Posts by Administrator

Success Stories

The Indigenous Mentawai community are finally seeing their wants, needs and ideas for a sustainable solution to prevent and protect against long-term poverty become a reality.

Read more at the IEF Foundation website:


I went with my wife in January 2018 to Umma Maonu. We were non surfers and wanted to see the beautiful Maonu island and do some trekking to see the interesting sikere shaman. Hendri our guide was very welcoming and we had a truly wonderful time both trekking and staying in the chalet on Maonu island Mentawai. Jan Petr

A Taste of Mentawai


It seems impossible putting into words, an experience beyond words! From the moment we pulled the boat up on the sand at Umma Maonu’s Island, I felt like we had entered another dimension of reality. An ancient and magical realm of existence so simple, so deeply connected to nature and just so real and free! The Ments are filled with some kind of mystical medicine for the soul, and everything about Umma Maonu, from the kind and loving people that built it, to the absence of any sort of pretence is deeply nourishing and healing. If you want to surf the best waves in the world, hang with the best people and just experience the pure essence of what it means to be alive on this magnificent Earth, Umma Maonu is THE place!  M.S. Marinho

You’re invited to a very special film screening

As Worlds Divide film screening


Tuesday 4th April, 12.00 midday, at Malvern View Executive Board Room


Joe Cockburn is hosting a lunchtime film showing to raise money for a charitable cause that’s very close to his heart.


As Worlds Divide is a new documentary that explores the lives of the Mentawai people, who live a traditional tribal lifestyle in the tropical islands of Indonesia. Filmmaker Rob Henry – a friend of Joe’s – spent six years on the islands, immersing himself in the Mentawai way of life. The resulting film offers a unique view of the impact that the displacement of indigenous people is having on their culture, health and well-being.


Joe will introduce a short clip of the film, which premieres in Australia on 24 March 2017. Everyone who attends will then receive a web link, which will allow you to watch the full 86 minute film online. Lunch and a goodie bag will also be provided, all for a minimum donation of £5. All proceeds will be donated to the indigenous education foundation for the Suku Mentawai project.


For a taster of the film, click here to watch the trailer:  Please do watch it… it is very interesting to see the difference in culture and the impact that modern life is having.


Amasina, a Trio shaman in Suriname and co-author on the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine paper. Photo courtesy of the Amazon Conservation Team.

Amasina, a Trio shaman in Suriname and co-author on the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine paper. Photo courtesy of the Amazon Conservation Team.

Christopher Herndon:
The need for preservation of medicinal plant knowledge is often cited as a compelling argument for biocultural conservation and ethnobotany in particular. One cannot ‘save’ the medical systems of indigenous tribes alone through written inventories of their medical plant knowledge. Trio ethnomedicine, not unlike our healing tradition, is a complex art of diagnosis, examination, communication, ritual and treatment that can only be transmitted through active practice. The disintegration of traditional systems of health is most devastating to indigenous peoples, who at the same time often have very limited access to extrinsic medical resources. The adoption by organizations of programs that strengthen and retain tribal peoples’ self-sufficiency is critical for their health as well as to enable the transmission of these remarkable medical systems for the benefit of future generations.
The knowledge and treatments of shamans is the product of their own scientific method, accumulated from a progressive cycle of trial, experiment and observation repeated over countless generations. It may not be transmitted in Science or Nature but in many ways is fundamentally based on the very same empirical and pragmatic principles as Western science.

Lead author Christopher Herndon, currently a reproductive medicine physician at the University of California, San Francisco, says the findings are a testament to the under-appreciated healing prowess of indigenous shamans.

“Our paper contests a prevailing view in the medical establishment that we, as scientists, have nothing left to learn from so-called ‘primitive’ societies,” he told “Our ‘Western’ medical system is itself but a compendium of knowledge, wisdom and therapeutics accumulated from past cultures and societies from around the world. We should be justifiably proud of the accomplishments of medical science, but at the same time not lose perspective that these advancements, in many cases, emerged only in the past half-century. My point is that we should not be so quick to sever the umbilical cord of our medical system from the womb of the last remaining cultures that helped gave it birth. We do so at our great loss.”

Shamanism is a product of accumulated knowledge of past generations as well as deep ties—spiritual and physical—to the natural environment. But in a world where forests are being rapidly destroyed and profound cultural transformation is occurring among younger generations in traditional societies, the healing knowledge of shaman is disappearing. Among the Trio, the trajectory was accelerated by the missionaries who initially demonized shamanic practices, ostracizing healers from their communities and leaving an entire generation without the traditional apprentice/mentor relationship that is the basis for passing on knowledge from tribal elders to youths.

We are looking for any ethnobotanists to work with the indigenous education foundation and specifically the suku mentawai project. Please contact us if your are interested.

Fun at Burgerworld

IMG_4650 IMG_3622

Burgerworld is a super rip-able wave that works on a smaller swell. When there is no swell anywhere around the Playgrounds this is the place to go. Running down the eastern side of Roniki Island, it is always a mind blowing experience taking in the beauty of the wave and scenery of the island