Sumba, an island in eastern Indonesia, has an area of 11,153Â km2 and a population of around 700,000 people. The largest town in Sumba is the main port of Waingapu, with a population of about 52,755 people.
The landscape is low, limestone hills, rather than the steep volcanoes of many Indonesian islands. There is a dry season from May to November and a rainy season from December to April. In Sumba, Puru Kambera Beach, Tarimbay Bay and Watu Mandorak Cove are some nice places to visit. The most popular resort is the Nihiwatu Resort, which has been ranked as one of the world’s five best eco-hotels.
Sumba has a highly stratified society based onÂ social classes which is especially true of East Sumba, whereas West Sumba is more ethnically and linguistically diverse. The SumbaneseÂ people speak a variety of closely related Austronesian Languages, and have a mixture of Austronesian and Melanesian ancestry.
Sumba is famous for the ikat textiles, particularly very detailed hand-woven ikat, which is prepared on the island. The process of dying and weaving ikatÂ can take months to prepare. Traditional folk houses feature Sumbanese unique megalithic tombs and stunning high roofed hut architecture. Uniquely these skyscrapers are built with the most traditional technique, using materials from nature and all done jointly by the Sumbanese people.
Sumba is one of the few places in the world remains megalithic burials, are used as a ‘living tradition’ to inter prominent individuals when they die. Burial in megaliths is a practice that was used in many parts of the world during the NeolithicÂ and Bronze Ages, but has survived to this day in Sumba.
Another long-lasting tradition, a most attraction for tourists to come for, is the sometimes lethal game calledÂ pasola, in which often several hundred horse-riders fight with spears for the purpose of sacrificing human blood to please the gods, in order to ensure a goodÂ harvest of crops. The pasola is uaually held in middle February.
In short, The Sumba Island is not for everyone who comes here looking for five-star hotels and hot spas. Instead of massive shopping centers and delicious cock tails, there are exquisite handmade dyed woven in the local market, miles and miles of sunny beach alongside with traditional Sumbanese-style houses and simple locals with religious symbols everywhere around you in Sumba.