November – Sumba Island
Wulla Poddu is an ancient ritual conducted by the Marapu people in Sumba Island. The word Wulla means moon and the word Poddu means bitter and is considered a sacred month for the people of West Sumba. Throughout the month, the villagers are forbidden to conduct certain activities that are considered taboo during this time including hitting a gong, gardening or planting activities, building houses, mourning the death of a friend or a loved one and celebrating, partying or having fun. It’s time for retrospection and reflection of the self. The month begins with placing of offerings, cleaning of ancient artefacts and a gathering of the village elders who will begin the rituals with the slaughtering of 6 chickens provided by various clans. There will be spinning tops competitions, cleansing of entire homes and villages, a holy procession, a communal feast, traditional performances and travels from one village to another on horseback. These ceremonies and rituals last for an entire month. *Photo by portalntt.com.