Travel Tips in west sumba
Pasola, a war game tournament played by two groups of selected Sumbanese men from different clans or tribes by throwing wooden spears to the opponent while riding a decorated selected horse. The word Pasola is derived from the world Sola or Hola meaning a kind of a long wooden stick used as a spear to fling each other by two opponent groups of horsemen. It is a game that requires a high skill at horse riding and spear throwing skill. It is usually end up in a bloody game when the wooden spear hit the bare flesh of the participant.
This game is played to celebrate the rice planting season every year in February and March. The ceremony occurs during February in Lamboya and Kodi and during March in Gaura and Wanukaka. The precise date of the event is decided by Rato during the wula podu (the month of pasola the fasting month).
The main activity starts several days after the full-moon and coincides with the yearly arrival to the shore of strange and multihued sea worms - nyale. In the Wanukaka region, as part of the ritual, early in the morning the marapu priests and their entourage go the beach to perform a prayer. They sacrifice a black cock to the gods and check the heart of the cock to read the signs from the gods on whether to proceed with the pasola. They descend to the sea afterwards to collect the colorful sea worm as part of the ritual, then proceed to the area where the game will be played.
In the Sumbanese ancient beliefs, blood have close relation to the activity in agriculture field, therefore any bloodshed is considered the symbol of prosperity that must exist. Without blood Pasola means nothing to them. Those who die in the pasola arena are believed to have broken the law of tradition during the fasting month. Pasola that always takes risks, however, is accepted by the people in a very hospitable way and sportive.
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