Maskota Delfi

Bio: 

Maskota Delfi is an Anthropologist and associated member at Andalas University in Indonesia. Her dissertation is on the indigenous communities on Siberut Island in the Mentawai archipelago in the Indian Ocean located along the west coast of Sumatera, Indonesia. 

As a result of regional autonomy local communities have been given a greater say in local governance which has resulted in a revival of traditional customs. This has put traditional food, dance, body art, traditional medicine and local languages in a new spot light. Recently she published an electronic article in Inside Indonesia on the tradition of sago consumption. In this article a discussion is provided on the choice of modern rice consumption and the traditional consumption of taro and sago. She noted how youth culture is weaving the old and new of cultural elements in a new attractive Mentawai identity.

In a contemporary interest in indigenous body art and tattoos it has sparked her to commence new research for a forthcoming publication on Mentawai tattoos. A cultural expression that was almost lost as a result of a previous ban on Arat Sabulungan, the traditional faith of the Mentawaian people. Currently in a more open vision on heritage and tradition it has attracted several international and Indonesian tattooists to visit the islands. This interest has allowed indigenous expressions of body art to be recognized, which has assisted their Mentawaian technique and designs to remain alive.