Celebrating a unique culture

These Indonesian dancers were performing in front of the Istano Basa Pagaruyung, the royal palace of the former Pagaruyung Kingdom, yesterday as part of the 2018 Minangkabau art and culture festival in Batusangkar, West Sumatra.

The event, which started yesterday and will run until Sunday, celebrates the Minangkabau culture with performances, exhibitions, fashion shows and even a coffee festival. The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism hopes that highlighting the distinct ethnic group will help boost tourism to the region.

According to the BBC, the Minangkabau ethnic group, indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra, is the world's largest matrilineal society, with daughters inheriting ancestral property from their mothers and children taking on their mothers' names.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2018, with the headline 'Celebrating a unique culture'. Print Edition | Subscribe