With so many diverse groups and unique islands spread all over the Equator, there are plenty of interesting facts about Indonesia; some may surprise you. Indonesia is the largest nation in Southeast Asia (by size) and the fourth most populous country on earth. It’s a geological wonderland. Indonesia is spread across an archipelago of many thousands of islands, however, no one can really agree on just how many there are.
The Indonesian government claims 17,504 islands, but a three-year survey conducted by Indonesia only found 13,466 islands. The CIA thinks Indonesia has 17,508 islands — that’s down from the estimated 18,307 islands counted by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space back in 2002.
With that being said, this place holds a lot of beautiful things and people that are surely bound to fascinate you. And this particular tribe – The Buton Tribe – hold the triumph so far (aside from Bali, of course).
This is an indigenous tribe on an Indonesian island who have uniquely piercing blue eyes due to a genetic fluke that has been captured in a stunning set of photographs.
More info: Instagram
Based on Discover ASEAN, the Buton tribe can be found in the province of Southeast Sulawesi, on the island of Buton. Among the tribe itself, there are several groups of people who have this uniqueness.
They are divided into several smaller tribes of which some have a rare condition known as Waardenburg Syndrome, which affects pigmentation. This leaves them with electric blue eyes, something that is extremely rare in Indonesia, where most people have dark hair and dark eyes. The Waardenburg syndrome is a hereditary genetic mutation that is estimated to be present in some form in 1 in 42,000 people. In addition to its sometimes startling effect on eye pigmentation, including causing eyes of different colors, it can also lead to a loss of hearing.
Korchnoi Pasaribu, a geologist and a hobby photographer who hails from the Indonesian island of Java himself, has managed to capture the hypnotic eyes of these tribespeople and share them on his Instagram. It isn’t the first tribe that he ever visited, but it may be the most unique one. How often do you see people from the Pacific that have eyes as blue as this? The chances of being affected by this syndrome are 1 in 42,000. Count the odds of stumbling upon a few of those in a single small tribe. It’s like finding a gem, but in this case, the gem is in someone’s eyes.
Pasaribu said: ‘I actually work as a geologist, at nickel mining, and photography is my hobby.’
He said he found the blue-eyed tribe inspiring because they are so unique. Pasaribu said: ‘Blue eyes are unique and beautiful and they are my inspiration. Blue is the favorite eye color for me.’
Indonesia is a vast archipelago with over 350 dialects and subcultures.
With a size of 1,700 square miles, Buton Island is one of Indonesia’s larger islands.
Its population totals just under 450,000 people of which many live in small, isolated tribes.
The majority of the island is covered with rainforest.
In an interview for Bored Panda, the photographer said, “I’ve known them since 2019, but I only went to photograph them now on September 17, 2020. I was very happy to [finally] take pictures of them.” He’s also done a few “themed” shots regarding ecology and the environment, which speaks powerfully through the eyes of the subject.