The Lamaholot people live in Eastern Flores in an area reaching from the mainland of the Flores Timur district to the islands of Solor, Adonara, and Lembata. Lamaholot is more of a language than an ethnic group. The linguistic boundaries do not exactly correspond to the political borders, and the Lamaholot people do not consider themselves to be a cultural unity. However, the name ‘Lamaholot’ has been recently applied to the ethnic group as they share many common cultural elements – e.g. the widespread practice of the use of elephant tusks as a part of marriage prestige.

Another widely shared element of Lamaholot culture used to be its distinct system of ritual leadership, where four ritual leaders also shared governing power: the kepala koten (kepala means ‘head’ in Indonesian) was in control of internal village affairs. The kepala kelen took care of the external affairs. The other two positions, hurit (also hurin or hurint ) and marang, had advisory functions, while other influential village elders ensured that none of these leaders got too powerful.

As is common place in many parts of Eastern Indonesia, the Lamaholot people also used to recognize a double-gendered divine being, consisting of ‘Lera Wulan’ (sun-moon) and its female complement, ‘Tana Ekan’. Nowadays, the male Lera Wulan is associated with the Christian or Muslim notion of God. According to the traditional Lamaholot belief system, lesser spirits, called nitu, inhabit treetops, large stones, springs, and holes in the ground. Also worthy of mentioned are Ile Woka, the god of the mountains, and Hari Botan, the god of the sea.

Besides prominent ceremonies and festivals associated with house building, agricultural happenings, and other events, the Lamaholot people also hold celebrations on the beach in connection with the beginning of the annual fishing cycle.

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  • December, 2016
    Reba usually lasts for three days full of ceremonies and ritual activities which involve huge amounts of food crops and livestock that had been collected in advance. It focuses on the legend of the
  • December, 2016
    Get deeply Flores during Flores tour where locals beliefs based on deity (gods), ancestors spirit which their life relies to the nature, have own rituals and ceremonies which are deeply spiritual,
  • December 25, 2016
    If by any chance you happen to be in Sikka Village at Christmas, you may witness a lasting example of Portuguese influence in the church: Toja Bobu, a dance-drama which was brought to Sikka by the
  • November, 2016
    Penti is one of the major ceremonies in the Manggarai district. It is a thanksgiving celebration for the past year’s harvest and an expression of hope for a prosperous, new agricultural year. The