Indonesia // Sumba //

Waikabubak

Surrounded by lush green meadows and forested hills, tiny Waikabubak encloses several kampung with slanting thatched roofs and megalithic stone graves, where life proceeds according to the laws of the spirits. Kampung Tarung, on a hilltop just west of the main street, has some excellent megalithic graves and is regarded as one of the most significant spiritual centres on the island. The ratu (king) of Tarung is responsible for the annual wula padu ceremony, which lasts for a month at the beginning of the Merapu New Year in November. The ceremony commemorates the visiting spirits of important ancestors, who are honoured with animal sacrifices and entertained by singing and dancing. Kampung Praijiang is a fine five-tiered village on a hilltop surrounded by rice paddies, several kilometres east of town. You can catch a bemo to the bottom of the hill. Waikabubak enjoys an extended rainy season lasting well into May, with daily downpours and chilly nights. Most things you need in Waikabubak are either on the main street of Jalan Sudirman, which becomes Jalan Bhayangkara, or not far from it. Ikat traders come from all over the island to Waikabubak’s daily market.

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