Just south of Flores lies the oval island of Sumba
, once known as the Sandalwood island. The island is divided geographically and administratively into two halves. West Sumba, which is hilly, fertile and green, and East Sumba
with is barren, steppe-like landscapes. Although Christianity spread throughout the island, the ancient religion of Marapu is still perpetrated with the worship of ancestors and a belief in the manifestation of spirits in inanimate objects.
home have their own place of worship in a tower within the house which contains obje
cts believed to invested with a sacred spirit. Unusual megalithic stone monuments are erected as burial tombs within the royal family compounds. Sumba
weaving are famous for their intricate design. The Sumba horse is immortalized in the exquisite hand-woven ikat cloth, Indonesia
’s finest. The traditional houses have unusual high-peaked thatched roofs. An exiting jousting battle known as Pasola take place once a year at the transition for the wet to the dry season in three different places on the island. Hundred of colorfully dressed horseman gather to perform exciting and dangerous combat on horse back. This is preceded by the Nyale ceremony, the harvesting of strange multi-colored sea worms that arrive on the nearby shore at this time of the year, supposed to be the manifestation of the goddess of fertility. Only 1 hours 30 minutes from Denpasar, Bali – Sumba is linked by directly regular airlines F28 to Waingapu – East Sumba or Tambolaka – West Sumba