Local traditions

The Tana ’Ai community is situated in the district of Sikka. Every once in one, five, seven or twenty years, they celebrate the ritual of Gren Mahe. The ritual expresses respect and gratitude over mother earth (Ina Tian Tana) and over father sky (Ama Lero Wulan Reta) as is usually held every few years, depending on the urgency and economic situation of Tana ‘Ai. The leaders of the community will ask permission from their ancestors to guide the people through important decisions through the ritual of Gren Mahe. The ritual is celebrated in several villages with slightly different variations therefore the length of the ritual can differ but can last up to seven days.

In the Ngada and Nagekeo districts, traditional boxing, Sabi, is a famous cultural attraction which has been practiced for generations. Unlike the Gren Mahe ritual, this attraction moves from village to village periodically. The opponents, usually two men, practice in an open field earing the traditional sarong. Around them a noisy crowd is gathered to cheer them. When blood spills it means the harvests will be good next year. The fights are symbolic of great bonds between the villages and to facilitate communication.

Photo courtesy:http://www.imgrum.org/user/florestourism/1584300677

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