Pulau Samosir, Sumatra Utara,
You are visiting my main page on the
you can visit my other pages which each contain a
description of different places, their people and
First of all I like to tell you something about
the background of this site. What is the reason why I want to
make a site on the internet about places that are situated on
the other side of the world. Well, it is not so strange as it
seems when you know that I have studied cultural anthropology at
the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
that study I have developed a great interest for the diversity of
cultures in Indonesia, especially on the island of Sulawesi.
Because of that interest I have done research among the
Mamasa-Toraja for a period of three months in 1991. In describing
their social life I was confronted with their religion. The
dedication to and explanations of their religious meanings brought
me a great affection for this subject. For my graduation project I
choose therefor a study of religion.
reading books about other cultures in Indonesia I became
interested in the society of the Minahasa people. I read that
through a lot of influences the traditional society of the
Minahasa people changed drastically. Questions came to me why
people change certain social practice together with the underlying
meaning, while other social practice with their meanings survive
in traditional way. In this perspective I have done research among
the Minahasa people for a period of three months in 1994. During
that research I especially looked at the religious transformations
within the society.
wider perspective I wanted to compare these transformations with
the changes that took place in the traditional religion of the
people of Surigao. This latter region is situated on the island
Mindanao, which is in the far south of the Philippine archipelago.
relation with the Philippine region developed through contact with
a fellow student who did research in the Philippines, also in
1991. In discussions with him I thought that a comparison of the
religious transformations of the people in both regions was
My interest in the culture of the Batak people
grew when I met my wife Triciani, who is from Batak origin. In
2005 we went to the Batak Highlands on the island of Sumatra. I am
now writing an article about the rites of passages of the Toba
Batak people after they changed to Christianity in the late 19th
century. On the Batak page I will give a summary of this article.
|The Death rituals of the
Sa'dan-Toraja (in Dutch)
New to come: The Batak page
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