It was our last day in Merabu Village and at some point, some of us were happy that we finally could go back to our own ideal home, back to the ones we missed and back to our daily routines. But some of us felt sad as well that the amazing journey had to come to an end. As we have visited some of Merabu’s vocal points, our last day would be much laid-back, no more river crossing, no more forest tracking, and no more mountain hiking. And since our previous days has been about the natural beauty, today was our day for its people.
We were so lucky that the previous head of culture, Kei ( grandfather ) Ransun, put on his cultural attires for our last photoshoot in Lesan River. He looked so dashing with his head piece, made from the head of Enggang carcass and majestic with big feathers and patterns of Dayak Lebo. His whole piece was made from the outer trees, bashed and stitched into one fine piece of clothing. He wore necklaces made from beads and the teeth of bear and boar. On his waist, there was Rauk ( iron knive ) carved sharply and beautifully at the same time. Next to Kei Ransun, there were Decy and Linda, local girls, who also look graceful with the local attires. We took their photos as if they were top models from around the world. Andang from Art Space Humanika Bandung, used all of his advance photography equipments to capture all the beauty.
Putra and Andri from ARTOTEL Group went into a different direction. They visited Pak Dedy to visit a local Pastor that leads a Christian Church in the village. He grew up in Merabu and he has beed dedicated in his role many years ago. During the interview, he mentioned that he is happy that the growth of the believers are doubled up every year, showing Merabu Village holds a dearly religion to its daily life.
The tolerance between two majors religion, Christian and Islam, is at its finest state. Pak Lusman, former head of the village said that in each religion there is a big celebration, both help each other to prepare and celebrate like a family.
Since our last day was about the people, two artists Bayu from Survive Garage Yogyakarta and Andang from Art Space Humanika Bandung gathered local kids to introduce art and photography to them. Andang let his camera be used by the kids to take some pictures, which what he had in mind to exhibit the pictures at the ARTOTEL For Hope 2018 Art Exhibition. We just cannot wait to see these kids visually on a big canvas.
As our rides had arrived, saying goodbye was one of the hardest things to say. We thanked them for letting us stay in Merabu and showcase its beauty. We thanked Mama Refa whom prepared all of our meals since day one, she said “don’t forget us and don’t forget the simplicity of our life” with a warming smile, it was such a heart melting moment. We made the right decision to help Merabu to conserve its nature.
And then our hands waved in the air, smiling and missing the village.
And then our hands waved in the air, smiling and missing the village. We will come back, for the better future, the better Merabu.