Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pasola, Battle Of The Savannah

Pasola is a unique tradition of Sumbanese people of Sumba Island - Indonesia, the island that covered by large savannahs. This Island lies on the east of Lombok, to get to this island you can take a plane from Denpasar-Bali which serves daily flightsto Waingapu East Sumba, but the schedule oftenly change due to the limited number of aircrafts.

Pasola is an ancient ritual of war festival. Two groups of Sumbanese men gather in a savanna riding their colourful decorated horses and carrying wooden spears. As the war begins they would spur their horses towards the other group and throwing their wooden spears at them. This ritual sometimes cause bad injuries or even death, but there is no animosity in Pasola or after the war is over even if it causes death. The people believe if there is death in Pasola it means that the victim is punished by the gods because he has done some mistakes.

Pasola, battle of the Savannah is held at the end of February or early March every year, Pasola is actually the end of a ritual series held by the Sumbanese. This series of ritual begins during the full moon the people will wait for the “Nyale” to come out, Nyale is a unique sea warm which believed to be the incarnation of the beautiful princes. As the first nyale found the “Rato” (leader of the tribe) will decide to held the ritual, without the appearance of the nyale Pasola will never be held. Those series of rituals are meant to bring prosperity to the people and hope to get a good harvest.

* If you wish to visit Indonesia, please go to Indonesia travel tips page.

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