About Us

The Nias Heritage Museum is managed by the Nias Heritage Foundation that is a social and non-profit organisation focusing on the preservation of Nias culture.

The Nias Heritage Foundation was founded by Pastor Johannes Hämmerle who has been working on Nias Island since 1971. During his work he became interested in the language, culture and history of Nias. He also realised that due to poverty and a lack of education this unique culture was disappearing fast. He started collecting historical and cultural artifacts to preserve them for the future. The idea was to preserve these items for the community of Nias and avoid important artifacts being destroyed or removed from the island.

20 years after Pastor Johannes started collecting Nias artefacts the Nias Heritage Foundation (Yayasan Pusaka Nias-YPN) was officially inaugurated in 1991. The main mission of the foundation is to manage and operate a museum and cultural centre for the preservation of both the tangible and the intangible cultural heritage of Nias.

In recent years an added focus have been made to understand and communicate the effects nature have had in the development of the Nias culture and under the term “Nias Nature Heritage” create awareness and preserve habitat and species loss. On the grounds of the Museum there is also a small “Mini Zoo” with native species primarily from rescues, providing opportunity to see and appreciate native wildlife.

The foundation has broadened its activities to also include outreach, education, research, environmental awareness, and sustainable tourism. Although closely rooted in local communities the museum has many ties with international organisations and universities.

ASAP Species That We Work On

What We Do

With our programme “Save-Magiao” island wide outreach work is carried out. Magiao is the name of the critically endangered Nias Hill Myna in Nias language and it is the flagship species of our work. The Magiao have inspired the Nias folklore and cultural colour preferences and our pride-campaign help position the species within the Nias identity, and it is becoming a common symbol of Nias for all regardless of ethnic or religion.

The Nias Hill Myna is now extinct in mainland Nias other Songbirds are severely threatened with local extinction as well many of which are endemic subspecies. Nias remain the biggest stronghold for the critically endangered Silvery Pigeon.

In the Nias Heritage Museum rescued bird from the pet-trade are kept safe and can hopefully contribute to the conservation of their species in the future.

Project website: https://www.silentforest.eu/signatory/magiao-nature-heritage-conservation-breeding-centre/

Primary project partners of Save-Magiao is Marlow Birdpark, EAZA Silent Forest Group and the ZGAP

Where We Work

Island of Nias, Indonesia

Contact Details

Jl. Yos Sudarso No. 134-A, P.O. Box 16, Kota Gunungsitoli 22 812 Nias, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia

Web & Social Media

Photo Credits

Simon Bruslund