Tear Sheet : Magnificent Landscape
SUMBA ISLAND ENCHANTS WITH ITS NATURAL LANDSCAPE AND REMARKABLE PASOLA FESTIVAL.
Sumba island’s landscapes look like Africa in Indonesia, with vast savannas home to wild horses, complemented with a beautiful arrangement of natural rocks. The Sumbanese call the savanna Tana Humba, a place suitable for breeding horses. Horses have always been used in traditional ceremonies; the horses are not only a means of transportation but also are a symbol of wealth and status for the Sumbanese. They see horses as a vessel for their ancestors and every time a horse neighs on the savanna, it is thought their ancestors are riding the horse. A horse is also used as a gift given to a bride in a marriage.
One of the best displays of the relationship of the Sumbanese with their horses is the Pasola festival. It is a chance for men to showcase their skills in riding the Sumbanese horse in battle. Pasola is also a spiritual ritual, for it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors will ask the gods to give them good harvest. The blood shed on the battle- eld will make the soil more fertile for the coming harvest.
Before the festival starts, the elders and priests hold a ceremony to determine when they will start the festival. Next the elders will go to the beach to catch some beach worms that they will cook for a feast called the Nyale ceremony. While exploring the southern part of the island, it is clear that this is an island of spirits. In each town and village there are o erings for the spirits, including sacred megalithic altars and stone graves in the heart of each village. These bring meaning and a de nition of life for the Sumbanese. Every rustling of grass in the savanna and neighing of wild horses will linger in your mind, enticing you to return to the island.