Sep 06 2008

Cannibals in Paradise: Where Not to Surf

Published by at 9:22 am under Destinations,Indonesia,Travel

The Wave at Lagundri Bay, Nias

Cannibals and surf exploration don’t mix well. In 1975, traveling Australian surfers, Kevin Lovett, John Giesel, and Peter Troy were traveling Indonesia on motorcycles in search of new perfect waves. They were drawn to the island of Nias off the coast of Northern Sumatra by a horseshoe shaped bay a the Southern end of the island that looked promising for surf. They were right. They discovered Lagundri Bay and surfed it alone for three months. The discovery set would set the surf world on fire and open the door for further exploration of Indonesia. (An account of surfing the remote islands of Northern Sumatra).

Kevin Lovett later learned that the three of them had been targets of cannibal practicing tribes on the island during their stay. The blog, Strange Maps of the World, presents a early 20th century map of the world highlighting areas that practice cannibalism both historical and present. A good guide when heading off to Papua New Guinea, Vanatu, or other unchartered areas. [Link to larger image of Map] “Indonesia, Micronesia and the rest of Oceania are marked by many contemporary instances of cannibalism, in Australia, New Guinea, Borneo (Dayaks) and Sumatra (Bataks).” Don’t think we were not immune to it, while Europe seemed free of Antropophagie (Greek for “eating of humans”) – something that may more than anything indicate a bias in the map, North America certainly was not.

Map of Cannibalism throughout the world

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