East Nusa Tenggara Islands- Bali Film Production Support Services
ALOR AND LEMBATA ISLAND - Alor and Lembata Islands are the least visited and are therefore the most unspoiled regions of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Trek to the rim of Pantar volcano, visit the traditional whaling village on Lembata or dive the straits of Alor at a dive destination rated by all to be amongst the best in the world.
Alor Island regency is the least visited and therefore the most unspoiled region of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT). Trek to the rim of a volcano on Pantar or dive the straits of Alor and Pantar in a dive destination rated by all to be amongst the best in the world. Ponder on the existence of the Moko drums, which are not found in large numbers anywhere else in Indonesia and can be traced back to the Dongson period in Vietnam around 350 BC and you start to realize that Alor is truly a land lost in time.
Alor diving is known as the best in the world With its smoldering Volcanoes reaching down into crystal clear waters fringed with pristine coral reefs, coconut fringed pure white sandy beaches and traditional villages built half way up mountains, the scenery is as spectacular above as it is below the waterline. Alor Island is so mountainous that it is almost impossible to pass from one side to the other and many of the villages on the island itself can only transport themselves via small wooden ferries. The eight distinct dialects and more than 50 sub-dialects spoken today, testifies to the diversity on Alor.
Alor traditional culture has been influenced over the ages by the Indian, Chinese and Javanese traders as well as by the Islamic and Christian religions. This can be seen in the silk thread woven into the original weavings and the mix of Mosques and Christian churches dotted throughout the Island. The traditional dances, Ikat weavings motifs and the varies architectural style greatly from area to area. With more than a dozen traditional villages within one hours drive from the capital Kalabahi - Alor is a cultural tourists heaven.
Lembata Island is known throughout the world as the home of traditional whaling but what is not known is that the people of this Island are especially rich in cultural tradition. The beautiful rich Ikat weavings are entirely made from homegrown cotton, spun and dyed by the weaver. These cloths are still important as they are exchanged during marriage for Ivory tusks between the two families. The scenery throughout the Island is breathtaking, from the ever-imposing "Ile Ape" volcano of the palm fringed bays to the colorful bustling local markets - beauty and excitement are everywhere.
Lamalera village located on the southern tip of Lembata Island is the home of a traditional whale hunting community. Here, Sperm Whales have been hunted for centuries using all hand made equipment; their spears, rope and boats are all made in the village. The boats are without motors and the harpooner must jump from the boat to implant his harpoon in to the whale to ensure success. All parts of the whale are either consumed or traded with other Islanders for corn or other food. While whale hunting is not generally condoned by modern societies, when consider the ancestral links, the primitive equipment used and the importance to the people of Lamalera it is understandable that this traditional hunting has been sanctioned by the United Nations.
DANA ISLAND - Dana is also called Nieuw Eiland and Hokki, the latter not known to the local people. Dana is a small, uninhabited island, situated thirty kilometers Southwest of Rai Jua. The rocky, south side of the island is exposed to deep ocean swells originating in the Southern Ocean, five thousands kilometers away. Sheep and goats are to be seen on the island. However, Savu and Rai Jua people do not go to Dana, except for the annual ritual ceremony. According to Savunese tradition, no one is allowed to visit Dana for any other purpose.
Savunese believe that when they die, their spirit reside on Dana. They also believe that it is important to respect the space of others in order to maintain harmony in life. Since Dana is considered to be the space for the spirit of their love ones who passed away, it is considered disrespectful for westerners to visit the island. However, cruise ships and surf charters regularly visit Dana, without consultation with the Rai Jua elders, who are responsible for preserving the tradition.
FLORES ISLAND - Flores, a long island located between Sumbawa and Timor, is strewn with volcanoes in a mountain chain dividing it into several regions with distinctive languages and traditions, scenic beauty, good beaches, and natural wonders. The name is Portuguese for "flower", as the Portuguese were the first Europeans to colonize East Nusa Tenggara.
Occupying a unique position at the junction of the Australian and Asian submarine ridges, between the two distinct fauna regions marked by the Wallace Line, here is one of the world's most dynamic marine environments with nearly every species of coral and tropical fish represented. Predominantly Catholic, there are several examples of its Portuguese cultural heritage like the Easter Procession held in Larantuka, and the royal regalia of the former king in Maumere.
Flores Island, 6,627 sq mi (17,164 sq km), of Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Flores is heavily wooded, rugged, and mountainous, rising to 7,872 ft (2,399 m). The inhabitants are predominantly Christian, mainly Roman Catholic; those in the west are chiefly Malayans, and those in the east are Papuans. Corn and coconuts are grown. Ende (1990 pop. 48,966) is the chief town and port.
