Traditional Village of Takpala in Alor Island, East Nusatenggara
Posted on 7 August 2012
Takpala Village is a traditional village inhabited by Abui ethnic group. It is located in highland of Lembur Barat Village, Alor Tengah Utara District, Alor Regency. Abui ethnic group are the largest ethnic group in Alor Island. They also used to be called Tak Abui means “big mountain”. These local inhabitants still strictly practice the tradition and culture.
The word “takpala” derived from the word “tak” means “barrier” and the word “pala” means “wood”. Therefore, Takpala can be described as “a wooden barrier”, but some would prefer to describe it as “a wooden bludgeon (beater)”. The village of Takpala firstly known by European tourists since a Dutch tourist named Ferry exhibited his photographs capturing the life of local people of Takpala in 1973. He also made some of those photographs a calendar while promoting a primitive life in Alor Island.
A group of Abui men are posing wearing traditional clothing equipped with the instruments for a dance performance. A gong and a brass drum called moko are significant music instruments to accompany the traditional rhyme in a dance performance.
Here is a nice snapshot of a warlord of Abuy. He looks quite fierce, but apparently he is a hospitable person.
The wooden carving as a souvenir made by the local of Takpala; it is identically carved as the real Takpala man. This kind of wooden statue costs (starting from) IDR100,000.
Here is lines of traditional woven fabrics from Takpala Village which are various in colors and motifs. The fabric is made from cotton thread and natural dyes; it usually takes more than 1 month long to produce or weave a single fabric. The price might be a little expensive but this beautifully woven fabric is worth that cost.
The traditional dance, Lego-lego, is performed by about 20 Abui people who join hands in a circular. They performed the dance by moving around three composite stones called mesbah (altar)—a sacred stone for the people in Alor. The dancers wear traditional clothing; they also wear a brass bracelet with a jingling sound on their ankles.
Tarina is one of interesting dancing attractions one can enjoy while visiting the traditional village of Takpala. Paying attention to their moves and hearing the solemn chant of the traditional song, one may be amazed and moved.
The Abui people are posing in front of a traditional house. In Takpala Village, there are dozens of fine pyramid-roofed traditional houses of this kind called lopo. The traditional house looks so simple yet beautiful. There are two kinds of lopo, namely kolwat and kanuruat. Kolwat is a house open for public; anyone can enter the house including children and women. Meanwhile, kanuruat is only accessible for certain people.
The view of Takalela Beach taken from the highland of Takpala Village. Living in a landscape of hill and beach, Abui people are mostly working as farmers or fishermen.
Here are the local women of Abui ethnic group in Takpala Village. They are so welcome and hospitable to the tourists. They usually work in the farm in midday; some may weave the fabric while chewing the betel nut. That is why their lips and teeth are mostly red due to the betel.
Here is a look of a charismatic man known as a headman of Abui tribe in Takpala Village. He eagerly posed for us showing his traditional spear and arrow.
One may find this nameplate of the Village of Takpala before one enters the traditional village. The village of Takpala is indeed appointed as a traditional tourism village in Alor Island since 1983.
The locals are selling souvenirs made traditionally using (mostly) natural materials. There are many kinds of souvenir there: woven fabric, carving, traditional weapons for hunting, accessories, fruits, and even traditional diving equipment.