Population 10000 (Source)
Suzuki (1958), pp. 10
Population of largest political community 99 or fewer (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 161, 176
Persoon (2002), pp. 440-441
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Suzuki (1958), pp. 8
Wallace (1951), pp. 372
Importance of Matrilateral descent Low (Source)
Suzuki (1958), pp. 8
Wallace (1951), pp. 372
Kinship system Iroquois (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 43
Wallace (1951), pp. 373
Polygamy Monogamy prescribed (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 43
Marital residence Ambilocal - with either wife's or husband's kin (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 43
Wallace (1951), pp. 373

Conflict

Conflict with other cultures Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 172
Persoon (2003), pp. 255
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 172
Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 173-192, 176
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 169
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 45.5 (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 158-161
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 549.8 (Source)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Loeb (1928), pp. 408
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Loeb (1928), pp. 408
Loeb (1974), pp. 169
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 160
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 167
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 164, 166
Land-based gathering Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 163-167
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 167-169
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 164
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 163

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 164-166
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 164-165
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 163-167, 166
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 167-169, 167

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 163-167, 169-171
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 167-169
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Nooy-Palm (1968), pp. 155
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Three (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 160-161

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -3.0 (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 158-161
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 100.3 (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 158-161
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf) (2014)
Island Size (km²) 891.8 (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 158-161
Daft Logic Area Calculator (2014)
Post Contact History(1900-2000)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Primarily a top-down process, although inroads had already been made with the general population. (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Lebar (1972), pp. 41-42
Delfi (2013), pp. 485-487
Use of force in conversion High (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Lebar (1972), pp. 41-42
Delfi (2013), pp. 485-487
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 41-42
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Persoon & Osseweijer (2002), pp. 232
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Lebar (1972), pp. 41-42

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Delfi (2013)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Delfi (2013), pp. 487, 489
Immigration Low (Source)
Tulius (2012), pp. 51
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Badan Pusat Statistik (2010)

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Low (Source)
Delfi (2013), pp. 486
Tulius (2012), pp. 51
Persoon & Osseweijer (2002)
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Persoon (2003), pp. 254-255
Lebar (1972), pp. 43

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present but rarely used (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Mentawai Islands) (2014)
Delfi (2013), pp. 476
Air travel Absent (Source)
Syamsidik & Istiyanto (2013), pp. 4
Sea port Absent (Source)
Delfi (2013), pp. 476
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 158-160

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Partly voluntary (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Persoon (2003), pp. 255
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Schefold & Beierle (2000), pp. 1
Delfi (2013), pp. 487
Mitchell & Tilson (1986), pp. 256
Current Culture(2000-2013)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Persoon (2002), pp. 232
External Links
References
Badan Pusat Statistik (2010). Sumatera Barat Province [Database]. Indonesia: Badan Pusat Statistik. Retrieved from http://sp2010.bps.go.id/index.php/site/tabel?tid=328&wid=1300000000

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Daft Logic Area Calculator. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Delfi, M. (2013). Islam and arat sabulungan in Mentawai. Al-Jami’ah: Journal of Islamic Studies, 51(2), 475-499. DOI: 10.14421/ajis.2013.512.475-499.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Mentawai Islands). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/375412/Mentawai-Islands

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573755/Sunda-Shelf

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1972). Eastern Sumbanese in Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1975). Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 2: Philippines and Formosa. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Loeb, E. M. (1928). Mentawei social organization. American Anthropologist, 30(3), 408-433. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1928.30.3.02a00030.

Loeb, E. M. (1929a). Mentawei religious cult, 235-242. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Loeb, E. M. (1974). Sumatra: Its History and People. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Oxford University Press. (Originally published 1935).

Mitchell, A. J., & Tilson, R. L. (1986). Restoring the balance: Traditional hunting and primate conservation in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. In J. G. Else & P. C. Lee (Eds.), Primate ecology and conservation, Volume 2 (pp. 249-260). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Nooy-Palm, H. (1968). The culture of the Pagai-islands and Sipora, Mentawei. Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill

Persoon, G. A. (2002). Defining wildness and wilderness: Minangkabau images and actions on Siberut (West Sumatra). In G. Benjamin & C. Chou (Eds.), Tribal communities in the Malay world: Historical, cultural, and social perspectives (pp. 439-436). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Persoon, G. A. (2003). Conflicts over trees and waves on Siberut Island. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 85(4), 253-264. DOI: 10.1111/j.0435-3684.2003.00147.x.

Persoon, G. A., & Osseweijer, M. (2002). Insularity as a cultural variable? The island societies off the west coast of Sumatra. Indonesia and the Malay World, 30(88), 225-237. DOI: 10.1080/1363981022000064339

Schefold, R., & Beierle, J. (2000). Mentawaians Culture Summary. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files. Retreived at: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/browseCultures.do?context=main

Suzuki, P. T. (1958). Critical survey of studies on the anthropology of Nias, Mentawei and Enggano. The Hague, Netherlands: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-.

Syamsidik, & Istiyanto, D. C. (2013). Tsunami mitigation measures for tsunami prone small islands: Lessons learned from the 2010 tsunami around the Mentawai islands of Indonesia. Journal of Earthquake and Tsunami, 7(1), 1-14. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2006.1809.

Tulius, J. (2012). Family stories: Oral tradition, memories of the past, and contemporary conflicts over land in Mentawai, Indonesia. Leiden, Netherlands: Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University.

Wallace, F. C. (1951). Mentaweian Social Organization. American Anthropologist, 53 (3), 370-375. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1951.53.3.02a00060