Death and Burial Procession in East Sumba

Death and Burial Procession in East Sumba
death and burial procession –

Death is seen from the transition between worldly life and the hereafter and is an important event in one’s journey to true happiness. Therefore burial must be carried out with a special ceremony so that the human spirit is worthy of entering Praimarapu (Heaven).

After the corpse has been stored for even years, large numbers of buffalo and horse cattle are slaughtered (depending on social status) as a funeral accompaniment. The ceremony consists of two stages, first the body is wrapped in layers of cloth and then placed in a wooden box with a diameter of 1.50 cm (in the past it did not use wooden crates, but using dried buffalo skin).

The body is placed in a squatting position (like the position of the fetus in the mother’s womb, which means “New Born”) and then placed in a traditional house while waiting for the next ceremony. The body is guarded by Papanggang / Ata Ngandi (taken servant) who also acts as a mediator with the spirit. The day before the end of the first stage there was a Pahadang ceremony led by Ratu (priest of Marapu).

Before the second stage, the grave had been prepared with a size depending on social status. The stone must be pulled from outside the village, which begins and ends with a special ceremony. The body was carried and paraded in a procession while accompanied by a procession of decorated horses ridden by his servant (Ata Ngandi) to the burial place where the corpse was placed in a megalithic tomb. You can see it in Prailiu, Pau and Praiyawang villages, as well as other traditional villages.

East Sumba Community Traditions

East Sumba Community Traditions
east sumba tradition –

KARAKI NYALI is a traditional ceremony to catch fish and sea worms in Wahang Village, Pinu Pahar Subdistrict in early March, which is marked when the full moon arrives.

REPIT is a traditional ceremony to give thanks for the harvest and ask for prosperity in the future and predict important events that will occur. You can watch this ceremony in Lailara Village, Katala Hamu Lingu District and Tarimbang Village, Tabundung District.

PACUAN KUDA is the Traditional Horse Race Competition at Rihi Eti Field in Prailiu Village, Waingapu City District, you can witness the expertise of the East Sumba boys in riding horses without using a saddle.

Where’s Sumba?

Where’s Sumba?

Recently one of my friends asked me about Sumba. She had a plan of visiting The Land of Kabihu this march 2019, but she told me that she’s going to cancel the plan due to a recent news that she watch. Below is the link that made her change her mind.

When i saw the video, the thing that pop up in my mind was there are still lots of people who misunderstand between “Sumbawa” and “Sumba”. On the left is the map between to different island and province.

As you can see “Sumbawa” is miles away from “Sumba”. Also many said that, “Sumbawa” and “Sumba” both are identical with horses, but have different cultural traditions. So now you now the difference between “Sumba” and “Sumbawa”. Don’t forget to check our other posts if you want to know How to Go to Sumba 

Native of Sumba

Like the proverbial nation of Indonesia: “every field has a type of grasshoppers and every pond has a type of fish“. Each region has its own uniqueness that is disaggregated into a community. The difference is not to dispute, but it is the culture of a nation’s wealth.

Similar with Sumba, which has a wealth of natural beauty and unique culture and exotic. As one of over 300 ethnic groups cultures in Indonesia, Sumba has differences with some places in Indonesia, though having the same geographical groove; Lombok, Sumbawa, Timor, Bali and Flores.




Source: Wikipedia

conformation :

small head, short neck, long, straight back, high-set tail, thin legs

colour :

all colours

height :

13.1 hands (134.62 cm)

uses :

racing, riding

As one of eight Indonesia breeds native, the Sandalwood is named for the sweet-smelling wood that is the principal export of the islands of Sumba and Sumbawa, and it is Lndonesia’s quality riding pony with little of the Mongolian characteristics found in her other breeds. The Dutch imported Arab stallions to Sumatra, the biggest of the Indonesian islands, and selected native mares were sent to the studs, with their resulting offspring dispersed among the other islands to improve existing stock.

Indeed, the Arabian influence is clear in the Sandalwood, in his chiselled, elegant head, deep chest and girth, and good legs and feet. He has also inherited the Arab’s immunity to extreme heat – the Sandalwood hardly ever breaks sweat and his speed and grace.

Swift and agile, the Sandalwood is often used for racing, both on the islands and in Thailand, to which he is a popular export. In Indonesia itself, the pony is raced over distances of 4-5 km (2.5-3 miles), ridden bareback and in the traditional bitless bridle. In Malaysia, Sandalwoods are crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce a bigger, faster equine, also popular in other Southeast Asian countries. But his willingness and kind nature also make the purebred Sandalwood an excellent child’s pony.

