Threats to uncontacted tribes living in the most remote parts of the world are an issue of vital importance as oil and gas exploration, mining and logging push ever deeper. The Mentawai Islands lie to the West of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. Les begins at the island of Siberut. He journeys 9 hours up river by boat, navigating log-jammed river systems and shallow waters, eventually trekking by foot into the heart of the island, arriving at the Mentawai tribe.
Les will live with this tribe for eight days, connecting to their history, learning the great survival methods they can teach. Eating the daily food staple called ‘sago’, making a Shaman’s garb called the ‘si kerei’, and under-going painful ancient warrior tattooing, Les will prepare himself to hunt and survive in the Borneo jungle with bow and poison arrow. The key to daily survival here is finding food and, in a jungle renowned for its poisonous insects and reptiles, the Mentawai’s knowledge of medicinal plants and invocation of healing and spiritual ceremony is at the core of what keeps them alive in this highly dangerous environment.
Voice is important to the Mentawai, they lure their prey by imitating the calls of all the animals they hunt. As hunting is getting scarce, they are now forced to go deeper and further into the jungle. They say even a caterpillar can kill you in Borneo; the Mentawai believe their singing of shamanic songs attunes their souls.
With award winning, never before seen ceremonial and survival footage, Les Stroud crafted this stunningly beautiful and compelling series about connecting to the earth through survival and ancient ceremonies with indigenous cultures around the planet.
Directed By Les Stroud
Starring Les Stroud