Best visited all together
Published/Last edited or updated: 21st November, 2016
Prai Ijing, Bondo Marotto and Gollu are three attractive villages built from natural materials and are within reach of each other around three kilometres east of Waikabubak.
Beautiful Prai Ijing village occupies a terraced hillside with a small viewing platform which allows great views over the village and into the valley below. As with many villages, women old and young can be seen weaving on backstrap looms.
At the time of research, the village had a major renovation project underway, with modern toilet blocks with traditional thatch roofs being installed — villagers said it was funded by the World Bank.
About one kilometre northeast, Bondo Marotto and Gollu share the same hill. Bondo Marotto is at the top of the hill and unusually, Gollu is the only traditional village in the area not to be on top of a hill or mountain, and sits flatly at the base.
Bondo Marotto’s houses are positioned in an almost circular arrangement, surrounding a very unusual stone altar-like central area. A couple of stone carved figures — a fleur-de-lys with a human head, and a horse (that looks a bit like a dog) sit amid the sacred objects.
A flat round stone about 30 centimetres in diameter graces the ground in front of this. We were warned not to step on the stone — permail — taboo. When asked why, no one could (or would) explain.
At the bottom of the hill, Gollu village is fenced by a low stone wall. A circular path leads into the small neat village surrounding very interesting large megalithic tombs (that are handy for scrubbing the laundry on). A thatched hut that looks like a mini traditional tall roof, is a place for keeping sacred objects, and only Marapu priests have access.
One everyday object that caught our interest in this village was the pig troughs carved from stone. Some of the houses in this village have buffalo horns on display. Watch out for the cheeky kids here!
Both Bondo Marotto and Gollu are important villages for performing Wulla Poddu rituals and keep a number of sacred objects for this purpose in their possession.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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