Waerebo Primitive and Traditional Village of Manggarai
Impressive panorama with vast mountainous surrounding dominated by cool temperature will be among the feeling for those who visit the village. It is located at 1200 meters above the sea level with refreshing atmosphere which requiring challenging efforts of trekking to the village though the densely populated forest. Often portrayed by its traditional Manggaraian house of Mbaru Niang houses, which are round and windowless, with a central hearth and a ridge pole sticking out from a conical, thatched roof sloping down to the floor. The forest before wae rebo is also offers adventure of birding as well since the village’s philosophy of calendar is inspired from the dwelling birds.to identify the changing season.
Agricultural products are grown such coffee and vanillas. The village signifies the only remaining authentic character of Manggaraian traditional house throughout West Flores. Some stories of how the unique kampong has been defending its community from the current modernization were the bargaining position of outsiders influence on culture tourism and the local’s livelihood. The people claimed that the village is already 1080 years old counted from the current existing 18th generation by multiplied the average age of 60 years per generation.
other stop over toward to the village are Mules island 20 minutes from Dintor by boat, Information center Wae Rebo,it can be also combined with the visit to Wae Rebo’s relative; Todo Village. Experiencing the livelihood of noble and simple inhabitants of Wae Rebo. Located in Satarlenda village, Satarmese Barat sub-district, Manggarai,
Kampung Wae Rebo is a village at Flores, Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur (the east side of Bali). The first tourist came from Czech Republic and no local tourist till 2009, which was only 3 years ago (I felt a bit funny because foreigners even knew this place earlier then us).
It’s placed between two mountains, and what makes it unique is there are 7 traditional houses made from wood, all with a rope-bundle construction (they don’t even use any single nail!), 8 metres height and contained of 5 floors with a cone shape. There are approximately 800 people live there, each house is fit by 8 families without electricity, signal, or television. The people of Wae Rebo make their houses themselves, all with very natural sources from the jungle.
For example, they cut a very heavy Worok Wood from the jungle, and bring it together (approximately 50 people) and sing a traditional song that is believed could make the wood feels more light (they believe that the soul of their dead ancestors help them to carry the wood). For the roof, they use ‘anyaman – ilalang’, the wild grass that is bundled together.
They use a drying method, which is cooking inside the house with woods and use the smoke of the fire to dryen the grass. The more often they cook, the stronger roof they get.
The original culture is also very interesting. One of them is the traditional ceremony to celebrate the new house. They cut the neck of 2 white chickens and 1 red chicken. In their believe, they send the fur of white chicken to God, and red chicken to the ancestors. They have to cut the white chicken on the very top of the house, which can be climbed by a bamboo stair from the middle of the house, and make the blood touch the ‘Bongkok Pilar’, which is the very central pilar of the house. After that, the elder people of Wae Rebo sing their ancient song, then burn the chicken while they still half alive! After the chicken has burnt, the elder people have the duty to check the colon of the chicken. If it makes a clear rounding shape, it has a good sign, and vice versa. From 5 days living there, I’ve seen 9 chickens cut and 3 pigs killed for the ceremony.
The main occupation of them is farmer. Even it seems hard (they need to go for 4 hours walking down and climbing the mountain just to sell their coffee or vegetable at the nearest market in other village). The closest school is also 4 hours walking passing the jungle, mountains and river. For women, most of older women have the skill to ‘menenun’ or sew which is make a cloth from string that they bought from traditional market. It takes 1 till 3 months to finish one cloth which can be sold up to Rp. 500.000 (around USD 50). From the interview, they started learning to sew the cloth as soon as they finished the elementary school
The locals in Wae Rebo already provides a new traditional guest house included standard toilet for the guests called “Niang Maro” all the guests can stay there properly like locals sleep on mats made from pandanus leavess which circle extends around the main pillars.
Local agreement think out decisions cost for visitor:
Entrance in Wae Rebo Village Rp.225.000/pax/night. Price include entrance fee (for local government), donation to Wae Rebo village, guest house, lunch, dinner, breakfast.
Tourists who don’t want to stay overnight in village will be charged Rp.100 000/pax. Price include entrance fee (for local government), donation to Wae Rebo village and lunch.
For the safety reasons during climbing Poco Roko mount forest from Denge village to the top and down to Wae Rebo village, all tourists should follow the locals as porter and guides. Porter cost is about Rp.150000, per person go and back (return to the Denge).
Crossing from Denge – Wae Rebo – Nandong village (The village behind mountain close to Flores main road) the porter cost is about Rp.200 000 per one porter.
If tourists want to see traditional singing cost about Rp.200.000 per one-time showing. The traditional singing called “Mbata” music accompanied by gong and drum.
Visitors should be maintain decorum when you stay with local community in Wae Rebo village, should not be embrace or kissing even though the husband and wife. When you want to replace the clothes should be in a special room that has been prepared.
Located in Satarlenda village, Satarmese Barat sub-district, Manggarai
83,7 km from Ruteng (2.5-3hours) sincluding trekking from Dintor to Wae Rebo (6,6km/± 4 hours). From Nangalili beach (from Labuan Bajo direction) by boat takes 2 hours