The 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. 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.
Photo Credit: negerikuindonesia.com
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