Tear Sheet : Magnificent Landscape of Sumba
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.