Published/Last edited or updated: 23rd November, 2016
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.
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.
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 hospitable.
Organised through local guide Yuliana Leda Tara (T: (0812) 361 3224; (0822) 3621 6297; firstname.lastname@example.org), we spent the night in the village at the welcoming home of Om Thomas, a unique and special experience that we would highly recommend even during non Pasola time.
Wainyapu is 55 kilometres from Waitabula. Public buses run to Bondokodi, from which you will need to catch an ojek. Private transport from Wainyapu is recommended. Two remarkable natural sights, Watu Malando Beach and Bwanna Beach, are less than 20 kilometres east and would make a good day trip to incorporate with a visit to Wainyapu.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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