Manggarai’s Spectacular Traditional Dance of Sanggu Alu

The next time you’re in Manggarai or Ende district of Flores, you might just be lucky enough to witness the traditional dance of Sanggu Alu, also known as the Tari Tongkat – when literally translated means, Walking Stick Dance. This dance is a form of celebration for a season of great farming and good harvest. Watch the video below to see this fun and fascinating dance for yourself!

The Sanggu Alu or the Rangkuk Alu dance originated from a traditional game where participants would jump in between the moving bamboo sticks while performing a dance and singing. These movements and chants are then combined with traditional music that is unique to each district. In the old days, this dance is performed during every full moon, usually by teenagers and youngsters. We’ve learned that each district in Flores has its own version of this dance and each with its own different name. Depending on the occasion, the dance can be simple or elaborate, with the participants donning pretty traditional uniforms with varying numbers of accompanying dancers.

The people of Flores represents its stunning cultural diversity; with a population of 1,831,000 (2010), the population, as is the island, is split into eight regencies from west to east, each with its own unique language, dialects and capital cities. Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur as well as their capitals Ruteng, Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, Larantuka and Lewoleba, recognizes Bahasa Indonesia as the official language, however everyday conversations in Flores are still carried out in local languages and dialects.

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Rediscover Hidden Paradise

Flores Plus Magazine’s weekly newsletter is filled with important and interesting bite-sized information on everything you’d need to know about Flores and its surrounding islands, both above and underwater, from the Komodo National Park to the Komodo Dragons, Mount Kelimutu to the Drum Houses in Ende, spiderweb rice fields, pink beaches and thundering waterfalls to fascinating ceremonies, myths, traditions and village lives of the local people. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.

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