The Ngada and Nagekeo People

The Ngada and Nagekeo People

The Ngada and the Nagekeo people can be found in the Ngada and Nagekeo districts in Central Flores. The Ngada people settled around Mount Inerie and the town Bajawa while the Nagekeo people settle around the town Mbay. In the districts, there are a few other ethnolinguistic groups but the Ngada and the Nagekeo communities are by far the biggest ones around.

The most popular villages in the Ngada district are Bena and Wogo. These villages are used to having tourists around. But if you want something quieter, there are still a lot of villages off the beaten track who are more than happy to welcome you. Ngada people call their village a nua, which consists of various houses. Each house is owned by a different clan. Usually, they stand in a parallel line.

To difference between other Florinese communities and the Nagekeo community, is that the Ngada people determine their clans through the maternal line. The children are members of their mother’s clan since the continuity of life is only something that a woman can do. However, the men hold all the power in the public circle, during gatherings and political debates. But at home, it is the woman who is in charge.

The Nagekeo community has based their social organisation on patri-linearity. This means that the woman is required to convert to her husband’s religion when married. However, there are times when a man converts to his spouse’s religion, usually because of economic concerns, for example when the woman is of a higher social status.

Travel tips

  • Spend the night for an authentic experience
  • Bring a local guide to translate for you
  • See the Puta Hot Springs and Tonggo Beach

Photo courtesy: http://www.nusa-tenggara.com/east/bena_traditional_village.php

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