|Ken Ratihn accepting necklace, gifts from Chief "Yali" Baliem Valley, Irian Jaya, 2006|
I grew up in the central Sierra Mountains of California. Outdoors has been my whole life. I started rafting as a river guide in the 1970's and then later, in the 80's moved to Somes Bar on the Klamath River in Northern California. There I became a salmon and steelhead fishing guide in the winters, and continued my rafting career on all the rivers in the Northwest and eventually became a rafting guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
In 1990, I had the opportunity to go with Sobek Expeditions to look for rivers in Indonesia. There are many rivers in Indonesia, and at that time Indonesia knew very little about rafting. I fell in love with Indonesia and it's people, and for the next 7 years I lived in Indonesia and helped pioneer rafting there.
I trained Indonesians the techniques and skills to become rafting guides, helped organize rafting companies, surveyed rivers, and conducted river rafting rescue seminars. Over the years I continued to search for rivers, led expeditions and did several major first descents. I found Indonesia diverse and rich in culture, and began to collect ethnic art.
I met my former Indonesian wife on my travels, and together we started Primitive Destinations International. After more than thirty years in the field as a guide, I am still rafting and fishing here in the good old U.S.A. and often I go to Indonesia leading trips to remote areas. I also sell authentic Indonesian ethnic art collected through my adventures. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.