Story Publication logo August 27, 2022

Abundant Forest of Sipora (bahasa Indonesia)


An excavator machine is being driven around a forest.

The threats to four endemic primates and the biodiversity of Sipora Island

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Multiple Authors

This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit TEMPO. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

The Sipora forest in Mentawai is disappearing due to massive logging. Medicinal plants are also disappearing.

In the garden beside his house, Gustaf Taikatubutoinan picked a white simakkainuk flower that was blooming. He also picked nine simakkainuk flower buds, also known as gandasuli flowers. In his medicinal plant garden, he also picked a bunch of galangal.

That morning he would concoct a headache medicine for himself. Gustaf Taikatubtoinan is a medicine man in Goiso Oinan Village, North Sipora, Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra. In his home, he grates the medicinal herbs with a gigiok, a grater made from a piece of thorny enau frond.

The galangal and flowers are mashed, and the fragrant aroma wafts up immediately. He poured a little coconut oil into the concoction. When it was finished, he squeezed it over her head, rubbing it into his forehead and hair. The rest of the herb was put into a cloth, then tied to his head, so that the herb was stuck to his forehead.

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Saurenuk Village, North Sipora, Mentawai. Image by Rus Akbar/TEMPO. Indonesia, 2022.

Saurenuk Village, North Sipora, Mentawai. Image by Rus Akbar/TEMPO. Indonesia, 2022.

Residents map the Uma Saureinuk customary forest on Sipora Island, Mentawai Islands. Image courtesy of Uma Saurenuk. Indonesia, 2022.

Women in Goisooinan village in North Sipora harvesting toek from the river. Image by Febrianti/TEMPO. Indonesia, 2022.

Saureinuk people patrolling the customary forest. Image courtesy of Uma Saurenuk. Indonesia, 2022.