Flores, Wologai Village, Lio Tribe

Flores Lio Tribe Wologai


Click to Enlarge !
A visit to Wologai, a traditional Lionese village situated on a beautifully forested volcanic ridge an hour past Ende. (The topography of Flores is phenomenal.) Wologai is one of the few villages in the Ende district with well preserved Lionese art and architecture. Because of its adherence to traditional building practices, the village serves as the location for several of the Lio tribe’s celebrations. The villagers were friendly yet shy, and quite adamant that we follow certain rules while walking through Wologai. We were allowed to walk through the circle of huts around the central terraced platform, but they asked us not to enter the tall ceremonial house. The cermonial house is said to contain several sacred objects including a ritual drum made of human skin. (Yikes!) The huts themselves were quite interesting. Many window frames and major beams were carved with interesting animal, plant and abstract motifs. As with most tribes in Flores, although the Lio tribe describe themselves as Catholics, their architecture tells a much more complex story. Lio villages have masculine houses keda kanga and female houses sao ria, each featuring unique layout, orientation, and design. Sao ria feature a very large pair of carved breasts near the entrance. The layout of the sao ria metaphorically represents a mother’s body, the door being the entrance to the womb. There’s a lot going on here which is not immediately obvious to the casual visitor, but animism and fertility rituals are most certainly an ongoing part of Lionese culture. Anthropology buffs can read more about the culture here (PDF). I really wish we had had more time at Wologai. The thrill of a visit to this remarkable village was in the tiny, mysterious details. And, sometimes, in the not-so-tiny details. One house had an amazing open-armed carving – I have no idea if it was just a piece of art or whether it had some symbolic meaning. More time at Wologai would also have meant more access. Casual visitors are not allowed to enter the ceremonial house, but visitors who stay a day and offer a goat for sacrifice can, apparently, enter this mysterious hut and view the sacred objects. To be honest, although I am curious, I’m not sure I would want to kill an animal to check it out. Info on Visiting Wologai Wologai is not automatically included on every Flores tour, so if you want to experience Lionese culture, you will have to make sure it is included on your itinerary. Wologai is about 36km from Ende and is accessible by public transportation. Ask in hotels in Ende for the latest details.

Flores, Bajau, Fisherman’s house

Flores, Fisherman’s house, Bajau




While most Bajau have begun to live in houses built on stilts in shallow water, some Bajau are boat dwellers. Among the Bajau boat dwellers, local communities consist of scattered moorage groups made up of families whose members regularly return, between intervals of fishing, to a common anchorage site. Two to six families will group together in an alliance to regularly fish and anchor together, often sharing food, nets and gear and pooling labor. The marine life exploited by the Bajau fishermen is diverse, including over 200 species of fish. Fishing activity varies with the tides, monsoonal and local winds, currents, migrations of pelagic fish and the monthly lunar cycle. During moonless nights, fishing is often done with lanterns, using spears and hand lines. Today, fishing is primarily for market sale. Most fish are preserved by salting or drying. In some cases turtles are caught and kept under the house until an appropriate feasting time (such as the marriage of a son) – to the chagrin of marine conservationists. The boats that are used as family dwellings vary in size and construction. In Indonesia and Malaysia, boats average 10 meters in length and 2 meters in width. They are plank construction with solid keel and bow sections. All are equipped with a roofed living area made of poles and straw matting and a portable earthenware hearth, usually carried near the stern, used for preparing family meals. The boat-dwelling Bajau (in contrast to their neighbors) see themselves as non-aggressive people who prefer flight to physical confrontation. As a consequence, the politically dominant groups of the region have historically viewed the Bajau with disdain as timid, unreliable subjects.

Flores, Bena Traditional Village, Ngada,

Flores Bena Traditional Village

Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bena

Click to Enlarge !


Bena Traditional Villages, Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Indonesia Traveling 3

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bena,


Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

Flores,  Traditional Villages , bajawa

December is an important month for the community of Bena who hold annual celebrations called Reba. Reba is a festival similar to Thanksgiving, when people pay respect to and thank the Almighty for the blessings of a great harvest and the people’s welfare.

