Sandalwood Festival Stimulates Tourism in Sumba

Sandalwood Festival Stimulates Tourism in Sumba

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Sandalwood Festival Stimulates Tourism in Sumba
Man riding a horse at the Sandalwood Festival in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara (Photo: IO/Pramita Hendra)

Sumba, IO – Currently, Sumba is one of the areas that is increasingly loved by domestic and foreign tourists. Its culture is getting to be known in wider circles, starting from traditional dances to various festivals that can draw many tourists to come.

One of these is the Sandalwood Festival; it is a festival that presents an attraction of hundreds of horses, known as the Sandalwood Horse Parade. The horse is physically shorter than European or American racehorses, with a height of fewer than 150 centimeters, or about 130-140 centimeters. It is a pony.

The name Sandalwood itself comes from the Sandalwood tree, a native plant of the area. Sandalwood ponies have certain physical characteristics: a sturdy neck with various colors, from black, gray, dark brown, white, dark red, and striped colors or known locally as “plongko”.

Due to their sturdy hooves and feet, Sandalwood ponies are commonly used for racing, farming, and as a means of daily transportation.

In addition to horse riding, this festival will also feature beautiful weavings from five sub-districts in East Sumba. The five sub-districts that produce these beautiful weavings are Kanantang, Kambera, Umalulu, Rindi, and Pahunga Lodu.

Even more uniquely, ikat weavings from the region are distinguished according to their colors. For example, the Kanantang Ikat Weaving has a characteristic blue color. Materials for the dye are natural ingredients called wora.

The arrival of the Sandalwood Horses is a highly anticipated moment in this festival. Everyone knows that the Sandalwood Horse with its distinctive posture and extraordinary strength is an inimitable icon of Sumba Island.

Let’s go to Sumba!

(Pramita Hendra)