Doka Village, Home of The Tenun Ikat
Flores Island is not only famous for its spectacular natural beauty, but also for its valuable tradition. If you’re coming to Flores, do visit Doka village in Maumere to witness the making of Flores’s traditional woven fabric called the “Tenun Ikat”. Located in Bola district, Doka Village is just 20 km away from Maumere city. Your journey there will be filled with mesmerizing views or lush, rolling hills, cacao plantations, cashew trees, and many more. Go by motorbike or car; your best bet is to hire a driver who knows the way.
More than just a traditional woven fabric, the Tenun Ikat is extremely important to the people of Flores and is present in almost all cultural events and ceremonies including births, weddings, deaths and other rituals. It is also part of a wedding dowry, usually given by the bride’s family.
It is the women who play an important role in the creation of each Tenun Ikat and in doing so, they continue to preserve a unique and ancient tradition. It is said that in every Flores household, there is one woman who must be able to weave. The women in Doka Village use natural dyes to colour their Tenun Ikat, which are made from fruits. While you’re there, you could purchase a handmade Tenun Ikat to bring home with you for IDR 250,000 to IDR 2 million per piece.
A trip to Doka Village is sure to stay in your hearts and minds for years to come. It has been dubbed one of the best tourism destinations in Flores; the locals are friendly and warm and they welcome visitors with the TuaraTala’u dance, accompanied by music produced from traditional drums and gong. Traditionally, this sort of welcome is reserved only for the warriors returning from a war. In the actual dance, the bravest warrior will be placed on top of a bamboo pole, while others will dance all around him while supporting the bamboo. You’ll see that the dancers are wearing the Tenun Ikat throughout this performance. Visitors are welcomed to join in the dance together with the others. It’s definitely a fun experience!
Visitors will also be served with traditional foods and drinks including the alcoholic Tuak. Do try a small bite and a sip, as it is rude to reject a show of welcome from the local villagers.
Photo: Kompas Travel