Flores tribes Eastern Palu’e

Written by on June 3, 2012 in Flores Tribes with 0 Comments

Flores tribes Eastern Palu’e 4.500 people

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Palu Island, north of central Flores; north coast of Flores mainland, northwest of Maumere, Nangahure village. Alternate names: Lu’a, Palue, Paluqe.

The people of Palu’e consist of several sects, the Kimalaja (Himalaya sect), Lo’imite, Ubimuri, Kinde Pima, and Surya (Sun God) sect…

The ancestors came via Bugis Bone, South Sulawesi, from Himalaya, on a boat named Sawar Gadi. A disaster struck… the boat sank way out to sea. Just as the people were about to give up hope of staying alive, a group of turtles came to rescue the people and their treasure.

Usually turtles swim with their backs up, but at that moment, the turtles turned over and the people climbed onto the turtles’ bellies. The turtles took them to the shore, so the people of the Kimalaja sect always remember the turtles and regard them as a saviour god.

Whenever the Kimalaja sect conduct traditional ceremonies the song of Keja Lenga is sung and the textiles with the motif of the turtle is worn. This textile is so sacred it can never leave the island.

Until today, we must refrain from eating turtle meat because we believe that the turtles are like one of our own kind that helped their ancestors…If we eat the turtle our hands will grow into turtle flippers.

It is our responsibility to care for turtles so that they will not be wiped out…

Perhaps this is a folk tale, a legend or fact, yet until today it is still believed by the people and Keja Lenga is something we must remember forever.

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