West Sumba - The Land Of The Spirits
West Sumba is one part of East Nusa Tenggara province which location is only one hour flight to east of Bali. The remnant of megalith era can still be seen in this land and the primitive culture afterward that still put into practice by its followers make West Sumba one of the most culturally interesting place to visit in east Indonesia. West Sumba and its people are very rich in cultural heritage from the ancient time includes gigantic megalith tomstone,traditional thatched peak houses raised on stilts, ancient ritual whorship based on an animistic faith called Marapu and such variety of cultural attractions. West Sumba is also blessed with lots of fantastic panorama like hills and vallelys, waterfalls, gorgeous, deserted white sandy beaches and tropical forest with rare kind of birds that can only be found in Sumba. West Sumba consist of 6 district like Waikabubak, Loli, Wanokaka, Tana Righu, Lamboya ,West Lamboya.
1. Waikabubak and its vicinity
Waikabubak the capital of West Sumba is a unique little town. Here one can experience the modern and traditional life style of the people there at the same time. For tour of Waikabubak you'd better start from the traditional market at the center of the town. Daily household needs and handicrafts such as traditional hand-woven clothes and matches are available here. It open early in the morning till late afternoon. Next to market is Tarung a traditional village which well-known to the visitors. Traditional houses, huge tombstone and many whorship objects can be found here.The beauty of Prai ijing this three level village perch on a hill top about 1 km to the east of downtown , an old woman in Bondo Maroto another traditional village around town was preparing her betel nut. In Sumbanese traditional betel nuts has many functions it is used as an offering to Marapu and gave to visitors as a welcoming sign.
2. Loli and its vicinity
Many things can be experienced here like traditional life style , old village full of history , traditional ceremonies etc. Little sherpherds herd their water buffaloes especially big, long horn are highly appreciated in Sumbanese tradition. In marriage they are used as belis (bride price) in funeral time they become symbol of grief. Family members are relatives have to bring them along when they come to pay visit of condolence. In big ceremony water buffaloes are the main animal to be sacrificed to the god. A rato ( Marapu priest) was riding his sacred wooden horse in Wulla Poddu ceremony. Wulla Poddu is a holy month held in october to november annually with a series of interesting rituals. The main attractions are held in Tambera, Bondo Maroto and Tarung. A woman fetching in a pot made of clay and buffaloe horns as wall decoration and status symbol.
3. Tana Righu and its vicinity
About 21 kms north of Waikabubak is Tana Righu district.Among other things the place to visit here are Ombarade and Dikita village, two old villages with deep history,sacred objects and center of the rituals activities. One of ombarades sacred thing is Ong'ga ,a china plate used in certain occation. According to their believe food that serve in this ancient plate will be free from any kind of poison. Marapu house (temple of God) called Kapora Kabba in ombarade. There are two sacred old figurines inside this house a man and a woman symbolize the anchestor of all menkind.Kapora Kabba surrounded by a neat stone fence and due to local belief in one or more stone fall off the fence then one or more villagers will die soon .
4.Wanokaka and its vicinity
The district of Wanokaka about 21 kms from Waikabubak spread along the south coastline of Sumba island. This area has abundant tourism attractions includes traditional villages,huge tombstone, big rituals,white sandy beaches and waterfall. A kadu watu (horn of the tomb) named Watu Kajiwa in Praigoli village. According to the local legend there is no corpse burried inside this tomb. When portuguese attacked long time ago the villagers built this tomb for burrying their valuable things. Marapu priest went down from the village of Waigali to a sacred wood nearby for whorshiping their god in a ritual called Bijalunga Hiu Paana.This ritual stage annually on January.Another kadu watu called Watu Wei Urang(the rain stone), Lapopu waterfall located in Manupeu tana daru national park. The beauty of the scenery is worth a try and if get luck you can also watch the endemic birds of Sumba in your journey there.
5.Lamboya, West Lamboya and its vicinity
Covering the hilly and mountainous part of the south western coast of Sumba island. Lamboya area is blessed with beautiful panorama hills, valleys,pristine,white sandy beaches,paddys field old village , sacred ceremonies just name it Lamboya has it all. Pasola the war game tournament played by two groups of selected Sumbanese men who ride their decorated selected horses,fling wooden spears at each other. The exact time for pasola is calculated by some ratos (saman priest) based on lunar calender. Pasola is always preceded by Madidi Nyale(Nyale=welcoming ceremony).Due to traditional belief strong healthy nyale (a kind of colourful seaworm)bode well for the years crops while thin listless one are a bad sign.
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