Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | 18:47 WIB

The timeless elegance of 100-year-old Wae Rebo Traditional Village


Jakarta, IO – Located in Manggarai regency, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level, Wae Rebo Traditional Village is a must-visit tourist destination. The village is a recipient of UNESCO Top Award of Excellence in 2012.

According to Indonesia Travel, the village is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the dense Todo Forest where one can find various species of orchids, ferns, and rare birds which make the atmosphere even more tranquil and peaceful.

However, because it is far from the city, cellular coverage is almost non-existent and electricity is only available from 6-10 pm. The air is also relatively cold, especially in the dry season.  So don’t forget to bring your jacket.

And according to the folklore, the village is founded by Empu Maro about 100 years ago and has now been preserved for 18 generations. One of the unique characteristics of Wae Rebo is the cone-shaped Mbaru Niang traditional thatched house.

The house has five levels, each designed for a specific purpose. The first level, called lutur, is where the extended family lives. The second level, called the lobo, is for storing food and belongings. The third level, called the lentar, is for storing seeds to be planted in the next planting season. The fourth level, called lempa rae, is for storing emergency food supplies. The fifth level and the most sacred part, called hekang kode, is used to make offerings to the ancestors.

The local population in this village is predominantly Catholic but still adheres to ancient animistic beliefs. In this house one can see sacred relics in the form of drums and gongs.

Read: Getting to know Rumah Gadang, quake resistant house born of local wisdom

With a small population of around 1,200 people, the village only has seven houses. The staple foods of the villagers are cassava and corn. However, they also grow coffee, vanilla and cinnamon which they sell at the market about 15 km from the village.

If you want to visit Wae Rebo Traditional Village, you can start your journey from Komodo Airport at Labuan Bajo. Then head to Ruteng where you have several transportation options whether renting a minivan or a private car. After 3-4 hours trip, the journey continues using a motorcycle taxi for 3-4 hours to Denge, the last village before you finally reach Wae Rebo Traditional Village. (rr)


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