Photo: ti’i ka ebu nusi ceremony in Belaraghi | Flores | Indonesia Fernando and William are preparing the chicken for the ti’i ka ebu nusi ceremony, which means ‘give food to the ancestors.’ We’re in the sao one, the most sacred part of a traditional Ngada house.
I went on a little expedition to Kampung Belaraghi, a fairy tale village, but then for real!
This town is hard to find and requires some motorbiking and hiking to get there, but it’s so worth it! Belaraghi is in the Ngada region of Flores where ancient belief systems, ceremonies, traditional building structures are still part of everyday life.
After enjoying a corn and coffee by candlelight appetizer, a ceremony was prepared to introduce Willem (the local guide), David (the other traveler) and I, to the ancestors of Belaraghi, to ask for their blessings and to keep evil spirits away. In the ceremony, a chicken was sacrificed, and from the intestines the future of our travels was predicted (positive! ;)). We shared a (chicken) meal and arak (the local booze). There is no electricity. Little candles make the atmosphere. After gazing at the most bright stars and milkyway, I fall a sleep with the sounds of nature. With the sounds of killing a snake and roosters I woke up. That’s part of going local in Flores. Maria, our house host made us a delicious breakfast from papaya and banana flowers. Then we’re off, back to the noisy world.
I hope this village and its traditions continue to exist for many many more years! The people are so happy and healthy. 80 year old women just climb into their houses like a kid climbs a tree. Materialism and stress seem non-existent. It’s all so pure.
How to go to Belaraghi?
William Doi is the about only local guide that can take you there. He speaks the local dialect, knows all about the Ngada culture and local flora and fauna. A home-stay in Belaraghi can be combined with a trekking and/or visits to other villages, hotsprings, beaches and waterfall. Meet up with William to discuss the possibilities. You can contact him through his website, at firstname.lastname@example.org and +6285239043771. He makes sure this number keeps working.