Among the prehistoric inhabitants of the island were small-proportioned humans (classified as Homo floresiensis in 2004) that may have evolved from Homo erectus and lived on Flores as recently as 13,000 years ago. Some scientists, however, believe that remains are those of micro cephalic modern humans who also suffered from dwarfism. Much later under the rule of Sulawesi princes, Flores came under Dutch influence c.1618. The Dutch gradually gained control of the island, although Portugal held the eastern end until 1851 and the natives were not completely subjugated until 1907.
Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an Island arc with an estimated area of 14,300-km_ extending east from Java island of Indonesia. The largest town is Maumere. Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and Alor archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba strait, is Sumba and to the north, beyond Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.
Administration - Flores is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into five regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.
Geography - Flores has several active and dormant volcanoes, including Egon, Ilimuda, Leroboleng, and Lewotobi.
Flora and fauna - The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild. The Flores giant rat is also endemic to the Island. In September 2004, at Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, Paleoanthropologist discovered skeletons of a previously unknown hominid species. Homo floresiensis, affectionately termed hobbits after the small characters in the Lord of the Rings, appear to be miniaturized versions of Homo erectus standing about one meter tall. They may have existed until as recently as 11.000 BC. Local reports of elf people, the Ebu Gogo, or the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, have caused speculation that Flores man may have survived into the historical period, or even to the present. The discovery has been published in the October 28, 2004, issue of Nature magazine. Flores was also a habitat of the extinct Stegodon dwarf elephant until approximately 18,000 years ago.
Culture - There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight lingistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngada, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha.
Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language and culture.
Flores is almost all Catholic and represents one of the "religious borders" created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia. In other places in Indonesia, such as in Maluku and Sulawesi, the divide is more rigid and has been the source of bloody sectarian clashes.
KOMODO ISLAND - A small island of 280 square km, Komodo is located between Sumbawa and Flores islands. It is famous for its giant lizards, considered the last of their kind remaining in the world today, the Komodo dragon. Called "ora" by the local people, Komodo "Dragon" (Varanus Komodoensis) is actually a giant monitor lizard. Growing up to 3 to 4 meters in length, its ancestors roamed the earth up to about half a million years ago. Komodo live on goats, deer, and even the carcasses of its own kind. The only human population on the island is at the fishing village called Komodo who supplement their income-breeding goats, which are used to feed the lizards. The Komodo had protected by the law and although they are considered harmless, it is advisable to keep them at a distance. Komodo Island is now a nature reserve, home to a number of rare bird species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards as well.
To see the lizards in the daytime, baits have to be set in the hinterland where local guides are necessary. The sea surrounding the island offers vistas of sea life, crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches. The only accommodation available is in simple guesthouses in the fishing village. It is advisable to carry food supplies. The best time to visit the island is between March and June, and between October and December. Komodo is accessible from the sea only. Fly to Labuan Bajo, from where it is about 3-4 hours by boat to the island.
KUPANG CITY - The provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara in western Timor has proximately 522.944 inhabitants, making it the largest urban center in the province. It is the center of government, business, trade, and education. 'The only sandalwood oil factory in Indonesia is located in this town. The city is located in West Timor, at 10011'S 123035'E, and has a population of about 450,000.
As the capital of East Nusa Tenggara, the transport and administrative links from Kupang with isolated islands are extensive. The location was an important port and trading point during the Portuguese and Dutch colonial eras. There are ruins and remnant signs of the colonial presence in the city. The city was an important landing and refueling place for early long distance airplane flights between Europe and Australia in the early twentieth century. It was an important location during the conflict in East Timor, for the Indonesian military, as well as the militias. The camps around Kupang were also of significant impact on the city.
Kupang was the final destination of Captain William Bligh (actually he was a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy) who was set adrift in an open boat during the Mutiny on the Bounty.
The Mutiny on the Bounty (1789) took place about 30 nautical miles (56 km) from Tofua. Lt William Bligh navigated the overcrowded 23-foot (7 m) open launch on an epic 41-day voyage first to Tofua and then Kupang City is equipped only with a sextant and a pocket watch -- no charts or compass. He recorded the distance as 3,618 nautical miles (6710 km). He passed through the difficult Torres Strait along the way and landed on June 14. The only casualty of his voyage was a crewman named James Norton who was stoned to death by the natives of Tofua, the first island they tried to land on. First Mate Fletcher Christian who fell in love with a Tahitian native and eventually settled on Pitcairn Island South East of Tahiti, had led the Mutiny.
RAI JUA ISLAND - Kolo Uju (Udju) is a village where ritual ceremonies are held. It is located in Lede Unu of Rai Jua District, Maja well is located in Lede Unu village of Rai Jua district. It is located about 5 km from the subdistrict capital. The well is an archeological remnant of Majapahit Kingdom. Rai Jua Beach is located I km from the main town. It is a white sandy beach for snorkeling and swimming.
