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Hidden Asia Pacific Heritage Village

 

Before 2008, this isolated village deep in the woods at a height of 1,100 meters above sea level was not well known. It is the only village in West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara that still has traditional houses called mbaru niang- circular cone-shaped houses.

For the Manggarai people, visiting Wae Rebo is a pilgrimage.

Comprising seven conical houses neatly placed in a circle on a small lawn, Wae Rebo is crafted out of the top end of a giant landscape that begins with jagged peaks at one end that gently roll into a green carpet to the sea at the other end.

The Manggarai people believe that the circle is a symbol of unity. That’s why the village is arranged in a circle, the floors of the houses are circular and the village altar is called kompang (Manggarai for center).

All the materials to build the houses are from the surrounding jungle. Wae Rebo has the only remaining examples of authentic Manggarai houses.

The roofs of the houses are made from alang-alang measuring 10 meters high.

There is a meaning behind each element. For example, all houses must face the kompang. The founders of the village wanted only seven houses. That’s why any new house is built separately from this compound.

Now you can visit the village, stay with the locals in their authentic mbaru niang, and experience their daily life.

The village received UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards in 2012.

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