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Sumba Overview
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The unspoiled island of Sumba is geographically situated 400 kilometers East of Bali and South of Komodo and Flores Islands.

Although only about 300 Km long and 80 Km wide, the island of Sumba generates two distinct climates. The west receives
higher rainfall than the east, and is consequently much greener with systems of rice fields fed by perennial rivers; the east is a dry savanna throughout its eight month dry season.
Every where in Sumba you will see horses, cattle, goats, and
the growing of corn,in some places of West Sumba you will find large plantatation of coffee, vanilla and cocoa .

Of the island's population of about 600.000, some of them (almost all villagers) maintains their belief in the animistic Marapu
religion. Rural life still revolves around the ancestors.
Such villages tend to stand on hilltops and are formed by several large clan houses arranged around a central
graveyard; the way of life in this villages seems like frozen in times .

For most of its history Sumba has been divided into small
kingdoms, each dominated by a feudal raja. These raja had
absolute power until the formation of the Indonesian Republic
in 1945. Socially and culturally, however, they remain highly respected and some still have slaves . The largest event any Sumbanese is likely to see will be the funeral of his or her raja; the body, having been wrapped in hundreds of textiles and kept through several preparations, then buried in an elaborate ceremony.
Sumbanese are traditionally divided into three level of serial life :
°Raja or King (Maramba) ,
°Customary Official (Kabihu),
°and Slaves (Ata).
You can still find slaves attached to their King .

Sumbanese are primarily live from farming, cattle breeding, rice-field farming and trading. The number of cattle one owns, contributes to the social status.

Island of Sumba is well known of its sandlewood, horses, impressive megalithic tombs, traditional vilages, weird beliefs, typical hand woven textile (ikat), and still untouched beautiful beaches.

Sumba's elaborate textile tradition finds its most colorful expression along the island's east coast where weavers combine animal and plant motifs with geometric patterns and ethnographic symbolism. What to the western eye is artistic, even fanciful, for the Sumbanese forms the basis of a complicated literacy that is the foundation of their culture.
There are two enterance point in to Sumba island :
Waingapu in East Sumba (airport and harbour)
Tambolaka airport and Waikelo harbour in West Sumba
These are the people who enter Sumba either by
plane or boat.


 
SITE CONTENTS
Map of Sunda

 
 
Traditional House

 
 
Sumbanese girls

 
 
Kerewe Beach

 


 
   
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