Wae Rebo is a small and isolated village in the district of Manggarai; it was built by a man called Empu Maro in the traditional Mbaru Niang style about 100 years ago. All the inhabitants are decedents of Empu Maro which makes him their main ancestor. The village is located around 1.100 meters above sea level and therefore has beautiful panoramic views surrounded by mountains and forests.
The main characteristics are their unique houses called Mbaru Niang; the shape is conical and tall and covered from top to bottom with lontar thatch. The reason this village is so special is that it apparently is the only village left that was built in this particular style, it appears that these houses were once common but now are almost phased out.
Each of the houses consist of fives levels all with different purposes and names. The first level is called lutur where the family lives, eats and sleeps. The second level is where the food and goods are being kept and is called lobo. On the next level, the third, the seeds for the next harvest are being stored and is called lentar. The fourth level is called lemparae and this is where the food is being kept in case of draught. The fifth level is the most important and is called hekangkode which is their most sacred place and is being used to make offerings to their ancestors.
Within the village there is one special house, the ceremonial house, here the community gathers for special rituals and ceremonies. In this house the sacred drums and gongs are being stored. Although people here are Catholic, most still adhere to old beliefs. The traditional village of Wae Rebo has received the Top Award of Excellence from UNESCO!
Photo courtesy: http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/point-of-interest/wae-rebo-village
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