Festa da Iemanja com Grupo Nzinga na Praia do Rio Vermelho

2 February 2009
Crowds gather to give gifts to Iemanjá, the queen of the sea, during the Candomblé inspired festival of Iemanjá in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Singing on the beach:

Tabuik di Sumatera Barat

Kerja lapangan dengan Pak Indra Utama di Sumatera Barat
20 January 2008
During the Islamic celebration of Tabuik in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Asyura ceremonies are preceded by dignitary speeches and opened with formal performances of regional arts. Afterwards, two large bamboo edifices, prepared especially for the event, are then carried to the beach and thrown into the sea as part of the Asyura rite.

To read more about the Muharram ceremonies in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia, please visit Inside Indonesia and my blog post here.

A comparison of Iemanjá and Tabuik

The Iemanjá and Tabuik festivals exhibit socio-historical, religious and organisational differences but nonetheless share thematic similarities. The arts and festivals of the coastal cities of Salvador and Pariaman offer an opportunity to examine the heterogeneous construction of human expressive systems arising from unique social, geographical and historical forces.

A sociocerebral ethnography of Indonesian and Brazilian Fight-dancing

  • Ethnographic Fieldwork.
  • Practice-based research.
  • Cultural neuroanthropology.
  • In-situ participant-observation.
  • Apprenticeship-focused methods.
  • Neuroethological co-phenomenology.
  • Distributed-cognition system-mapping.
  • Context-sensitive neuro-cultural analysis.


  • Music lessons
  • Language training
  • Pencak Silat lessons
  • Fieldsite development
  • Indonesian dance lessons
  • Capoeira Training

With special Thanks to:

  • Dr Uwe Paetzold for putting me in contact with various researchers and Pencak Silat teachers as well as his generous time offering me advice and sharing his cast knowledge and ethnographic footage of Pencak Silat.
  • Eric Chatelier for his generous sharing of footage and information
  • Dr Greg Downey
  • Dr John Sutton
  • Professor Margaret Kartomi