Photo: Wainyapu Village.

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Wainyapu Village

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Wainyapu is not a mere village, it’s a traditional metropolis — the largest number of houses of any we visited — 47 was a number bandied about. What neighbouring Ratenggaro does for tall, Wainyapu does for vast. Like its neighbour, Wainyapu is situated on a sweep of golden sand on the far southwest of Sumba.

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The coastal location is crucial for hunting the nyale sea worms. a part of the Pasola ceremony that takes place each year in March. Wainyapu’s Pasola field is adjacent to the village, and most of the year lies empty bar a few grazing livestock.

A classic village skyline. Photo taken in or around Wainyapu Village, Waitabula, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

A classic village skyline. Photo: Sally Arnold

Within the village, houses are arranged into clan groups of five to seven, surrounding cluster upon cluster of large slab tombs. Ancient cultural traditions are maintained — the Marapu beliefs are strong even though some of the villagers may appear to have embraced Western dress. We visited Wainyapu for Pasola, so things were a little more hectic than at regular times. Walking into such a large village filled with crowds was bordering on intimidating, however folk were warm and ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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