Get the lowdown on the tall roofs
Published/Last edited or updated: 18th May, 2016
The centre’s core purpose is to preserve the culture of Sumba, and through donations they have so far helped locals build 78 traditional houses. The cultural centre was begun by Father Robert Ramone of the Catholic Redemptorist order, who among other talents is a keen photographer. Packs of postcards and a coffee-table book of Sumba he produced are on sale at the centre. Father Robert was away when we visited, however another very well informed priest, Father Matius (T: (0813) 9142 3294) showed us around the small but interesting collection.
The museum is built in the style of a traditional Sumbanese house and surrounding grounds are dotted with Marapu stone carvings. Among other artefacts, the collection includes ikat, stone and wood carvings, traditional jewellery, and a handful of everyday items. Not much is labelled, and the collection is more interesting accompanied by one of the scholarly priests.
Entry to the museum is by donation, and no photography is permitted inside. The centre is well worth a short stop on your way to Pero or the Kodi region, or you can stay here — the centre offers comfortable bungalow-style accommodation. Rumah Budaya Sumba is three kilometres west from the centre of Waitabula.
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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