Ecoescapes   Eco Heroes   Gypsy Spots   Bazaar   Houses   About   Blog
 
Sumba

Sumba

A-traditional-Sumba-VillageSumba is a magically wild island, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands that lies to the south of Sumbawa. One of the least visited islands at it is often overlooked; it is full of tribes, tradition and a landscape as dramatic as its ritual. Wild horses run free on rugged plains and giant turtles gather in deserted coves. Beautiful villages with their unique pointy roofs scatter the valleys, with megalithic tombs and intricately woven textiles. It is a wild and intriguing island, entrancing for the adventurous gypsy soul.

Stay

Nautil Resort on the south west coast is a relaxed little enclave with seven cottages scattered around a large open air dining area overlooking the stunningly rugged coastline jutting into the shimmering Indian Ocean. It is a wonderful place to explore the smooth surf breaks and prehistoric villages and megalithic tombs.

The cottages are sustainably built using local materials and design. The individual cottages are light and elegantly neutrally decorated with huge king size beds and comfortable sitting areas overlooking the sea or the rolling hills behind the resort. French owned the dining room serves a selection of traditional Indonesian food and some delectable European cuisine. Naturally fresh fish feature heavily on the menu.

Fishing is one of the many activities that can be arranged for you by Nautil. Deep water fishing often yields Blue Marlin, Swordfish or Tuna. Take the resorts launch to a secret inlet for an intimate BBQ and some snorkelling or bring it back for some French flavour. Or try a totally unique experience – the art of chewing Betel Nut.

Betel Nut is a stimulant that leaves the trademark red stains around the lip that is deeply ingrained in Sumba’s culture and popular in many cultures around Asia. The owner of Nautil, Ali, will teach you the right doses to prepare this. This is partly creeper from the green asparagus family, the nut from a specific palm, lime and most importantly a symbolic offering called sirih pinang when entering the local Sumbanese village.

This is a wonderful place to pass some time exploring the vast plains and stunning Sumba coastline.

www.sumbanautilresort.com

Surf

Bay-in-the-TerambingTaking-a-boat-across-the-river-in-Kondamaloba-areaAround the coast near Nautil the beaches of Kerewe, Marosi and Dasang all facing south to the Indian Ocean with perfect breaks rolling into the shore. The best part of this however is that there are very few people if not none surfing these breaks so you have the freedom of your waves to yourself.

Or for a truly incredible wave head over to the southeast coast to Tarimbang and experience one of the best right handers in the world called Miller’s Right. It breaks best at low tide and never usually gets higher than five metres but barrels beautifully. It’s a long paddle out and a smooth ride in over some of the cleanest bluest sea you will ever experience

It is also an idyllic beach to laze away a few hours and walk on the perfect white sand and swim in the turquoise sea or just lay in a fishing boat watching this perfect untouched paradise. It is rare to have many tourists and it is usually you and the local fishermen just floating out at sea.

Swim

The beaches vary in terms of their landscape dramatically depending on the landscape and surrounding ecosystems. Sumba also is home to vast tracks of mangrove forest that merge into the sea in magical rivers around the south central region and further to the east then valleys of forests give way to endless powder sand beaches, whereas in the south west the coast is characterized by a continuous line of rocky outcrops harbouring idyllic bays.

Venturing towards the beaches in the central southern coast you will reach the Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park. Here lie the bays Konda and Maloba (or “Kondamaloba”). The way to get there runs through a varied landscape and through to a lush dense mangrove forest filled with the shrieks of birds and monkeys. This area is a bird watchers paradise and filled with a variety of species. There is however no accommodation in this area and you have to head inland to Lewa and its surrounding areas to stay so visit these areas early in the day.

Once you reach the bays you are greeted by the river man who will take you across the stream is the aquamarine stream is flowing out of the stream strongly. At lower tide it is possible to swim both in the sublime estuary and on the beach. However when the tide is a bit higher it is a little bit rough and also not good for surf so best to err on the side of caution and not go too far out. This is a perfect spot for a picnic and exploration into the mysterious mangroves that run along parts of the coast on this area. The thick long lianas create a tapestry of trees where birdlife can thrive.

Safari

There are great roads now being developed in Sumba between the main towns of Tambolaka and Waingapu that cut through the middle of the island and join the two airports. However Sumba’s true enchantment and sweeping vistas can only be truly appreciated by a bit of off road exploration. With vast arid landscape so reminiscent of Africa a Sumbanese Safari seems appropriate, just expect beautiful wild horses streaking over the hills rather than wildebeest.

It is best to hire an experienced driver and a serious 4 x 4 piece of machinery as to crest some of the hills over dirt tracks and through non-existentroads to be greeted by the most dramatically panoramas, secret shimmering and sea and magic valleys of hidden forests. A good guide and avoiding driving at night in some areas is recommended but to really get to the heart of this magnificent island.

