In Memoriam Dolf Versteegh

born in Netherlands on 23-04-1940
passed away in Bali on 25-05-2015

Bali is blessed with exuberant flora and fauna and this is underpinned by a culture that venerates nature. This had been extensively documented in the 1930s by a number ....  read more



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Waking up in front of Satonda Island…

Good Morning! That’s the thing with a ship, you will wake up with a different spectacular sight every morning. Today I have Satonda Island in front of me as I am having my black coffee… Divine!

Satonda Island is a small uninhabited volcanic Island off the northern coast of Sumbawa, the center of the island holds a salt water lake and around the lake you can see where locals have hung rocks from the trees in hopes of having their dreams come true. It has great beaches, great spot for diving and a cool view of the colony of fruit bats that leave the island on mass every evening for their nightly hunt.

Babi Island (Flores)

Babi Island (Flores)


Babi Island (Indonesian: Pulau Babi, literally Pig Island) is an island located off the coast of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. The 1992 Flores earthquake and resulting tsunamis are estimated to have killed 263 to 700 residents of the island, with most of the destruction on the southern end of the island.



Babi is a roughly circular island[1] less than 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi) in diameter located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the north of Flores. Its maximum height above sea level is 351 metres (1,152 ft).[2] Its north end is bordered by a wide coral reef and faces the Flores Sea. Further south there is a small tidal flat where two villages were built, the majority-Christian Pagaraman to the east and majority-Muslim Kampungbaru to the west. At the southern end of the island, the barrier reef tapers.[3] It is administratively part of Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara.[4]


On 12 December 1992, an earthquake occurred near Flores at 5:29 a.m. local time (UTC+8).[5] Within three minutes, at least one tsunami approached Babi Island[3] from the direction of the earthquake’s epicenter to the north, while a second may have hit the southwest side of the island after refracting around the southern side. The tsunami waves reached a height of 7.2 metres (24 ft);[6] this was “unexpectedly large”.[1] Between 263[6] and 700[5] of the island’s 1,093 inhabitants were killed[6] and both villages were completely destroyed.[7]


Babi is home to many diving sites. One, called The Crack, was formed during the 1992 earthquake. Located in a reef 20 metres (66 ft) below the water, the 70-centimetre (28 in) crack reaches a length of 30 metres (98 ft). Numerous forms of aquatic life, including eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, and spider crabs can be found there.



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Watubela is an archipelago in the Maluku Islands, east of Ceram and north of Kai Islands, southeast of the Gorong archipelago, and southwest of the Bomberai Peninsula of Papua, Indonesia. It includes the islands of Kasiui and Teor (also called Tio’or).[1]

The English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described the islands, which he called the Matabello Islands, in chapter 25 of his 1869 book The Malay Archipelago.

Heri Dono

Heri Dono

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Heri Dono is an Indonesian visual artist as artist painter, sculptor, and installation artist.

Life and work

Dono was born in Jakarta on July 12, 1960. He studied at the Indonesian Art Institute (Institut Seni Indonesia) in Yogyakarta, where he won the Prize for the Best Painting in 1981 as well as in 1985. He presented his work worldwide in a great number of solo and group exhibitions.[1]

He is mainly active as an installation artist, and works with materials that come from varying places in the world. In his work, known influences can be noticed, like the life of the ordinary man, wayang kulit, becak driver and tau tau sculptures of the Toraja in Sulawesi.[2][3]

Dono, who lives and works in Yogyakarta, mixes humoristic comments in his work on political and social problems in Indonesia. In 1998, he won a Prince Claus Award.[1][2][4]

His style is often placed in the art form of new internationalism, which is a recent art form of artists in the world that challenge the Western hegemony of art, in contrast with the New Art Movement in the seventies and eighties that chose in favor of a Western expressions in art, with it taking leave of local traditions.[1]

Solo exhibitions

  • 1988: Cemeti Contemporary Art Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Mitra Budaya Indonesia Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia; Bentara Budaya Gallery, Jogjakarta, Indonesia
  • 1991: Unknown Dimensions, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel, Switzerland.
  • 1993: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ACT, Australia
  • 1996: Blooming in Arms, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England.
  • 2000: Dancing Demons and Drunken Deities, The Japan Foundation Forum, Tokyo, Jepang
  • 2001: Trap’s outer Rim, Cemeti Art House, Jogjakarta, Indonesia
  • 2001: Fortress of the Heart, Gajah Gallery, Singapore
  • 2002: Interrogation, Center A, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2002: Heri Memprovokasi Heri, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2002: Free-DOM, Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2002: Reworking Tradition I & II, Singapore
  • 2003: Upside Down Mind, CP Artspace, Washington, VS
  • 2003: Heri Dono, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2003: Perjalanan Spiritual Heri Dono, Galeri Semarang, Indonesia
  • 2004: Who’s Afraid of Donosaurus?, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta
  • 2006: Broken Angels, Gertrude Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2009-10: Critical Art from Indonesia, Tropical Museum, Amsterdam
  • 2011: “Madman Butterfly”, Rossi & Rossi, London



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Remarkable Marine Nature Tourism in Kaimana, West Papua – Indonesia

Kaimana is a paradise located in the southern West Papua who have exotic natural marine. Kaimana’s exoticism extends from Venu Island in southwest to Triton bay in southeast. Kaimana consists of eight original tribes that are Mairasi, Koiwai, Irarutu, Madewana, Miereh, Kuripasai, Oboran, and Kuri. Kaimana which covers about 18.500 km are promising diverse attractions such as marine tourism, culture, and history.

For those who love to dive, then the Namatota straits and Iris straits south of triton bay ready to greet with all the charm of natural beauty under the sea. At 30 meters from the surface into the ocean, you can explore the beauty of coral reefs and mingle with different kinds of marine animals. If you’re snorkeling, the beauty of Flasher that so small-sized and colorful, can be seen while diving in Kaimana. And for those who are not diving, white sandy beach shaded by coconut trees between the rock cliffs in Namatota, can calm the mind.

In the area of Faranggara and Miwara in Triton bay, you’ll be treated to views of the ocean expanse decorated with small islands cliff-flat covered by lush tree. Colorful endemic birds that fly freely, presents it is own entertainment. When good weather and calm sea you’ll find Bryde’s whales and dolphins will appear in Namatota strait. If lucky, you can also see the Mangiwang fish called stupid shark because walking with fins. Fish were not hunted so often found swimming near the boat fishermen.

For history enthusiasts, there are a variety of human prehistoric paintings situated in the rock cliffs in Namatota. Face, sun, and palms stamp is part of the thousands of paintings in niches carved into the rock along one kilometer. These paintings estimated created by Austronesia humans around 3500 years ago when they migrated from Taiwan to the Philippines, Sulawesi, Maluku, until Papua.

In Lobo village, Triton bay, Kaimana district, there is a monument “fort da bus” which marks the postal administration of the Dutch East Indies (Dutch colony) built in 1828. The fortress was abandoned in 1835 when the outbreak of malaria killed most of the Dutch army.

In an island called Venu become to place the survival of sea turtles lay their eggs remain intact until now. Uniquely, Kaimana’s coastal communities preserve hereditary their nature with the application of Sasi. Sasi is a customary law which prohibits catching fish or other marine animals, such as mussels, snails, and sea cucumbers, in areas where they breed. Sasi applied within a specific period, every six months, one year, or two years.(source: Kompas Newspaper)


Lore Lindu establishes tarsier breeding center

Lore Lindu establishes tarsier breeding center

Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Palu | Archipelago | Tue, February 25 2014, 10:25 AM


Courtesy of North Celebes Adventure

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The tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates, is a combination of sandy-grey and ochre in color. Equipped with long legs, it can leap up to 2 meters. The animal can be found on a number of islands in Indonesia, including Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Sumatra, as well as in the Philippines. People in Central Kalimantan call it the tangkasi.

In other regions, it is called the ghost monkey, the mini-monkey and the small monkey, while it is scientifically known as the Tarsius sp. from the Tarsiidae family.

In Central Sulawesi, especially in the Lore Lindu National Park (TNLL), the tarsier is a target of poaching and is consumed due to its relatively tasty meat. Consequently, its population is dwindling.

“Whereas in fact, the tarsier is the only primate in the world that does not eat leaves, fruit, flowers or other vegetation. It is a carnivore and eats all kinds of insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches, as well as lizards and small birds,” TNLL conservation and technical affairs head Ahmad Yani told reporters at his office recently.

Keeping in mind the dwindling tarsier population, Yani said the park had developed a tarsier breeding center in a protected forest in Kamarora village, Nokilalaki district, Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi.

“But the breeding program is still in the trial phase and has not yielded results,” he said.

Several tarsiers in the program had reproduced before.

In the breeding program, Yani said, the tarsiers’ behavior and mating patterns were observed.

The tarsier, which is endemic to Sulawesi, lives in banyan trees and bamboo. The banyan tree is used as a living and breeding site, while bamboo is a place to play.

“That’s why our breeding center is full of banyan trees and bamboo,” said Yani.

Asked about the tarsier population in the park, Yani said the center did not have precise data but was aware that the population was dwindling due to poaching.

