Etu Ceremonial Boxing

June-July 2019 – Tutubhada Village

Don’t miss out on the chance to witness one of Ngada and Nagekeo’s most well-preserved ceremonial events, Etu Traditional Boxing is also known as Sagi Traditional Boxing. A sacred ritual practised for centuries, Etu or Sagi involves two men dressed in traditional sarong beating on each other with eccentric boxing gloves made of bamboo called the Kepo while the other hand is left unwrapped to defend from blows. Usually held in an open arena in the centre of the village, the rules dictate the fight will end when one of the fighters has fallen or has shed blood, which is a sign of good harvest to come. This form of ceremonial boxing is held to show gratitude to the Gods and the ancestors. It is forbidden for the fighters to harbour feelings of vengeance or anger or to fight outside of the arena as this is believed to bring bad luck. Women are involved in the fight as part of a musical troop to serenade the fighters after every round while officials and ceremonial leaders act as referees and ceremonial guardsmen. *Photo by Flores Tourism


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