THE HIDDEN PARADISE IN SMALL SUNDA, SABU ISLAND
Not many people know Sabu Raijua. This district was a division from Kupang Regency in 2008. It consists of three islands, namely Sabu Island (the largest island), Raijua Island and Dana Island. It has six sub-districts, namely Hawu Mehara, Raijua, Central Sabu, Sabu Liae, East Sabu, and the capital of Menia in West Sabu.
Seba is a town in Sabu Barat sub-district, which is the busiest city on the island of Sabu. In the past, the islands of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) were included in the Lesser Sunda province. This district, which is located between Sumba Island and Timor Island, is not as famous as Rote Island, which is the southernmost island of Indonesia. Sabu Island, which is part of the Sabu Raijua Regency, is the second southernmost island after Rote Island.
In some ways Sabu Raijua is very similar to Rote which is also a producer of palm sugar. Sabu Island is nicknamed rai due donahu which means the island that produces palm sugar, because palm sugar is very abundant and famous. The local people call themselves Do Hawu and the island they inhabit as Rai Hawu.
One of the tourist destinations, namely Kelabba Maja won 1st place in the Anugerah Pesona Indonesia (API), the Ministry of Tourism for the Most Popular Hidden Heaven category. This is a remarkable achievement for Sabu Raijua as a new autonomous region.
Several places on the island of Sabu show traces of Megalithic culture, such as the big rock namely Dolmen (pandhusa). Some traditional villages, such as Namata Traditional Village, Kudji Ratu Traditional Village and Pedarro Traditional Village, still maintain traditional rituals using large stones for offerings on certain days, such as the start of the planting season, harvest season, death ceremonies and led by a Deo Rai (leader). custom). Some dolmens are sacred, and if they are violated, the offender will get sick or suffer disaster. To enter the traditional village, visitors must wear woven cloth that can be rented.
Legend has it that the ancestors of the Sabu people came from a very remote place called the bou dakka ti dahi dahi, agati kolo rai ahhu rai panr hu ude kolo robo. That means more or less, their ancestors were from far away. Several relics indicate that Sabu had strong influence from the city of Surat (which is pronounced Hura), Gujarat, India. It is written on the woven cloth in the form of a patola with Indian patterns, temple images and the use of gold colored threads.
According to folklore, the King of Majapahit and his wife had stopped at Ketita, Raijua Island and Sabu Island. The trail is marked with a memorial stone called Wowadu Maja and the Maja well in Daihuli near Ketita. There are also two villages, Tana Jawa and Molie, which are inhabited by Sabu people of Javanese descent. These traces of India and Majapahit reinforce the suspicion of ancient Trans-Asiatic trade networks in the Nusa Tenggara region.
The Portuguese and the VOC who were eyeing sandalwood in the eastern region had also stopped on this island. At that time the King of Sabu was bound by an agreement agreed upon in 1756 to provide power for the defense of the VOC in Kupang. Captain James Cook, who was the discoverer of the Australian continent, was once stranded and received logistical assistance from the king and the inhabitants of Sabu for the HM Bark Endeavor ship.
Not far from Kelabba Maja, there is also the Hu Penyoro Wea natural destination in Dainao Village. This destination is located in the sea, so it can only be visited at low tide. According to speakers of the Sabu civilization, Hu Penyoro Wea is believed to be the residence of the first human Sabu named Kika Ga.
Apart from the destinations mentioned above, there are still many other destinations in Sabu Raijua, such as Lede Maja, Bukit Snow, Lie Madira Cave which has very beautiful interiors and clear pools. There is also Napae Beach in West Sabu. Ege Fortress and Batu Gong.
As explained above, apart from several traditional villages, in Sabu Raijua there is also the Teni Hawu Palace, a legacy of the last king, King Paulus Charles Djawa. In the palace there are documents and tools used by the king to unite the Sabu people. The palace is well preserved and some of the rooms are rented out for tourists.
Its nature and culture fascinates many tourists
Almost all parts of Sabu Raijua still show their original character, including the friendliness of its people. Although most of them live far from being well off, the people of Sabu Raijua are happy, empathetic and tolerant, helpful and full of family spirit. The friendliness of the Sabu community exceeds the tribes in other NTT areas.
One form of familiarity is the typical Sabu greeting, namely kissing the nose, which is called henge-dho. By renting a car and staying overnight in Seba, tourists can enjoy several destinations that are very different from other regions. The most famous is Kelabba Madja which is located in Raerobo village, Sabu Liae sub-district. Some parts of the road to the destination are damaged and winding. But when we arrive at the location, we will be amazed at this destination.
Kelabba Maja in Sabu means 'place of the gods' is a beautiful sacred place. If counted, there are 29 levels of pillars there. It is in the form of a carved canyon from thousands of years of erosion and colored in gradations of maroon, pink, brown, and gray. There are pink stone pillars with a peak shaped like a mushroom in dark red, making it very beautiful. If we go there at certain hours, the color gradations will change to blue and white which often fascinates tourists.
Some people liken it to the Grand Canyon which is located in Arizona, United States (US). The Grand Canyon is a cliff that has been eroded by the Colorado River for millions of years and reflects a very beautiful color. Kelabba Maja is not that big but its beauty amazes many people. Kelabba Maja is also often confused with Zhangye Danxia in China, but it is more similar to the Painted Hills in Oregon, USA.
Nothing wrong with the Kemenpar team choosing him to get a tourism award. Kelabba Maja has three rows of dolmen depicting father, mother and child. Every July at full moon, the people of Kelanalalu hamlet, Wadu Medi Village perform a ritual for the Maja Gods as an offering for safety and fertility.
Besides slaughtering goats or red chickens, other offerings are also available in the form of sorghum and green beans. If we enter there, we cannot say dirty words or curse. Visitors are also not allowed to climb to the top of the dolmen because it is considered a sacred area.
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