“Our rangers often come across tarsier skulls in the forest,” said Yani.

He said local residents should not regard the tarsier as vermin as it did not destroy crops.

The tarsier stalks and then swiftly attacks its prey, holding it with both hands and pressing down with its feet until it completely overpowers it.

Like other primates, the tarsier is able to grab its victim securely with both hands, each of which has five fingers. It also has 10 toes.

Its middle toes stick out and curve like fangs, thus enabling it to grip its prey. Since it eats various kinds of insects, it is not regarded as a pest by farmers and owners of farms located around the forest.

“So its presence helps farmers because it eats animals that are regarded as pests by farmers,” said Yani.

20140424 ‘Owa Jawa’ family returns to the wild

20140424 ‘Owa Jawa’ family returns to the wild

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Environment | Tue, April 22 2014, 12:24 PM


Fifteen hundred meters up the slopes of Mount Puntang in Bandung, West Java, , a 15-year-old male owa jawa (Javan gibbon) leads his family into the wild after years of rehabilitation.

came out of the cage as soon as the door was opened from afar, leaping around from one tree to another checking the surroundings to ensure that it was safe enough for his family to follow his steps.

A few minutes later, Bombom, ’s partner, also came out of the cage, leaping around the trees nearby also surveying the local environment.

Their offspring, Yani a 4-year-old female and a year-old male, Yudi, were still playing in the cage, probably too afraid to play outside because of the dozens of people watching them from around 20 meters away.

Bombom made a sound, as if trying to tell the little ones that it was okay to play outside. Then Yani timidly stepped out, but Yudi remained in the cage.

It was not until all the observers had left the site and made a territorial call did Yudi finally come out.


Bombom (left) and her son Yudi.

The release of the gibbons was initiated by the Forestry Ministry, state-run forestry company Perhutani and the Javan Gibbon Center (JGC) to increase their population in the wild.

“Owa jawa cannot be released individually as it is feared they can’t survive without companions,” JGC manager Anton Ario said.

The family spent a month in the area before the release to adjust to the weather and their new surroundings. They stayed in a spacious cage so they could move freely and comfortably.

Unlike other animals that are released into the wild, owa jawa require as little human interaction as possible during the process in order to maintain their wild behavior.

Anton said that the team had chosen Mt. Puntang for the location of the release because it was part of the Malabar protected forest, which is home to 120 plant varieties favored by gibbons.

The owa jawa family is the first to be sent back into the wild. Last year, a pair of owa jawa, Kiki and Sadewa, was also released in Mt. Puntang. Now, they have traveled approximately 4 kilometers from the place they were first released.

and Bombom were brought to the JGC in Lido in Bogor, West Java, in 2008 after being confiscated by the West Java Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) from residents who kept them as pets.


“They were in a very bad shape — so skinny because they did not eat well. But what shocked us was when we found a bullet in Bombom’s stomach,” Anton said.

“That could mean she was shot during the capture.”

Owa jawa are subject to poaching because when young they are regarded as a cute pets. However, to separate a young gibbon from its mother, the poacher must first kill the mother.

In the center, they were taught to behave according to their nature. And to help increase the population, JGC also matched the gibbons during the rehabilitation.

“ and Bombom were attracted to each other very quickly, after only around two weeks. They got along very well soon after we put them side by side. They flirted just like a couple when we put them in the same cage,” Anton said.

Two years after the couple got together, Yani was born and was then followed by Yudi.

Anton said it was usually hard to match gibbons, whose average lifespan is 25 to 30 years, because they took quite a while to get along. But if they find their soul mate, they will be loyal to their partners for the rest of their lives.

“And they can only have one child in three years,” he added.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the owa jawa are categorized as an endangered species. It is also listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, as a species which may not be traded, including its body parts.

A survey by the Indonesia Primate Observers Association in 2010 showed the population of the gibbons stood at between 2,000 and 4,000 individuals in the wild.

They live mostly in forests in West and Central Java, such as in Ujung Kulon National Park, Mount Gede Pangrango, Mount Halimun Salak, Mount Slamet and Mount Dieng.

“They can move very quickly. But thanks to their morning calls, we can detect their whereabouts,” Anton said.

The monitoring will also be conducted by members of the military who are posted around the area.

“Through this opportunity, we will participate in protecting the owa jawa. I have also told my men not to damage the environment, and that includes protecting the owa jawa, during their training in the jungle,” Siliwangi Military Commander chief Maj. Gen. Dedi Kusnadi said.

