Photo: Ratenggaro Village.

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Ratenggaro Village

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Sumba, you’ve outdone yourself. Ratenggaro village has some of the craziest, most exaggerated Brobdingnagian rooftops in the whole of Sumba — the locals told us they reach up to 25 metres tall.

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With its superb coastal location and reasonably good road infrastructure, Ratenggaro is one of the more commonly visited villages in Sumba. However don’t that let put you off, as it’s rather spectacular, and there was still not another tourist in sight when we stopped by.

Plenty of attic space. Photo taken in or around Ratenggaro Village, Waitabula, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Plenty of attic space. Photo: Sally Arnold

Villagers do take advantage of the “invasion”, and we were offered handicrafts to buy, mostly small wooden carvings. The prices are good and there is little hassle. As with other villages in Sumba, the reason for the tall roofs is to honour the Marapu, the ancestor spirits.

Look up! Photo taken in or around Ratenggaro Village, Waitabula, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Look up! Photo: Sally Arnold

Their story is that like many other villages we visited: Ratenggaro was razed by fire and had government assistance to rebuild. The plan was to create a “tourist attraction” by making their roofs the tallest in Sumba. Regardless that it may be purposely manufactured, its marvellously impressive and the villages here treat their houses as any other village — it’s not ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)


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