Sumba boobook

Conservation status

Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific classification














N. rudolfi

Binomial name

Ninox rudolfi
Meyer, 1882


Sumba Boobook (Ninox rudolfi) | Source: Nolafryar,Flickr

The Sumba boobook (Ninox rudolfi) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. It is endemic to Sumba in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests as like at near in Lewa. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Sumba buttonquail

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific classification














T. everetti

Binomial name

Turnix everetti
Hartert, 1898

Sumba buttonquail (Turnix everetti) | Source: Wikipedia

The Sumba buttonquail (Turnix everetti) is a species of bird in the Turnicidae family. The scientific name commemorates British colonial administrator and zoological collector Alfred Hart Everett.

Distribution and habitat

It is endemic to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, and arable land. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Sumba hornbill

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific classification














R. everetti

Binomial name

Rhyticeros everetti
Rothschild, 1897


Aceros everetti

Sumba Hornbill (Male)

The Sumba hornbill (Rhyticeros everetti) is a large bird in the Bucerotidae, or hornbill family. The scientific name commemorates British colonial administrator and zoological collector Alfred Hart Everett.


1 Description

2 Distribution and habitat

3 Behaviour

4 Status and conservation

5 References


It is a medium-sized, blackish hornbill, approximately 70 cm long. The male is dark reddish-brown on the crown and nape, with a paler neck. The female has entirely black plumage. Both sexes have a large, dull, yellowish bill with a maroon patch at the base, a serrated casque, and an inflatable blue throat.

Distribution and habitat

An Indonesian endemic, the Sumba hornbill inhabits semi-evergreen forests of Sumba in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is uncommon and found in the lowlands at altitudes of up to 950 m (3,120 ft).


The Sumba hornbill is a monogamous species. Its diet consists mainly of fruits.

Status and conservation

Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range, small population size and overhunting in some areas, the Sumba hornbill is assessed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Part of its habitat is protected in the Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park and the Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park.

Cemara Beach Resort

Cemara Beach Resort
Pondok Wisata Pantai Cemara 

Also known as Cemara Beach Resort is located in Purukambera Beach, Mondu – Kanatang. Beyond great savanna and wide blue ocean there’s a hidden gem in the middle of Sumba. 30-45 minutes range from Waingapu. If you travel by airplane from Bali, you will be directed to Umbu Mehang Kunda , East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. This Eco Style Resort offers a lot of facilities. From Diving, Snorkeling, and visiting local village. The service is unbelievable. Not too mention the hotel restaurant El Suba Resto and The Breeze.

El Suba Resto is good for one who wants delicous hotel beverages and food. Most of the menu served is western and Indonesian. But for you who wants local snack with a twist of flavour, bring yourself to visit The Breeze.

Hello world!


Let’s explore The Island of Kabihu!

Why Sumba?

Conventional guidebooks for individuals, backpackers and travellers don’t have more than a few pages for Sumba.

A lot of things are similar as it once had been in Bali.

But Sumba is different, the landscape is rather hilly, sometimes extremely dry and a bit brittle. For me, the people seem more tangible. Perhaps due to their predominantly Christian religion.

Conventional guidebooks for individuals, backpackers and travellers don’t have more than a few pages for Sumba.

Banks and Money
In the main towns, Waingapu and Waikabubak, there are now ATM machines. With credit cards or debit cards you can get cash 24 hours a day. Most you get at BNI, BRI-Banks spit out less and the bank of NTT did not like these ATM cards by mid-2011.

Before leaving one of the two cities, it is important to change the spat-out bills in smaller denominations.

Electricity and Sunday Rest
In Sumba, the day begins with sunrise after 5 o’clock, this is due to the time zones that are more aligned with the central region of Indonesia. With sunset after 17 o’clock one can only hope that there is enough fuel for the generators and people use only a little light. In the evening, you should always carry a flashlight. Either way, after 22 o’clock of the day is over.

On Sunday, there is certainly more than a quarter of the population of Sumba in church, the shops are closed, and you get nothing.

Phone and Mobile Phone
In addition to the Indonesian calling code +62 applies throughout the island of Sumba the code for landlines 0387. Together makes it: +62387.

There are now many villages with satellite phone stations, especially in areas where no mobile phone reception is. The blue signs point the way: “Telkom … Km“. Such a sign does not mean that the technology is actually already in place and functioning.

“Simpati” or  “Kartu As” card is the only mobile phone network that has a relatively good coverage in Sumba. All the other networks do not work. In remote areas, in the mountains and especially in the south also the “Kartu As” card fails. Tip: try to ring up during clouds or high fog at night, the mobile phone reception improves.

Internet and Post
In many sub-districts of Sumba, there are now local Internet centers (Pusat Layanan Internet Kecamatan). You recognize them by the blue signs with a globe and magnifying glass. Such a sign does not mean that the technology is actually already in place and functioning. In Waingapu and Waikabubak you find internet stations near the telephone pylons.

Letters have sent from Sumba to Germany always arrived – vice versa never. A registered letter raises the chance to arrive. If you want to write people in the country, you should ask for an address in the city, there is no reliable postal delivery available in the country. When you see many people waiting in the Kantor Pos, it is probably due to salary and pension payday, then you should just come back next day.