— Photos courtesy of Javan Gibbon Center

2014-04-19 Ubud celebrates royal wedding

2014-04-19 Ubud celebrates royal wedding

by Ni Komang Erviani on 2014-04-19

Role play: Tjokorda Gde Dharma Sukawati and his bride Gusti Ayu Mahadewi perform the roles of a farmer and a vendor during the mekalan-kalan ritual, part of the pewiwahan royal ceremony on Friday at Puri Agung Ubud Palace in Gianyar. The role-playing enactment symbolizes their commitment to sustain their new family. (BD/Anggara Mahendra)Role play: Tjokorda Gde Dharma Sukawati and his bride Gusti Ayu Mahadewi perform the roles of a farmer and a vendor during the mekalan-kalan ritual, part of the pewiwahan royal ceremony on Friday at Puri Agung Ubud Palace in Gianyar. The role-playing enactment symbolizes their commitment to sustain their new family. (BD/Anggara Mahendra)

Ubud, the little town in Gianyar famous for being a cultural mecca, was abuzz Friday as the influential royal family organized a lavish double wedding ceremony for two of its young princes.

Tourists and locals flocked to Puri Agung Ubud Palace from the early hours of the morning. The former wished to catch a glimpse of the ceremony while the latter brought gifts for the aristocratic family, who have succeeded in transforming their feudal legacy into an influential part of the island’s contemporary political and business landscape.

The bridegrooms both come from illustrious bloodlines. Tjokorda Gde Agung Ichiro Sukawati is the son of Tjokorda Gde Putra Sukawati, a prominent businessman and the current penglingsir (elder) of the royal family, while Tjokorda Gde Dharma Sukawati is the son of Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, the former regent of Gianyar and the current chairman of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) Bali chapter.

Ichiro married Cokorda Istri Julyana Dewi and Dharma tied the knot with Gusti Ayu Mahadewi. Both brides also hailed from noble families.

Locals from various banjar (traditional neighborhood associations) and desa pekraman (customary villages) around Ubud took turns over the last few days to help the royal family prepare for the weddings.

Puri Agung Ubud, a top tourist attraction known for its elaborately-carved rustic gates as well as classical Balinese dance performances, was sumptuously decorated with fresh flowers and coconut leaves. Dozens of bouquets sent by relatives and business associates lined up the palace’s outer wall.

The ceremony, which lasted for the whole day, started in the morning with the mekalan-kalan ritual and ended with widi-widana.

“The mekalan-kalan ritual marks the bride and bridegroom’s transition from brahmacari to grhasta and their official entrance into family life,” Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said.

In Hindu teaching, brahmacari is the phase of life when a devotee is expected to commit his or herself to the pursuit of knowledge while grhasta is when building a family is the devotee’s main obligation. The two last phases are wanaprasta, when the devotee should pursue a spiritual path and biksuka is when the devotee renounces all worldly attachments.

Mekalan-kalan also aims at presenting the bride and bridegroom before the butha saksi, the first witness, which comprise the universe, the natural forces and the unseen creatures. In the widi-widana ritual, the bride and bridegroom are brought before the dewa saksi, the third witness comprises the gods and ancestral spirits. The second witness is manusa saksi, comprising all relatives and guests at the ceremony.

During the mekalan-kalan ritual, the couples underwent a series of purification rites before participating in a enactment — which saw the grooms carrying a coconut and some fruit and vegetables on a stick as a symbol of their commitment to his future family, while the brides lightly hit them with a broom, signifying their roles as motivators. The peak of the ritual took place when the grooms used a kris to pierce a rectangular sheet of woven leaves held by the bride, a symbolic act of consummating the marriage.

The mekalan-kalan ceremony was witnessed by many high priests and temple priests from across Bali. It was also witnessed by the grooms’ parents, but not the brides’ parents.

The event continued with the widi-widana ceremony in the evening. The ritual was held in the Bale Agung open pavilion and officiated by two high priests.

“The widi-widana ritual seeks blessing from the God,” Cok Ace said.

After the widi-widana ritual, the brides and groom were taken on open wooden palanquins in a parade from the palace to Merajan Agung, the royal family ancestral temple.

The ceremony was attended by scores of dignitaries, including Deputy Bali Governor Ketut Sudikerta and Buleleng Regent Putu Agus Suradnyana. Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie was seen arriving at the palace’s gate at around 6 p.m.

The mapejati ritual, which is when the grooms pray at the brides’ family temple, will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The last ritual, megat jalan, will be held on Monday. After the completion of megat jalan, the couples will be allowed to travel outside the palace compound.

On Saturday, Mapejati will be held in Puri Anyar, the royal family house of Cokorda Istri Julyana Dewi and the next day it will be at Puri Kedisan, the royal family house of Gusti Ayu Mahadewi.