WAEREBO TRADITIONAL ADAT VILLAGE IN MANGGARAI

 WAEREBO

Waerebo is a
traditional adat village situated in the highland of Manggarai. The people of Waerebo
have kept their traditions  intact ever
since their ancestors decided to settle in the area. It is belived that
their  ancestor, Empo Maro, came from
Minangkabau, on the western part of the island of Sumatra. Empo Maro and
members of his family sailed through the ocean and  landed in Labuan Bajo, Flores. They continued
their journey northwards until they came to a place called Waraloka . according
to the local  lore told by Waerebo
elders, Empo Maro then moved from one village another, starting from
Waraloka  to Nangapa’ang then to Popo,
Liho,  Modo, Golo Ponto, Ndara living
ever since

It is said that Empo
Maro decided to settle in Waerebo as he received a divine message to move to
anotherplace in the east. His descendants have kept their village intact to
this day.” Neka hemong kuning agu kalo” is a saying by which the people of
Waerebo live, meaning that. Waerebo is their unforgettable land of birth and
inheritance the people of Waerebo are not tempted to move to choose to stay in
their highland village and maintain their culture and tradition. Since 2008,
Waerebo has seen efforst of revitalisation in their village and more specifically
to their adat house ,with the help of organisations such as Rumah Asu
foundation and Tirto Utomo foundation. The locals did all the reconstruction
process, ensuring that the sanctity and the originality of the traditional adat
house are preseverd, while simultaneously educating their young how to maintain
their culture the hard work paid off.on 27 Agustus 2012 UNESCO gave to the
people of Waerebo the Award of Excellence in UNESCO Asia Pacifik Award For
Cultural Heritage Conservation the highest award in the field of cultural
heritage conservation.

Tourism In Waerebo

Waerebo
is  one of traditional adat villages with authentic characteristic
in the distric of Manggarai. The dayli lives of the people there with their
unique traditions and well preserved ancestral objects,as well as the beautiful
nature around the villege, from the main assets for tourism development there.
The people of Waerebo have started to record visits to their village since  1994.A visit by a japanese photographer,
Matsuda Shuikhi, was the first in the record. In 1997, a British
anthropologist,Catherine Allerton, came to the vilage and began writing about
Waerebo. Since then,Waerebo started to receive more international tourists.
This made a local Martinus Anggo[aka Martin] came up with the idea  for the people to get more in come from
tourism. Initialy the villagers resisted the idea . As time wentby
,however,they started to realise how tourism could bring benefits to the
village.  Sice 2000, a guide from Labuan
Bajo , Aboysius B. Liuk , started to take international tourists to Waerebo .
in 2005 Anita Vorhoeven, who manages sunda trail tourism bureau in Lombok
also,srated to promote Waerebo and in yhe following year she took Martin to the
regional ecotourism workshop in Mataram, where she introducetd him to the
actors in the field, such as Ary S.Suhandi from indonesia   Ecotourism Network[Idecon] and the frenchman
Jean Marie Bompard, who would later ,in 2008, promote Waerebo in his book, The
Natural Guide To Bali ,Lombok, Flores , Sumba , Sumbawa .

 In 2007, Ary cam back to Waerebo with Jeanine
Pfeiffer from Eethnobotanical  Conservation Organization for South East Asia
[ECO SEA] , who had previously assisted the people of tado in the establishment
of Waerebo Tourism Agency[LPW] and the collaboration between the people of
Waerebo and tado to document natural and cultural resources in Waerebo. The Waerebo
community welcomrd the founding of LPW as this helped them to develop
community  based ecotourism that is  evironmentally friendly and conserves the
culture, while at the same time creating better livelihood from them. To follow
this up , the people of Waerebo visited tado to learn about  the process of resource identification and
data collection and ecoding. Eventually,in 2007, the Waerebo community adopted
Ary and Jeanine as one of them,and from thenon , every time the two visited the
village , it would be like coming home  Tourism development in Waerebo  continued on. At the end of 2007 , Ary and
Jeanine met Koen Mayers,UNESCO 
representative in jakarta to infrom him about Waerebo. As a follow  up to the meeting UNESCO collaborated with
the  NGO burung indonesia to assist
Waerebo in establishing practices of service excellence in tourism. The UNESCO
program also resulted in a stand alone insert in the national Geographic
Travellers Indonesia in December 2008 with articles about the Mbeliling forest
and the culture of Waerebo on a national level. To further srengthen the
development of tourism in Waerebo, in 2008 Ary and Jeanine met the
representative of swiss Contact, Thomas Ulrich, who was also the chairman of
the project of West Manggarai Ecotourism development Swis Contact then invited
tour guides and tourism agnecies from labuan bajo to visit Tado and Waerebo to
promote the two villages ,, in 2008, Yori Antar and sereval other Jakarta based
architects visited Waerebo. They weretruly impressed with the village and
expressed their commitment to help reconstruct and  conserve the 
heritage houses in Waerebo, specially the mbaru niang house that
started to crumble with  age Yori invited
Martinus Anggo and Fransiskus Mudir to jakarta ro disscus about the revitalisation
of the traditional adat  house of
Waerebo. The people of Waerebo asked indecon’s Ary S. Suhandiand ECO SEA ‘s Ida
Farida  to be take part in the meeting ,
which resulted in an agreement for the revitalisation  of the adat 
house in Waerebo and that the whole process would be documented Yori
Antar would be responsible to coordinate the effort , and  the rebuilding 
of the house  would be conducted
by the locals, following the traditions and rituals of Waerebo. Tirto Utomo
Foundation, led by Mrs Tirto Utomo became Yori Antar’s main partner in the
effort the first stage of the 
revitalisation effort was a success. One traditional niang house had
been rebult and the publication of the book

Pesan dari
Waerebo:kelahiran Arsitektur Nusantara, Sebuah Pelajaran dari Masalalu untuk
Masa depan..[“ A Message from Waerebo: The Birth of the Arcitecture of
Nusantara, Message From the Past For the Future”], Written by Yori Antar, was
an important turning point in spearding the news further about Waerebo. Yori Antar
then held a fund raising event to rebuild the other six niang house, to make  sure
that there would again be seven niang houses in the village. The event resulted
in the commitment by Danone Group, ex Minister of state Enterprises Laksamana
Sukardi and  the businessman Arifin
Panigoro to donate  funds to rebuild the niang 
houses  as well as kitchen and
bathroom facilities for travellers. In a subsequent meeting facilitated also by
yori Antar , Mrs Oktiniwati Ulfa Dariah. Wife of the ex Coordinating Minister
for the Economy Hatta Rajasa, heard about these success stories. She then helped
build a’ learning house’ for the children of Waerebo. The Indonesian Ministry
of education also took part in an effort at the end of 2013 to renovate the
main niang house there is , however,
still one remaining plan that has not been brought about, which is to build a
micro hydro power plant in the village.

Publications
on Waerebo , whether in the print media 
or the  electronic media managed
to catch people’s attention. Promotions done by tour guides  in Labuan Bajo, Bali and Lombok also
contributed to the increase in the number of foreign visitors to the village.
The number of travelers coming to Waerebo increased dramatically from 425
people in 2015. The innovative indigenous Flores Ecotourism for Sustainable
Trade [ INFEST] Project has taken place in Flores from 2013 to 2016. Waerebo
has been one of the project’s beneficaries. INFEST builds the local capacity in
tourism , strengthens local tourism organisations and facilitates the community
to develop travel plans and packages. Promotional events are also held under
the project, in collaboration with local travel agents