SAVU ISLAND - Savu is dry for large parts of the year, due to hot winds blowing from the Australian continent. Most rain falls during the months from November to March. Between 82% & 94% of all rainfalls during the west monsoon, with little or no rain falling for the months of August to October. The mean annual rainfall for Savu Island is 1019 mm. During the dry season, the islands' streams dry up, so the islanders depend on wells for their water supply. The land is covered for the most part by grassland and palms. Coral reef and sandy beaches fringe the three islands.
Namata - Namata is located in Western Savu. Namata is a traditional village where the ritual ceremonies are frequently held. There are megalithic stones and traditional houses. It is located in the Rai Lolo village, 3 km from the capital city of Heb'a (Seba) in western Savu district. There is a stone carving of a four mast tall ship. Though the writing beneath has faded, villagers say the Portuguese drew it in 1684.
SUMBA ISLAND - Sumba, formerly known as the Sandalwood Island, is known foe its horses and Sumba clothe. Sandalwood was the only known cure for many diseases until penicillin was invented. The Sumbanese traded with the Chinese until the 16th century, after which the Arabs became the most important trading partner until the early 20th century. The island is famous for its arts and handicrafts, particularly the textile "ikat" weaving. Sumba, however, is not for everyone. Neither the food nor accommodations are up to international standards. But if we are willing to make a little effort we can see an authentic, ancient culture with none of the layers of Hinduism or Islam mostly found elsewhere in the country.
The island has a small population and a dry tropical climate. In total Sumba have more hours of sunshine than any other place in Indonesia. The land resembles Southern Africa or Australia, with scattered small villages and herds of cattle and buffalo Sumba is off the beaten track. Transport system and roads are infrequently used. Most hotels in main towns are simple, only catering for the adventurous. However, CNN etc. are available for those wishing to stay in touch with the outside world. Beaches are long and clean. Water is clear and abundant in fish, and there is great surf.
The island is roughly oval in shape. The greatest concentration of those who worship sprits (ancestral and those of the land) is found in West Sumba where two-thirds of the population holds on their traditional belief. It is here where incredible rituals take place, the "pasola" where hundreds of horsemen fling spears at each other. The government allows the ritual to take place, but the spears must be blunt. Although some exist in East Sumba, it is in West Sumba that one can find a greater number of huge megalithic tombs and traditional thatched and peaked huts raise on stilts.
Many traditional activities, all with a part paying homage to the spirits, take place in the month of July through October. These include the building of "adapt" houses and burials when sometimes hundreds of pigs, water buffaloes, horses, and dogs are sacrificed. Other ceremonies include the "pajura" or traditional boxing, the festivals for lunar New Year in October and November, and August 17, Independence Day, horse races and ritual dances.
WEST TIMOR - West Timor is the principal island in terms of population where the capital of the province, Kupang, is located. Kupang is now being developed to be the gate- way to Nusa Tenggara. There are direct flights from /to Darwin-Australia. West Timor is rich in various cultures, beautiful sceneries, and a wonderful nature. Made up of dry, rocky land, isolated communities, rolling cattle land, a variety of styles of architecture, Timor is basically something that possesses its own original characteristics.
West Timor is a political region that comprises the western half of Tomir Island with the exception of Oecussi-Ambeno district (which is politically part of East Timor) and forms a part of Indonesia province of East Nusa Tenggara, (NTT or Nusa TenggaraTimur). West Timor's capital and chief port is Kupang. The land area of West Timor is 15,850 km. During the colonial period it was known as Dutch Timor and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949).
Rote Island, the southernmost island of Indonesia, is just to the southwest of West Timor. Three native languages belonging of Carbonic Stock of the Austronesian group of languages are spoken in West Timor, the others in East Timor. These languages are Ndaonese, Rotinese, and Helong.
History - European colonization of Timor started in the 16th century. Although Portuguese claimed the island of Timor in 1520, the Dutch (in Dutch East India Company) settled West Timor in 1640, forcing the Portuguese out to East Timor. The subsequent collapse of the company meant that in 1799 the area returned to official Dutch rule. Finally, in 1914 a treaty between Holland and Portugal that was originally signed in 1859 and modified in 1893 finalized border between East and West Timor.
Japan conquered the island as part of World War II in early 1942. August 17, 1945 saw Indonesian Independence declared, just three days after the Japanese surrender. The Dutch returned but faced a war with republican guerrillas, the eventual outcome of which was the proclamation of Republic of Indonesia in 1950, which made West Timor a part of East Nusa Tenggara.Demographics - West Timor has approximately 1.6 million inhabitants. The population is mostly of Malay, Papuan or Polynesian extraction, with a tiny ethnic Chinese group. About half of the population belongs to Atoni ethnicity. West Timor's main religions are Catholic (56%), Protestant (35%) and Muslim (8%)
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