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Getting more Marapu Sacred Ritual

Getting more Marapu Sacred Ritual
Welcome to Marapu land”. That is the expresion that always be said by the people of Sumba Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur to the tourists who visit there.

The word Marapu does not mean arid, the natural conditions that always to be the opinion of the people to Sumba. Marapu is origin religion of almost the people of Sumba.

The preservation trust is kept until now. It can be seen from the increasing number of the tourists who visit West Sumba Province.

When you visit the Marapau people at the first time, it looks the difference when saying the greet.

Usually, the greet motion expressing by shake hand or embrace, but they express their greet by kissing nose. Something that makes the face be red for everybody who never did this.

Marapu can be interpreted as a trust for their ancestral spirits ability to connect the human with God. Almost the people of Sumba believe that their ancestral who was passed away can comunicate with God.

Because of their supernatural power, their ancestral spirits to be the mediator between the human and God. The Marapu adherent said their wishes to God through their ancestrals spirits using the ritual ceremony.

The Marapu adherent commonly lived together at traditional village. The existance of Marapu traditional village easily find at Sumba island. They commonly lived at lowland or the hill that far from hilarity center.


Unique Shelter of Marapu Adherent

At traditional village, the village chief stay at stilt house with thatched roofs and wooden floored. There are two kinds of house there, big house called Uma Kalada and common house called Ana Uma

Uma Kalada is the first house that built by their ancestral at a traditional village. That house is habited by the the descendant of ancestors

In a traditional village there are more than one Uma Kalada. Big houses are habited by Kabisu or the desceandant of ancestors who had its customary land.


The sagamore at traditional village called Rato. He lived with his wife and his children at Uma Kalada.

While Ana Uma is a house provides for other Marapu adherents. Although it is not a big house but Ana Uma has the same shape and size with Uma Kalada.

The houses at traditional village stand aligned around a courtyard. At this courtyard, the Marapu adherent able to celebrate the traditional ceremony or the religion ritual at the certain moment.

The place to do the rituala called Natara Podu. There is a dance, some inscriptions like chicken and then all the villagers also give inscriptions and they will get their prevision when they do the ritual.

The custom house of Marapu adherent has special architecture. Beside with thatched roofs and wooden floored, the custom house also stands on four big bars in it.

The existance of four big bars have reasons. Yuliana Leda Tara, the wife of Lado Regi Tera said that four big bars is a family symbol on Sumba’s people.

 “Four big bars are symbol of father, son, daughter and mother. Those four big bars show that the foundation must be have of each family at Sumba.


The Religious Rituals

The Marapu adherent has religious diverse rituals. Two big interesting rituals are Wulla Poddu and Pasola.

Wulla Poddu is the holy month  for Marapu adherent. At that month, there are some prohibitions or “pamali” that must be obyed by the Marapu adherent.

On Wulla Poddu the people there are prohibited to build the house, celebrate the party, if there is a person passes away it is also prohibited to hit howl or mourned, they also prohibited to make a love with their couple, may not to repair their house especially the roof.


Also at this month, the Marapu adherent also must do fasting from consuming pig and dog. They just allow to consume vegetables, chicken and rice.

The second big religious ritual there is Pasola. Customary war peace is the meaning of Pasola.

When they celebrate Pasola, each tribe there will do war by using horse and wooden javelin. They will face head to head and throw their wooden javelin to their “rivals”.

Although it looks so terribble, but actually Pasola to be the moment for them to strengthen Kabisu relation among the people of Marapu. This ritual usually done on the beginning of planting season each years.

The Marapu adherent also has own way to celebrate the wedding.

Based on the tradition there that they passed on from generation to generation, “seserahan” or “belise” must be given from the groom’s family  to the bride’s family. The belise that must be given must be the valuabe thing or it must be expensive things.

The groom’s family usually be requested to give belise tens until hundreds cattles like horse or buffalo. This “Seserahan”  must be brought in front of the bride’s family when application ceremony celebrate.

“Although polynomial, but the groom can do it gradually. Usually, the groom’s family only brings half or twenty animals first, marmule (the special jewerly from Sumba), and the upaid can be repaid free on along his life time” Rato Toda Lero said, one of the tribal chief at Bondomaroto Traditional Village.


The “application” usually done one day before the wedding. After belise is gave, the day after that, the wedding is done at the bride house.

When the wedding is hold, the groom’s family and the bride’s family prepare the mouthpiece. Mouthpiece is the witnesses who should be mediator or giving explanation if someday there is aquarrel on their housewifery.

"After the customary legitimate, the wife should immediately come to the husband’s house,"

Hubungi Kami

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