Sacred

Intrinsic to the Sumbanese culture is the Marapu religion. It coexists with Catholicism that is the mainstream religion that makes up the majority of Sumba. Marapu is an animistic religion that believes that they are looked over by their ancestors, and they maintain a harmonious relationship with them through ceremonies conducted by priests who are seen as direct communicators with the ancestors. The priests are always males and are seen to be upstanding and honest members of the area, the line often passes from father to son. There is no formal written version of the prayers and ceremonies so they must be memorized and passed down verbally. Some of these rituals, such as the yaigho last for up to twelve hours, so this oral tradition is an art and history in itself.

Sacrifice is also intrinsic to Marapu and the bigger the offering the better. Therefore an offering of a buffalo is seen to be superior to a chicken. Bloodletting is part of the kedde or ritual and the ground will be doused in blood before planting a harvest or it is used to seal contracts and new business ventures. In addition the heart is used as a symbolic news bearer through which you can read a persons fortune for the coming year. The heart of the buffalo is seen as essential to a funeral as it is said to predict the journey into the afterlife. Although this sounds a bit bloodthirsty, the act of sacrifice is tied in with fertility, birth, and death and is seen as a portal between the past and future. This is common throughout many of the animistic religions globally.

Horns-from-Sacrificed-Bulls-DisplayedAfter death bodies are wrapped in the famous Sumba Ikat and sometimes encased in megalithic tombs. These amazing structures can be seen dotted throughout the dramatic landscape and in villages, a magnificent sight to behold. This ‘megalith culture’ emerged around 4500 years ago and continues to this day with the island being described as ‘a living megalith culture’. The tombs are made from limestone or the rock from Tarimbing Beach that looks like marble. A large flat stone is laid upon four pillars and can take on a variety of designs. The rocks themselves often weigh a few tons and there is a complex system and ritual to lay them in place.

The ceremony to quarry and pull the stone to its location is called Tingi Watu that literally means ‘pulling stone’. These huge slabs are dragged by hundreds, if not thousands of people, to the final resting place of the deceased. The main slab or tomb is laid on plinths of one and a half meters and then the body is enshrined and the capstone moved on top. The majority of tombs are found in the west of Sumba and the practice still exists today but as it is a highly costly practice, it is not as common as it once was. The tombs are also intricately carved with various shapes and symbols to reflect a person’s position in life. Anakalang village is the most famous place to visit these tombs in Sumba as houses several of the largest. Every two years a mass marriage is held here amongst the eerie stones, to coincide with the full moon.

Another element central to the Marapu religion is gold. He gold ornaments symbolize the male, whilst the ikat textiles represent the female. These are exchanged during rituals such as marriages and alliances between families or tribes. Gold is seen to come from celestial skies, as is silver, with the gold from the sun and silver from shooting stars. In this romantic notion the owners of gold and silver are also said to be favoured by The Gods and ancestors. The most significant objects made of gold for the Sumbanese are mamuli that were used for the elongation of earlobes but are now worn as earrings or as a pendant. They are also styled to represent the male or the female. Mamuli are kept along with other sacred objects kept by tribes and are now used to communicate with the ancestors in certain ceremonies.

sumba-img02

Saddle

The most famous occasion in the Sumbanese culture has to be Pasola. People come from all over the island, and now the world, to witness this skillful and brutal tournament. The name comes from the word hola, which means long wooden stick. It is fought on the west of the island at the beginning of the rice-planting season around February or March.

Two groups of men from different tribes are chosen to play which involves throwing spears at your opponents whilst on horseback. The marapu priests wait for the arrival of small vivid marine worms called nyale on the shores below Lamboya after the full moon. The date is the then decided by the religious leaders (Rato), so if you are heading to Sumba for the pasola be prepared to wait as there is no precise date.

Megalithic-TombToday blunt spears are meant to be used; however this is not always strictly adhered to. Bloodletting is central to this tournament, as it is for so many other parts of this culture. It is believed that blood from the participants and the sacrificed cattle are symbols or fertility and prosperity for the coming crop. Obviously this means that it gets pretty bloody on the field amongst the competitors. This one is not a spectacle for the faint hearted.

Structures of the Dead

After death bodies are wrapped in the famous Sumba Ikat and sometimes encased in megalithic tombs. These amazing structures can be seen dotted throughout the dramatic landscape and in villages, a magnificent sight to behold. This ‘megalith culture’ emerged around 4500 years ago and continues to this day with the island being described as ‘a living megalith culture’. The tombs are made from limestone or the rock from Tarimbing Beach that looks like marble. A large flat stone is laid upon four pillars and can take on a variety of designs. The rocks themselves often weigh a few tons and there is a complex system and ritual to lay them in place.

