Entranced (and possessed) in Sumatra

Mysticism in Indonesia is at the base of faith and can be largely found in many aspects of everyday life. During a trip to Berastagi, a mountain town at the foot of the active Sybayak volcano in northern Sumatra, we saw ultimate proof of that when we stumbled across a street ritual called reog ponorogo. It is a form of entranced dancing that made its way to north Sumatra from central Java, carried by migrant workers who resettled into the western part of the archipelago. Volatile and mesmerising, it was truly a powerful sight to behold.

Chan Kit Yeng is a Penang-born freelance travel photographer and tourist guide. When she's not snapping pictures and playing with local kids in some off-the-beaten-path location, she can most likely be found hiking in Penang's remotest jungle thickets.


Related Articles