Sumba island Indonesia

GENERAL INFORMATION OF SUMBA ISLAND

Sumba island has a great and unique position respect to the Sunda Banda archipelagoes, it is one of the biggest island on the East Nusa Tenggara region beside Flores and Timor. It represents an isolated sliver of probable continental crust to the south of active volcanic islands (Sumbawa, Flores ) within the forearc basin (Fig.1). It is situated to the north of passage from the Java Trench (subduction front) to the Timor Through (collision front). It does not show still the effects of strong compression in contrast to islands of the outer arc system (Savu, Roti, Timor), while the magmatic units make up a substantial part of the Late Cretaceous to Paleogene stratigraphy.

Sumba island covers an area of 11,150 square km which is now populated by about 350,000 people. Generally the climate similar to other part of Indonesia where a dry season (May to November), and a rainy season (December to April). The island of Sumba is well known of its sandlewood, horses, impressive megalithic tombs, typical hand woven textile (“ikat”), and still untouched beautiful beaches. There are two entering point in to Sumba island from anywhere in the Lesser Waingapu & Waikabubak (Tambolaka).

Sumba has a unique culture and their social life. Sumbanese are traditionally divided into three level of social life : (Raja/King) – Maramba, Customary Official – Kabihu, and Slaves – Ata. Sumbanese are living from farming, cattle breeding, rice-field farming and trading. Ones owns cattle will contribute to their social status such as if they had more cattle giving them a higher social status.

Most Sumbanese are Christian (Catholic and Protestant), however, and part of them are still strongly keep their native and original religion called Marapu. Most cultural objects are related to the Marapu religion such as the shape of traditional houses, ceremonies, or kings’ graves and tombs.

The island of Sumba is well known of its sandlewood, horses, impressive megalithic tombs, typical hand woven textile (“ikat”), and still untouched beautiful beaches. There are two entering point in to Sumba island from anywhere in the Lesser Waingapu & Waikabubak (Tambolaka). These are the people could enter Sumba for either by flight or boat.

POINTS OF INTEREST:

Waikabubak
A neat little town in West part of Sumba island, full of old graves carved in motifs of buffalo horns, man heads, horses, nude men or women symbolizing social status or wealth of the people. West Sumba is the regency whose capital is Waikabubak. It can be reached by plane from Kupang via Waingapu and Denpasar via Bima. In Waikabubak, you can see find the megalithic tombs of Kadung Tana, Watu Karagata, and Bulu Peka Mila. Tarung Village is an important ceremonial center, located on hill top west of Waikabubak.

Anakalang
The village of Anakalang known with the largest megalithic tombs in Sumba. The tombs are always with the unusual carvings. Anakalang is the site of the Purung Takadonga Ratu, an important mass marriage festival held every two years, on a date determined by the full moon.

Waingapu
Waingapu is the capital city of east Sumba regency, it is known with the traditional Ikat weaving and some megalithic tombs are also found on this area.

Rende
Rende village is the sights several traditional style buffalo horn adorned Sumba houses and a number of massive carved stone graves.

Kaliuda
One of the Ikat weaving center of the area. Here one can see the high quality traditional Sumba Ikat in process.

Ikat Weaving

Ikat textile in Sumba are worked an exchanged at important ceremonies to show one’s social status. At the funerals, the most exquisite textiles would be placed in the grave for use in the after world.

Sources:

https://www.insightguides.com/destinations/asia-pacific/indonesia/nusa-tenggara/overview

http://www.indonesia.travel/attraction/attraction_details/343/the-artistically-carved-dolmen-of-sumba-megalithic-heritage-tombs

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