Insects and Illnesses
You get Malaria every few years – that is what have heard often in Sumba. CRM and DTG recommend permanent malaria medication.

The common medicine Malarone is reimbursed by some health insurance companies in Germany. On the Internet and in Asia Malarone is offered but it is often false. If you take Malarone over the extended period, it reduces the number of red blood cells, other side effects are described in the instructions. In no way you should take Malarone for more than 4 weeks.The cheaper alternative is Doxycyclin. This drug has the unfortunate side effect that you become sensitive against sunlight.The PUSKESMAS health centre in Sumba treat malaria with Chloroquin, about which is said, that malaria parasites are resistant.

My recommendation: take Doxycyclin permanently and keep Malarone for emergency cases.

There is no medicine against Dengue Fever. You can recognize the mosquitoes, which can transmit the disease, through the black and white striped legs. Dengue fever is found only in the Southwest part of Sumba. It usually occurs as an epidemic, is not very common and the course is often not critically. While the malaria mosquitoes bite only at night, the dengue mosquitoes bite around the clock.

In any case, you should not rely on the effectiveness of drugs. Be equipped with an insect repellent spray. Antibrumm Forte was the best in the test.
In open accommodation you must sleep with a mosquito net. You must not only bring the net, but also enough rope to tighten it to somewhere.

Head lice are everywhere in the country. You can buy effective remedies everywhere, Sumba has the better stuff. At night a silk sleeping bag with an envelope around the pillow provides protection. Sand fleas are annoying especially in brackish water and river mouths.

Those who travel in such a remote area, must be aware that there may be little help in emergencies. You have to make yourself care.

For medical preparedness a well-stocked first aid kit is needed, which contains everything that you can not get in Sumba. These include: antibiotics for acute cases, antibiotic cream in case of injuries, healing ointment, gastrointestinal agents, anti malaria pills, anti eye irritations, mosquito repellent, painkillers (! No Aspirin), tape for tying, waterproof plaster.

For personal safety and if you track through the country alone, you should note the following:

  • There are many stray dogs that might have rabies and may bite. It is therefore quite common to arm yourself with a stick.
  • In the wetlands and rivers live some alligators. Each year there are several fatal accidents. So do not bathe and walk with a guide through appropriate areas.
  • In the mountains and forests in the south, there are wild boars. Therefore, make often stops and look for droppings and crumpled ground.
  • Snakes are rare. By the way: they live not only on the ground. They usually flee if they sense steps in their environment.

Have heard nothing about crime against tourists. Tourists are rare and sometimes behave different to what the people of Sumba are used to. This is often a cause of misunderstanding. As a guest it is important to develop a sense of what you may do and may do not – especially in terms of Marapu faith.
Things which we bring with us and which are known from the television advertising, surely arouse certain desires. Perhaps we should leave things with famous brand names at home.

People in East Sumba say that there is much more crime in West Sumba. But there are no concrete evidences for this statement. However, in West Sumba, the tone between the people and to stranger’s sounds less friendly, sometimes perhaps too direct, which could be interpreted as aggressive.

Among themselves, however, it is sometimes still quite crude:
There are rural and / or ethnic conflicts. It happens, that people burn houses from the neighbouring district and steal their cattle.
Some steal gold and valuables from grave goods in the megalithic tombs. Supposedly there are Balinese in Sumba who open the graves with car jacks and winches.
Rich Balinese instigate people from Sumba to steal to order, they will steal specifically Megalith statues.

Diving, Snorkelling, Surfing, Cycling
This site sorts the world is not for sports, but here are some tips:

The only dive center in Sumba is in the noble NihiWatu establishment.

For laymen snorkelers should be said: In the north of Sumba the underwater world is not really interesting. In the south the waves are usually too high. However, if the sea is relatively quiet from November to April, the south coast is quite attractive. The marine population is not nearly as varied as in Alor and Flores, but also different and very colourful. You have to be aware of the dangers of waves and currents – on the south coast there is no speedboat that one can come to your aid.

Surfers should be directed to their websites. Smirking as observer of the scene I want to give some comments here:

Kalala : not really extraordinary, the waves are discontinuous
Manggudu : seems to be ideal, closed at the moment
Tarimbang : super-high waves, only for very advanced and far outside
NihiWatu : Sponsored by Quicksilver, whatever that means
Pero : It saw there always a lot of frustrated surfers

Have rarely seen a bicycle tourist travelling in Sumba.

Tour Provider / Nice People

My personal experience is that it does not depend on the name of an organization, with which you do a tour, but on the experience of your guide. Sumba is small, everyone knows someone who has special information, where just something is going on. To accompany tourists is a job that brings a lot of money but also many opportunities for both sides.
(grab from:

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