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Journeys With The Caterpillar is a humorous attempt to capture the dramatic simplicity of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia, covering the islands of Flores, Komodo, Rinca and Sumba.
The Islands greet the sky with over a dozen volcanoes rising from the seas, nestling within them whimsical colour-changing lakes that shelter dead spirits. Along the edges, shores adorn themselves with kaleidoscopic stones and beaches blush from the remains of dead pink corals. Nearby, baby Komodo Dragons scramble for the nearest tree, fleeing from their prowling mothers.
In these islands, people live in small tightly knit communes, holding on to their ancient cultures. They practise elaborate animist rites for births, weddings, harvests and funerals, and one’s prestige is still measured by how many buffaloes and pigs he sacrifices. Across the islands, one encounters overwhelming humanity that celebrates and greets life with ever-blossoming smiles in the midst of grinding poverty.
The author: Shivaji Das