The people of Lembata Island in East Flores recently celebrated the annual Uyelewun Cultural Festival from the 17-19 October 2019 – Uyelewun being the name of a sacred and tallest mountain in the region. The festivities took place in Benihading Village 1, Buyasuri District within the Kedang region of Lembata.
Both visitors and residents came together amidst a colourful presentation of cultural performances, exhibitions, entertainment and local cuisine. There were also traditional games including Huang Kote, Behuq Ehuq and Ai Nokel. It was a wonderful occasion that brought together hundreds of residents from 42 surrounding villages as well as visitors to this otherwise quiet and serene paradise island in East Flores.
The festival was officiated and closed by the Regent of Lembata, Eliaser Yentji Sunur, along with government officials, officials of Lembata and NTT whom, in addition to attending the festival, also toured the surrounding villages located at the foot of Mount Uyelewun. They were well received by the locals, who cheered at their arrival and performed various traditional dances in honour of the Regent and the officials.
During the closing ceremony, the people of Lembata performed an ancient ritual called the “Peluk Gunung” dance, which translates to “Hugging The Mountain” or Hamang Kapung Ili in the local language. The ritual was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to the island to witness and explore the traditional rites of the Kedang people who inhabit the area around Mount Uyelewun.
Photo courtesy of: Kupang.Tribunnews.com