Many boys and girls born in the village of Ciburuy in Garut, Bayongbong, West Java, have white-blond hair, pale skin and light eyes. They have been called Walada Sunda, which means "Sundanese Dutch."
Not only in Sundanese, but also in several other Indonesian languages the terms meaning "white-skinned" derive from the words used to describe the Europeans who later colonized the archipelago.
Albinism results from defects in the gene that is involved in the body's production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair and eyes.
When the Jakarta Globe visited Ciburuy on July 25, many of its residents confirmed that the condition has been present in their families for centuries.
Ciburuy lies on the foot of Mount Cikuray. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Albinism is present in many Ciburuy families. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dewi Resmana, 13, is immediately noticeable among her school friends, but not to them. Everyone in the village is used to the sight of their white-skinned kith and kin. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
After school, children come to the village surau and learn to read the Koran. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dewi's sister, 3-year-old Jajang Gunawan, also has albinism. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Albinism is usually passed either from one unaffected parent or from both unaffected parents to a child. Neither Jajang's mother nor father has the condition, but the genetic mutation has been present in their families. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)