The ceremony to quarry and pull the stone to its location is called Tingi Watu that literally means ‘pulling stone’. These huge slabs are dragged by hundreds, if not thousands of people, to the final resting place of the deceased. The main slab or tomb is laid on plinths of one and a half meters and then the body is enshrined and the capstone moved on top. The majority of tombs are found in the west of Sumba and the practice still exists today but as it is a highly costly practice, it is not as common as it once was. The tombs are also intricately carved with various shapes and symbols to reflect a person’s position in life. Anakalang village is the most famous place to visit these tombs in Sumba as houses several of the largest. Every two years a mass marriage is held here amongst the eerie stones, to coincide with the full moon.

Sumbanese Ikat

The word ikat means to bind. This is a tie and dye process used by weavers in Indonesia and Sumba is famous for producing some of the most beautiful examples using traditional methods. It is a highly intricate process where hundreds of threads are tied together and dyed and then untied and placed on looms to be woven into thread. The technique requires great skill, as the threads must be perfectly realigned in the right order to recreate the magical designs that are distinctive by their feathery edged appearance. It is very difficult to know exactly how old this process is, as textiles do not stand the test of time.

In Indonesia Ikat can be found throughout, but the island of Sumba is particularly famous for its beautiful and intricate pieces that have evolved over time into some of the most elaborate and famous pieces across the world. This is particularly true of the eastern side of the island, whereas the weaving in the west tends to consist of plainer patterns with a simple band or motif. The pieces from the east are known as Kain Ikat and have developed over centuries into one of the most sophisticated textile producing methods in the world. This may surprise some people as Sumba itself still appears very underdeveloped, however the fabric represents a rich history of ritual, family, feuds and life that has evolved and passed through families and tribes to tell a story of Sumba’s rich culture.

These pieces are regarded as fluid within the community passing through rituals of birth, marriage and death between communities and families. They are a type of visual story telling that is complex and beautiful as tales are woven into the threads and serve as historical and genealogical texts within a culture of oral history.

Woman-WeavingThe reason that the ikat of Sumba are so revered around the world is that they represent some of the highest form of the technique and are also some of the most unique and sophisticated examples of this technique in the world. The Sumbanese ikat is a form of anthropomorphism, which is the attribution of the human form or personification to anything that is non-human. In this case the textiles. This is how the cloth is used as a literary device for storytelling.

Photos Courtesy of Electra Gillies

 
 
© 2014 The Eco Gypsy - Ethical Exploration.
   