Flores, Gurusina Ngada village

Flores Gurusina  Ngada village


Gurusina is another Ngada village where you can get acquainted with all the wealth of Ngada culture. As it is quite easily accessible by car or motorbike (the road can get bumpy, though), it offers a good alternative to the more popular Bena for visitors who are short in time. Gurusina’s traditional houses are situated around a wide courtyard, which displays several sets of ture lenggi, the ancestral stone altars. The village was founded in about 1934 by people coming from the highlands. At present, 33 families live in Gurusina, belonging to the three clans of Ago ka’e, Ago Gasi, and Kabi. Conforming to the Ngada adat, each clan owns its own sao pu’u (original or ‘trunk’ house), a sa’o lobo (youngest or ‘tip’ house), a ngadhu, and a bhaga ancestral shrine. Up to the present day, the staple crops grown by the inhabitants of Gurusina are corn, tubers, coconut, and banana, as well as coffee, cloves, candlenut, and cocoa as popular cash crops. Ikat weaving is an important daily activity for Gurusina women. As in other communities across Ngada and other parts of Flores, Gurusina’s inhabitants used to be divided into three different castes. The authority of the ruling class, the ga’e, was justified by their descent from Gurusina’s original ancestors. Commoners were called ga’e kisa. At the bottom of the community stood the so’o – who used to be kind of thralls. In the past, heavy sanctions applied to women who married men of a lower status. Nowadays, the caste of so’o does not exist anymore, and the social borders of the caste system in general are almost dissolved. A visit to Gurusina can also be combined with a nice medium-impact hike starting from Bena, which leads through beautiful natural surroundings – including a neat bamboo forest – and passes through the village of Tololela. As it is easy to get lost in the forest, especially after heavy rainfalls that make the small paths hardly visible, it is highly recommended for inexperienced hikers to do this exploration with a local guide. Facilities There are no tourist facilities in Gurusina. The closest city is Bajawa, where you can find various kinds of accommodation, restaurants, and shops. How to get there To get to Gurusina, drive 19km from Bajawa to Bena, pass the village, and continue to the junction of Jerebuu-Watumanu. Just keep going straight southwards, and after about 4km on a little bumpy road, you will reach Gurusina.

Flores, Labuhanbajo, Fishing Village

Flores, Labuhanbajo, Fishing Village

Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !


Labuan Bajo is a fishing town located at the western end of Flores in the Nusa Tenggara region of east Indonesia.

Once a small fishing village, Labuan Bajo (also spelled Labuhanbajo and Labuanbajo) in Flores is now a busy bustling center of tourism.[1] It is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island, home to the famous komodo dragons. Nearby Kanawa and Seraya Islands are a great opportunity to do some diving and snorkeling and every evening at Kalong Island thousands of flying fox bats put on an amazing display.

Within a few hours of Labuan Bajo can be found several waterfalls, trekking and many diverse beaches.

The town is quite small and can easily be traversed on foot (in 10-15 minutes). Ojeks (3,000-5,000 Rp) and bemos pass every 5 minutes if you get tired of walking. You can rent a motorcycle for 75,000 Rp. per day. There are now 4 working ATM’s in the town and the road is paved.

Komodo Airport is located just 2 km from the center of Labuan Bajo and has 4-6 daily flights arriving from Bali. The port has daily ferry departures to Bima and weekly or bi-weekly departures to Denpasar and Sulawesi.

Flores, Lewokluok Ikat Hand Weaving in East of Flores

Flores Lewokluok Ikat Hand Weaving in East of Flores


If you get infected with ‘ikat-passion’ during your Flores trip, Lewokluok is a place that will fill a collector’s heart with awe. Tiny Lamaholot Village is famed for its ikat, or kwatek kinge in the local language. What makes their ikat unique and therefore a sought-after handicraft, are the small, sewn-in seashells, which are collected by the villagers on a shore nearby the village. Kwatek kinge is not an ordinary cloth that is worn every day. Used as part of marriage transactions, it has a ceremonial function, and is of special meaning and value to the Lewokluok people. Kwatek kinge is made out of natural, local ingredients – including the cotton and the dye. Even though there is a local association of weavers called Sanggar Uto Wata, there are not many women left who possess the extensive skill and knowledge that it takes to manufacture kwatek kinge. All these facts considered, the price tag for such an object of desire is accordingly high. Facilities The closest city to Lewokluok is Larantuka, where you can find some accommodation and restaurants. How to get there There is no public transportation that passes through Lewokluok. By car or motorbike it takes about 26km from Larantuka and 114km from Maumere. The road off the Transflores ‘highway’ that leads you to Lewokluok takes another 2km.

