From Blue Stone beach, we continue another few hours of car ride to reach Boawae village which sits at the foot of the Ebulobo volcano.
The traditional houses in this village are called Sa’o Waja. Out of a few traditional house, one stood out clearly and we later learned that this house stored one of the most impressive gigantic buffalo horns that were keep almost a few hundred years. These are evidence that animals are growing smaller and smaller over the years, as the huge size of the buffalos head is beyond what we see in this current century.
Another area where villagers store their heirlooms and archaeological objects is a little open hut called the heda. We spotted more buffalo horns and some old wooden cravings. Underneath the heda, there is a wooden statue of a horse called Ja Heda, which for residents of Boawae symbolizes power.
Every June, this village will organise a traditional boxing game called etu. The boxing game, which is an icon of cultural tourism in the Nagekeo regency, is understood as an expression of gratitude and respect for mother earth. Historically, a ritual was expressed in the form of blood offerings from animals or humans but now, the ritual has evolved into a form of boxing where two young men fight to prove their manhood.
Next we continue to one of the most impressive and beautiful village in the Ngada district called Bena village. This is also my favourite village so far. It sits just 16km from Bajawa at the foot of Mount Inerie, is the most famous and also most visited village in the Ngada district.
The village is divided into two rows of traditional, high thatch-roofed houses. In the centre of the village are a pair of shrines namely ngadhu and bhag – one for each clan of the village – representing the clan’s ancestors.
The ngadhu is an umbrella-like pole embodying the male ancestor of a clan. The trunk is decorated with carvings and is topped with a warrior-like little figure. The ngadhu symbolizes fierceness and virility.
The bhaga is the female ancestral clan shrine. It is a smaller hut with a thatched roof that resembles a smaller version of a traditional house. It symbolizes the sanctuary of the house and the female body.
Another distinct feature of Ngada culture, are the megalithic alter in the village center, which Bena village offers an impressive sample. Megaliths are built to connect with the supernatural realm and to communicate with the ancestors, often by animal sacrifice. Additionally, in the centre of the village there will be a area with a massive pile of flat stones, called lenggi, representing a court where the different clans of the village settle their legal disputes.
The houses in Bena often are decorated with skulls and horns of water buffaloes and pig jaws which were sacrificed at different ceremonies, as well as a different small figurine at the roof of the house representing the statue of the house.
At the back of the village, right up the flight of steps showcase the beautiful view of the mountains surrounding Bena village and I managed to caught this beautiful sunset. I was alone when I took this photo and that moment was magically. I felt like I’m in another beautiful planet, out of this world, where only peace and beauty resides. This beautiful moment last only a few minutes when a group of tourist interrupted the silence with the scream of awe in view of the beautiful sunset.
We ended our long day of sight seeing in Bena village hot spring just 10 minutes walk away. It was a really warm welcome to our tired legs which are trapped on long hours car journey the entire day. It was total night fall when we finally reached our accommodation in Bajawa to retire for the night.
Wearing: Spell Design dress
(shop Spell Design here),
Zara denim shorts,
Forever 21 sandals.
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