PASOLA JOUSTING FESTIVAL, Sumba, East Nusatenggara

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 · Posted in , ,

This is a most exciting Jousting Festival where opposing teams run into each other on horseback, saddle-less, throwing blunt spears - called hola - to each other to unseat or hurt their opponents or horses. Fallen men or horses may not be attacked, but any blood flowing is believed to fertilize the soil and benefit the next harvest.

Held in several villages, but on 25 March this year in the village of Wanokaka, West Sumba, this is a rare opportunity for visitors to watch this traditional mock battle. The tournament forms part of the traditional Marapu belief on Sumba, where the Pasola forms an inseparable part of the annual ritual, held in conjunction with the arrival of seaworms on the shores of Sumba, which normally occurs in February and March.  

Once better known as the Sandalwood Island, Sumba in the province of East Nusatenggara, - adjoining the islands of Komodo and Flores, - breeds some of Indonesia’s best horses. The Sumba horses are a cross between Arabian and local horses, and are therefore larger than the neighbouring Sumbawa horses.

There are daily flights from Bali to Waingapu in East Sumba and Tambolaka in West Sumba on alternate days. The island can also be reached from Maumere on Flores, on similarly alternating days between the two towns.

After due checks, the following areas and villages on Sumba have now confirmed organizing the Pasola in February and March, these are : in the Kodi area on 24th, 26th, and 27th, of February; at Wanakola on 25 March, and at Waingapu on the 26th. March  

For more information on the Pasola Festival follow this link:  and to attend the Pasola Festival click:

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