Manggarai: Life in The Land of Abundance

Beautiful looking village

What an Amazing World!

Amid the woods just outside the town of Ruteng in western Flores, a village was hidden from plain sight where dirt trails provided the sole telltale of a settlement behind the trees. Children were playing at the village entrance as we drew closer and walked down a path leading to the central courtyard with an elevated circular ground on which a dadap tree (Erythrina variegata) grew. Two large traditional houses stood across the point where we entered the village, capped by conical roofs made from alang-alang – dried reed.

We were at Ruteng Pu’u, the oldest village in the area and the forerunner of the modern-day Ruteng.

A closer inspection to one of the traditional houses revealed typical scenes of a Florenese village: dried coffee beans spread out on a tampah – wide basket made from dried bamboo – in front of the…

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