In pictures: Maluku Islands, Indonesia – Part 2

CONTINUING on from the last post on the Maluku Islands here is another series of images featuring this part of the Indonesia archipelago.

One thing that really struck me while in the Maluku Islands was how active people were. Fair enough they had to work to live, and it was largely hand to mouth, but they were industrious. There was some public drinking and playing of the popular card game, but mostly people were actively engaged all the time in cooking, cleaning, gardening, fishing and living.

This was evident everywhere starting from young children who would climb a coconut tree to get a snack as per the image series below.

Climbing a coconut tree. Pic: Joanne Lane,

The effort is worth it - the fruit of the labour. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Children were also actively involved in household chores such as fetching water.

Fetching water from wells around the village. Pic: Joanne Lane,

And if children weren’t helping out at home they were playing football – a common sight was groups of young men playing with school aged boys.

Boys and young men playing football. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Other signs of industry would be men heading out to hunt for deer in the forest, or sharpening knives for gutting fish or cutting down trees.

Man sharpening his knife in the village. Pic: Joanne Lane,

There was also a strong sense of community. People would band together to perform chores – anything from unloading the boats to pushing them out to sea, building homes, taking kids to school or farming. Again this was probably born of necessity but seemed to reflect something lost in western culture.

Village men come down to help get a boat stuck on the sand out to sea. Pic: Joanne Lane,

This grandmother proudly displays her latest grandchild. Her entire family lived together under one roof - she and her husband, some adult children with their husband/wife and several children. Pic: Joanne Lane,

While under no illusion that life is a hand to mouth existence in many parts of Indonesia, there are elements that are enviable in the west. No they don’t have electricity – just a generator that gives them 2-3 hours of light at night – but they also don’t have all the trappings that involves: kids wasting time on social media, mindless hours in front of the television and so on.

There has certainly been unrest and violence here as well – inter religious conflicts of recent years killed a reported 10,000.

A man working in the fields. Pic: Joanne Lane,

But life moves at a whole at a different pace and given the wonderful tropical paradise that surrounds them it’s on the whole not a bad place to live.

One of the reasons we were there was to check on building projects donated from an international source and as a result I asked some of the men what else they might need if pressed. The concerns were practical – books for the school perhaps, a better road into one village where it floods a lot – but not monetary. “We have enough,” one young man said with his son on his lap, “we don’t need anything else.”

See part 1 of the photographic essay here.