TCUS senior editor Kalpana Jain explores Indigenous communities in Indonesia − and learns about their struggles to reclaim land

CISUNGSANG VILLAGE, INDONESIA: Once isolated from the rest of the world, the Kasepuhan Cisungsang – an Indigenous community in Indonesia – has been inviting outsiders to get a glimpse into their lives. The guests are shepherded into a spacious hut where a Kasepuhan Cisungsang representative explains that the community is led by the abah, or father, and that they've lived in this forested area since before Dutch colonization. “Our ancestors have left us a message to protect and defend the environment,” says Raden Angga Kusuma, the abah's eldest son and crown prince of the village.