Join the LOST List

Monkey Head Soup

by Charles Lindsay

Over the course of eight years Charlie Lindsay spent every winter with a traditional shaman, deep in the rain forest of Siberut, an island west of Sumatra in Indonesia. He photographed one of the world's last Stone Age tribes, essentially from the inside. This work became the basis for the book Mentawai Shaman (Aperture 1992). For the Mentawai the monkey hunt is a ritual affair, confirming that the spirits of the dead have been appeased through festivals and ancient rites. Once when a baby monkey was orphaned by the killing of its mother the clan tried to keep it alive through breast feeding themselves. 'The monkey meat was tough as leather, a challenging delicacy.'

Photos courtesy Charles Lindsay.



Charles Lindsay is the author of several books of photography, including Upstream: Fly Fishing in the American West; Turtle Islands: Balinese Ritual and the Green Turtle; and Mentawai Shaman: Keeper of the Rain Forest. Lindsay's work has appeared in numerous international publications and has been profiled on NPR and on CNN International. His website is

Articles in this Issue

Introduction, by the Editors
Monkey Head Soup, by Charles Lindsay
Barbarians at the Hotel Bar, by Edward Chupack
Desert Survival, by Craig Childs
A La Recherché du Cheese Perdu, by Brenda Peterson
Heaven on the Half Shell, by Andrew Beahrs
A Hog Butchering, by Thorpe Moeckel
Lamb Shanks Roasted in Paper, by One Ring Zero
Lemon Meringue Pie, by Alan Huffman
Making Sajur Lodeh, by Julie Lauterbach-Colby
Lost Meals, by Phil Buehler
It's Seaweed Weather!, by Wendy Noritake
The Ingot, by Edward Hardy
My All-American Bacchanal's Deep-Fried Remains, by Nick Kolakowski
The Last Supper, by Susan Buttenwieser
The Spoils Room, by T. D.
A Taste for Tonka, by Ramin Ganeshram
Recipe Cards, by Ted Weinstein