Sumba West Ratenggaro Village

Written by on May 26, 2012 in Sumba Traditional Villages with 0 Comments

Sumba West Ratenggaro Village

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Ratenggaro, Kodi, Sumba Island, NTT, Indonesia A traditional Sumbanese house is though of as representing a human being; the thatched peaked roof is called “the hair and the head, the four main pillars that stand on the ground and reach the peak are known as “the legs”. These houses are social units and also serve as clan temples. The verandah function as the place where the guests are received and there betel-nut is exchanged. Betel-nut exchanged is an important customs and when offered it represents a western handshakes, it is an insult to refuse the offer, although it is not necessary to eat it. The houses is also an important ceremonial center for funerals. Here the corpses are kept, prepared and mourned for a while the burials. Since death is the only way to join Marapu, the funeral is the most important and extravagant ceremony. Megalithic tombs with elaborate carvings symbolizing the status of the person, will be erected. A great toms might weigh 30 tons, take 40 men two years to prepare and 1000 men to drag it from the quarry to its site. The megalithic stones represent the first stone given by the creator to Marapu as compass to find Sumba from India. Since the Sumbanese believe the after world is a mirror of this world, status and wealth must be shown. Therefore his possessions will follow him to the grave and his animals will be sacrificed to honor him.

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