Flores, Luba Village, Ngada Tribe

Flores Ngada Tribe Luba Village


Click to Enlarge !


Luba Village (pop: 200 people) was small, quiet and had just a few villagers sitting around. Ricardos referred to them as “Ladanese” ethnicity but even by surfing, spelling “Ladanese” differently, I couldn’t come up with any information. Ngada villages are composed of wooden pile houses with shake roofs that surround a main square. Organization has a lot to do with your clan, and its status in the pecking order. We entered Luba, registered, paid a 10,000 IDR donation and Ricardos got sidetracked by a man making machetes. A long discussion with him until Ricardos placed an order for a machete that wll be hung in his house to ward off evil spirits. I guess Machetes serve more than one function in Flores. Meanwhile, machete maker’s 90-year old mother sat in the shade sorting through her stash of betel nuts in preparation for a fast chew. The Ngada are Roman Catholic, but still cling to animist beliefs: ancestor worship and sacrifice. Family members are buried next to their houses with an occasional bottle of Arak and other libations placed on the graves. Many of the thatched roofs had unusual decorations on top; spears for protection, effigies, and small house replicas. Each had a meaning and was displayed on roofs of the most important clan members. I remember seeing a witch doctor’s house in West Africa with an effigy on top that, supposedly, could see visitors coming, and warn the witch doctor. Houses were decorated with buffalo horns and pig jawbones that showed the family’s prosperity (similar to Toraja-land in Sulawesi). Luba had four male ancestor parasols (ngadhus) in the center square. I’ll refer to them as “totems” for ease. Each belonged to a specific clan and had different rituals associated with them. Before a male totem is built, a baby pig or dog is sacrificed and buried in this spot. The totem is completed and big stones piled around the main post; representing this clan’s generations, male and female descendants. A water buffalo, a symbol of fertility, is then tied between the male ancestor symbol and a wall; its throat cut in a way so blood spatters on the totem; and the ceremony is over. Time to dance, drink Arak and celebrate There were also three female ancestor houses (bhagas) opposite the male ancestor houses that resembled small rice granaries. Unlike the male totems, Female ancestor houses are only built when someone has a vision. The fourth bhaga had fallen apart, and until someone in the clan has a vision, it will not be rebuilt. (The embedded video will tell you everything!) It was only a short walk from Luba downhill to Bena Village.


Flores, Maumere, Fishing Village

Flores, Maumere, Fishing Village

Click to Enlarge !


Click to Enlarge !


Wuring Village

Wuring, a small fishing village, with impressive Mt Egon volcano in the background, is located on the main road about four kilometers west of Maumere. It is home to Bugis and Bajo people who live in traditionally constructed stilt houses. As Wuring was massively hit by the tsunami in 1992, many people moved to the neighboring village of Nangahure. However, Wuring is still their homeland where they carry on their tradition as tenacious Bugis fishermen.

Some of the villagers build boats, but not the big phinisi-schooners which the Buginese people are famed for. Women from nearby inland villages often come to Wuring to sell their agricultural produce for local fresh fish or salted fish which is a popular product in Sikkanese markets. 

The Wuring people are friendly and open to visitors. Taking pictures usually is not a problem to them. The local children are especially fond of guests and are happy to accompany you in high numbers on your stroll through their village

Flores, Moni Village

Flores, Moni Village


Moni is a small settlement at the foot of the volcanic Mount Kelimutu on the island of Flores in Indonesia. It is a good base for a trip to the coloured lakes of the volcano.

Moni can be reached by minibus from Labuanbajo. It is a cramped trip but the scenery is breathtaking. It is also possible to hire a car and guide to take you across the island. Do let us know if you’re interested in it.

To get up to the volcano it is possible to hire a minibus, or you can simply hike. Try taking the bus up and then walking down through the gorgeous villages.

Ikats weaving is one of the most attractive to see in the area of Moni, Take a walk to Jopu villages where you can see how the process of Ikat weaving. Along the routes between Moni and Jopu is the most beautiful view on the area, take walk all the way to Jopu and on the way back take a bus ride from Jopu to Moni.