Sumba is located in the east portion of Lesser Sunda Islands which forms East Nusa Tenggara province along with Flores and Sumbawa. The size of Sumba is twice the size of Bali island but the population is considerably small. At the 2010 census, there are only 656, 259 people inhabiting the island who mostly claim to be Protestants. They, however, still pay homage to their indigenous Merapu belief meaning they also believe in spiritual forces.
The island is undoubtedly the best kept secret within Nusa Tenggara province. As the land of Merapu belief, thrilling traditional rituals can be easily encountered throughout Sumba. Wedding ceremony and funeral ceremony are all unique, but the most distinctive one is Pasola. The ritual which aims at fertilizing the upcoming crop seems seriously violent. During the ritual, two groups of people from mountain and the coast are engaged in spear war while riding horses. They won’t stop except there is blood on the arena.
“Sumba’s landscape contrasts sharply with that of Indonesia which is generally dominated by volcanoes and lush forests. Instead, it bears more resemblance to that of the mainland Africa which is mainly covered by savanna and limestone hills.”
Behind its dry land and scorching weather, Sumba surprisingly boasts countless hidden natural beauties. Exploring this island, you will be fascinated by untouched white sandy beaches and savanna with cattle (especially buffaloes and Sandalwood horses) grazing freely. Visit the countryside and you’ll find megalithic traditional villages everywhere.
Here are the most recommended places of interest in Sumba you must explore: