Manggarai, a regency in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, is famous for a thousand thatch-roofed customary houses known as Mbaru Niang or Mbaru Wunut. The houses are oval-shaped with the roof material coming from palm leaves.
Manggarai people conduct a sacred ceremony aimed at honoring their ancestors and God [Mori Kraeng] before starting to build a house. After the house is built the community holds a ritual namely Congko Locap – a ceremony to clean up around the newly constructed house. They conduct the ceremony by slaughtering chickens, buffalos, and pigs. A customary village head leads the service.
The pigs are offered to ancestors [Ela Pantek] as the first step of the Congko Lokap ritual, followed by the tribute to wellsprings as a source of life [Barong Wae Tiku] and asking for the ancestors to attend the ritual [Baro Boa]. Manggarai people take two weeks to prepare for the four-day Congko Lokap ritual. [dan]
JP/ Markus Makur