Museum Pusaka Nias

Top choice in Sumatra

This superb museum, housed inside several traditional-style buildings, offers an in-depth introduction to the indigenous culture of Nias. The displays run the gamut from jewellery worn by noblemen, weapons, crocodile-hide battle armour and traditional fishing and hunting equipment to headhunting sculptures and paraphernalia, wood carvings used in ancestor worship, ceremonial drums, nifolasara (boat-like) coffins with dragon heads, and microliths (anthropomorphic stone figures found on top of megaliths throughout Pulau Nias). One room features beautiful scale models of traditional houses.

Outside are some restored traditional houses, where you can spend the night. The depressing zoo is best avoided.