Joining an Idul Adha Celebration

The mooing cow was already on its side, more or less securely fastened to a few stakes, its neck suspended over a deep hole. Behind it was another cow, still feisty and resistant, kicking at the men trying to restrain it. My host grandfather approached the subdued cow with a knife and prayed before he…

The magic of Maluku’s Kei Islands

“Mr. Ben, do you believe in…black magic?” This was the response from my friends and neighbors immediately after I told them I would be traveling to the Kei Islands in February. Initially, I thought this was a silly question coming from people who live on the island of Seram, an island whose name actually translates…

Masohi royal procession celebrates anniversary

“Royal flag bearers proudly lead the procession of aristocrats and warriors through the streets of Masohi in celebration of the anniversary of Masohi’s founding.  While today the kings of Maluku’s numerous regions and towns have no official political power, no important political event would be complete without the participation of Maluku’s royal families and courts.”…