Mysticism and magic have long been a part of different cultures in Indonesia. People seek assistance in understanding their personal and professional problems and finding solutions. “Black magic” and “witch doctors” are at times controversial because of the business aspect of things. For example, witch doctors can charge high fees for their services and their “results” vary. There are also concerns about the mixing of politics in which politicians seek the services of witch doctors (usually secretly). Some critics believe the government should regulate certain magic business practices.
The following video clip is from June 13, 2010. Al Jazeera’s reporter Step Vaessen visited Jakarta where she met Ki Joko Bodo, a successful witch doctor.
* For a photo essay on Beringharjo Market in Yogyakarta which has some stalls that sell spiritual goods (e.g., oils, swords, stones, and other talismans), go to http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/none/indonesias-yogyakarta-black-magic-makers-912176
* For examples of travelers’ tales with magic, check out a discussion thread at Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1508110