Friends of Nias Heritage Foundation

Nias Heritage Foundation is a private not-for-profit organisation, and as such receives no funding from the government. The Museum is dependent on partner organisations and supporters to fund its programs and activities. Assistance has come from international organisations as well as from individuals. In some cases the museums activities have been funded by grants, and in other cases the museum has been assisted with staff training, organisational development and equipment. Many visiting Nias scholars have formed strong bonds with the museum and in various ways contributed to its funding and development. The Nias Heritage Foundation is fortunate to have many friends both in Indonesia and overseas.


Friends of Museum: Left: Nias locals Mrs. Esther Glorian Telaumbanua and Mr. Tapak Wong. Middle: Staff from Johanniter International Assistance. Right: US Consul-General Mr. Paul Berg.

Through the personal network of Pastor Johannes Hämmerle the museum has many links with Catholic and German organisations. Donors and friends include the following organisations; Missio Aachen, Deutsche Ordensobernkonferenz  (DOK)  with the help from MISEREOR, The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Section for Culture and the German International School in Jakarta.

Through its work the Museum has forged links with several organisations that supports culture and heritage preservation. Donors and friends include the following organisations: The Ford Foundation (US), The Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands), Tirto Utomo Foundation (Indonesia), Asian Cultural Council and The Japan Foundation.

Several Indonesian organisations and companies have supported the museum, such as LPPS dan Komisi PSE-KWI-Jakarta, Yayasan Adikarya IKAPI, BPPI-Jakarta, Dirjen Bimas Katolik Depag R.I., PT. Martina Berto Marta Tilaar, The Mandala Foundation and PT. Han Awal & Partners Architects-Jakarta.

The Museum would like to thank the many individuals who have supported our work through generous donations. Worthy of special mention are; Johanna Brenkmann (dec),  Margareta Falk (dec), Josef Maier, Franziskus Schwestern, Josef Fische (dec), Ingo Kennerknecht, Günter Ott , Achim Sibet, Helmut Paasch, Pastor Hadrian Hess OFMCap, Pastor Albert Schamberger, Pr. München, Suahasil Nazara, Toenggoel Siagian, Lisa Tirto Utomo,  Ama Andi Harefa, Tapak Wong and Binahati B. Baeha.


Mrs Lisa Tirto Utomo from the Tirto Utomo Foundation with Pastor Johannes during the handover of large traditional house (omo Sebua) in Hilimondregeraya village.

Rehabilitation of Nias Culture Heritage

After the 2004 Tsunami and 2005 earthquake on Nias the foundation formed close bonds with the international aid community that was involved in the rebuilding of Nias. Many organisations became involved in rehabilitation of the cultural heritage of Nias.  In many cases Museum staff advised and facilitated the field work on behalf of these organisations. The foundation worked together with or facilitated projects for the following organisations; The Multi Donor fund, The International Labor Foundation, Kindernothilfe.e.V (Germany), Caritas Italiana (Italy),  The Johanniter (German), City of Konstanz (Germany), Tirto Utomo Foundation (Indonesia), City of Münster (Germany), City of Neustadt-Schleswigholsteein (German), Tsunami Fund (Singapore), US Embassy in Jakarta, Muslim Aid & BPPI Jakarta, Province of Süd Tirol (Italy) and Brigitte Ott (Austria).


ILO and the Multi Donor sponsored the rehabilitation of 149 traditional houses on Nias after the earthquake in 2005.


Academics and students from all over the world have assisted the Museum in many ways, such as contributing to research about Nias and advising the museum on heritage management. Deserving of special mention are:

  • Prof. Dr Alain Viaro, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, (Switzerland) with Arlette Ziegler: research and publications about Nias Architecture and megaliths as well as design of the Museum permanent exhibitions pavilions.
  • Prof. Dr. Ingo Kennerknecht , Institut for Humangenetik, Münster (Germany):  DNA research about the origins of Nias people.
  • Prof. Dr. Dominik Bonatz:  research about Megaliths.

Prof. Dr. Alain Viaro and Arlette Ziegler traveled extensively across the island to conduct research about traditional architecture.

Technical skills


Australian volunteers from AVI during technical training with museum staff.

Some organisations and individuals have provided training, or funding to attend training for Museum staff, thereby increasing the ability of the Museum to manage our collection. They include: Dr. Christina Kreps, Giancarlo Pocher, The Princes of Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Center and UNESCO Bangkok. Other organisations have sent volunteers that have assisted the museum in its development of particular technical skills, namely the ASA program (Germany) and AVI (Australia). The Zoo staff and management received valuable advice from Simon Bruslund of Heidelberg Zoo.

The Nias Heritage Foundation would like to thanks all organisations and individuals who have assisted us in the protection and preservation of culture and heritage on Nias Island. Without your support our work would not have been possible. From all of us a heartfelt Saohagölö - Thank you!

Help the Museum protect the cultural heritage of Nias

Today the Museum generates funds from admissions, guesthouse, events and café sales. The museum strives to become increasingly self-sufficient through these activities but will continue to rely on grants and donations to fund its outreach programs.

To protect and maintain our cultural heritage the Museum asks for the assistance of organisations and individuals with a passion for Nias culture. The museum welcomes funds, materials, equipment and technical assistance. If you want to donate, volunteer at the museum or help us in any other way please contact us. Any help is welcome!





















































Heidelberg Zoo


© Yayasan Pusaka Nias 2017. Designed & Edited by Björn Svensson & Shanti Fowler