CONTACT US
221, Mount Olimpus, Rheasilvia, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
+1 (999) 999-99-99
PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmdvb2dsZS5jb20vbWFwcy9lbWJlZD9wYj0hMW0xOCExbTEyITFtMyExZDYwNDQuMjc1NjM3NDU2ODA1ITJkLTczLjk4MzQ2MzY4MzI1MjA0ITNkNDAuNzU4OTkzNDExNDc4NTMhMm0zITFmMCEyZjAhM2YwITNtMiExaTEwMjQhMmk3NjghNGYxMy4xITNtMyExbTIhMXMweDAlM0EweDU1MTk0ZWM1YTFhZTA3MmUhMnNUaW1lcytTcXVhcmUhNWUwITNtMiExc2VuITJzITR2MTM5MjkwMTMxODQ2MSIgd2lkdGg9IjEwMCUiIGhlaWdodD0iMTAwJSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIHN0eWxlPSJib3JkZXI6MCI+PC9pZnJhbWU+
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
COMPANY NAME
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio. Diam lorem auctor sit, a a? Lundium placerat mus massa nunc habitasse.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul denlac
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul patturtul
CONTACT US
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmdvb2dsZS5jb20vbWFwcy9lbWJlZD9wYj0hMW0xOCExbTEyITFtMyExZDYwNDQuMjc1NjM3NDU2ODA1ITJkLTczLjk4MzQ2MzY4MzI1MjA0ITNkNDAuNzU4OTkzNDExNDc4NTMhMm0zITFmMCEyZjAhM2YwITNtMiExaTEwMjQhMmk3NjghNGYxMy4xITNtMyExbTIhMXMweDAlM0EweDU1MTk0ZWM1YTFhZTA3MmUhMnNUaW1lcytTcXVhcmUhNWUwITNtMiExc2VuITJzITR2MTM5MjkwMTMxODQ2MSIgd2lkdGg9IjEwMCUiIGhlaWdodD0iMTAwJSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIHN0eWxlPSJib3JkZXI6MCI+PC9pZnJhbWU+
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
COMPANY NAME
CONTACT US
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio putonius mudako empero brutto populius giten facilisis cursus turpis balocus tredium todo.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmdvb2dsZS5jb20vbWFwcy9lbWJlZD9wYj0hMW0xOCExbTEyITFtMyExZDYwNDQuMjc1NjM3NDU2ODA1ITJkLTczLjk4MzQ2MzY4MzI1MjA0ITNkNDAuNzU4OTkzNDExNDc4NTMhMm0zITFmMCEyZjAhM2YwITNtMiExaTEwMjQhMmk3NjghNGYxMy4xITNtMyExbTIhMXMweDAlM0EweDU1MTk0ZWM1YTFhZTA3MmUhMnNUaW1lcytTcXVhcmUhNWUwITNtMiExc2VuITJzITR2MTM5MjkwMTMxODQ2MSIgd2lkdGg9IjEwMCUiIGhlaWdodD0iMTAwJSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIHN0eWxlPSJib3JkZXI6MCI+PC9pZnJhbWU+
CONTACT US
COMPANY NAME
221, Mount Olimpus, Rheasilvia, Mars
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
+1 (999) 999-99-99
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Macbook Pro
* Intel Core i7 (3.8GHz, 6MB cache)
* Retina Display (2880 x 1880 px)
* NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M (Iris)
* 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
* Thunderbolt 2 (up to 20Gb/s)
* Faster All-Flash Storage (X1)
* Long Lasting Battery (9 hours)
PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iMTAwJSIgaGVpZ2h0PSIxMDAlIiBzcmM9Ii8vd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUuY29tL2VtYmVkL3NCV1BDdmR2OEJrP2F1dG9wbGF5PTEiIGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyPSIwIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4+PC9pZnJhbWU+
ENJOY AURORA BOREALIS
SHARE
OR
SUBSCRIBE
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scel erisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas placerat phasellus.
PLEASE SHARE US!
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scelerisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas. Lundium et, ultrices, et tempor vel proin est! Lundium sociis ac, ut ultricies ridiculus ultricies pulvinar scelerisque et adipiscing auctor, urna platea non rhoncus magna egestas montes platea sed porta nisi porta, mus integer porta elit.
PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iMTAwJSIgaGVpZ2h0PSIxMDAlIiBzcmM9Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vZW1iZWQvajhsU2NITzJtTTAiIGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyPSIwIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4+PC9pZnJhbWU+
Increase more than 700% of Email Subscribers!
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio. Diam lorem auctor sit, a a? Lundium placerat mus massa nunc habitasse, arcu, etiam pulvinar.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat
  • Montes vutario lacus quis digit turtulis
  We hate spam and never share your details.
ARE YOU READY? GET IT NOW!
Increase more than 500% of Email Subscribers!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
Turpis dis amet adipiscing hac montes odio ac velit? Porta, non rhoncus vut, vel, et adipiscing magna pulvinar adipiscing est adipiscing urna. Dignissim rhoncus scelerisque pulvinar?
GET IT NOW
500% MORE SUBSCRIBERS
EFFICIENCY
BOOST YOUR SALES
CREATIVITY
INSPIRE YOUR VISITORS
BE UNIQUE
CREATE UNIQUE POPUPS
ARE YOU READY? GET IT NOW!
Increase more than 500% of Email Subscribers!
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis viverra, urna vitae vehicula congue, purus nibh vestibulum lacus, sit amet tristique ante odio.
ENTER YOUR NAME
ENTER YOUR E-MAIL
ENTER YOUR PHONE NUMBER
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
All rights reserved © Company Name, 2014
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio, cursus montes ac turpis. Ultrices! Massa integer augue ridiculus adipiscing, massa cras pid. Turpis placerat scelerisque, vut odio mus non, mattis porttitor, nunc odio, turpis tortor sit? Pid amet, sed facilisis.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tandempo
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim donus
  • Montes vutario lacus quis arcupolisio
  • Leftomato denitro oculus tepircos den
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas popupius
  • Afrenius globalus spiritum tandempo
  • Fitatos vutario lacus quis arcup delis
Do you want massive traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Do you want more traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER AND START INCREASING YOUR PROFITS NOW!
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Do you want massive traffic?
Scelerisque augue ac hac, aliquet, nascetur turpis. Augue diam phasellus odio lorem integer, aliquam aliquam sociis nisi adipiscing hacac.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul bela
PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iMTAwJSIgaGVpZ2h0PSIxMDAlIiBzcmM9Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vZW1iZWQvajhsU2NITzJtTTAiIGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyPSIwIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4+PC9pZnJhbWU+
* we never share your details with third parties.
ARE YOU READY? GET IT NOW!
Increase more than 500% of Email Subscribers!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.