Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trip to Nias, Witness The Unique of Heritage and Culture

Mr. Hikayat, The Leader of War Dance.

November, 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the island Nias, along with a team of Sony and National Geographic Indonesia. Free trips as prizes from Sony Photo contest 2011 entitled "Cultural Nias Passage". I was lucky won category students, while the general category was won by Hasan Tribuana who later became my partner in crime while in Nias. First Day, departing from Denpasar in the morning, then joined with team from Sony Indonesia and NatGeo Indonesia in Jakarta, and then we went to Polonia Airport, Medan. Arriving at mMedan me and group met with Hasan, from there we had to go again to the Binaka airport in Gunung Sitoli, Nias. Journey from Medan to Gunung Sitoli felt soo long, along the way just blue sea seen from above, describes how far Nias Island and Sumatera.

After a few hours in the air we finally landed at Binaka Airport, a small airport located at Gunung Sitoli a small  'city' in Nias. There we were picked up by several local guide who will accompany us for 4 days in Nias, the first destination  is Nias Heritage Museum. In this museum there are many art and cultural heritage of Nias. There are also some megaliths Stone Sculpture supposedly hundreds of years old. Inside the museum taking photograph is prohibited, little disappointed but we must respect the local rules and regulations. After being around and knowing the history in Nias Heritage Museum, we were driven to the first inn in Miga beach.
Arround The Museum.
The Museum Buildings.
Poster outside Museum.
Serenity in Miga Beach.
Avoid behaviors that destroy the forest.
The 2nd day, we were getting ready at 5 am, the destination today is  Bawomataluo Village, to see  'War Dance' and 'Hombo Batu' Tradition.  Before I just saw "Hombo Batu" in money 1000 rupiah (edition 1992) and now the opportunity to see it directly, so excited!. Bawomataluo which means Hill of the Sun, The Village is located in District Fanayama, South Nias. Ya'ahowu!,  greeting by Mr. Ariston Manao, the head of Bawomataluo village then we taken to meet Mr. Hikayat, elders in Bawomataluo and the leader in war dance. He was wearing in Nias traditional costume, we were welcome to come in and take pictures in the house while he still drees up. It was a hundred of men  also been prepared dressed as warrior with Mr. Hikayat command they cheering and dancing at the village yard. There are also some women who wear traditional dress to participate in the dance. After that, they prepared 'Hombo Batu' (Jumping The Stone), is a tradition that is carried out by a young man in Nias to show that he had been appropriate considered to be adult and mature physically. According to the story, this tradition was originally only as a way to test the mental and physical man Nias. In addition, any man in the war previously required to pass the ritual of Hombo Batu. And most important for the Nias man, if they can not do this tradition, they should not propose a girl. This is because, for those who do not successfully jump over the stone is considered not worthy to marry. Besides the War Dance and Hombo Stone, they also presented Feta Batu' (Music from the stone) performed by Mr. Hikayat and friends. Stones obtained from nature being hit with sticks turned out to produce wonderful music, Very Unique!

Relax before War Dance.
The War Dance, lead by Mr. Hikayat.
Army of Nias.
Unique Costume.
Nias Women.
Old man warrior.
Hombo Batu, The icon of Nias.
Feta Batu, wonderful Music from the stone.
After presented with tradition and arts, we were hosted to lunch by Mr. Hikayat at his home, at the table presented traditional Nias named 'Babae' like porridge made from mashed peanuts and coconut served with rice cooked in a clay oven. After our lunch me and Hasan walk around the village, we had 'surrounded' by children who sell souvenirs of their own and we also bought a few souvenirs they offer besides as a gift, we also help give them an income. It was late afternoon of Bawomataluo it is time we said goodbye and headed to the second Homestay Sorake Beach which is famous for its surfing spots. beautiful beachside lodge with light breeze, plus a great seafood dinner!. But, that night we slept a little disturbed because there are neighbors are hold a wedding and turn the music very, very loud, enough to make us not able to sleep until 2 am.

Babae, you better taste it! 
Another unique war costume, made from iron sheeting.
My friend Hasan, Buy 'em all!!
The Craftsmen.
Surf in Sorake.
Third day, the journey will continue to the village Hiliamaetaniha, South Nias. Along the way there that caught my attention, that there are grave almost every yard or next to people's houses here, do not know what that purpose, but someone mentioned, it purpose graves of their families are not dismantled by others. Reached the Hiliamaetaniha we toured arround here and then went on to ' Tetegewo Site Megalith '. This megalith Site has been preserved by the local people for many years, to get to the site we had to pass through the bushes and jungle so need a local guide to lead us to the right way.
Sitting in front of the house, Hiliamaetahniha village.
Man at the window.
Just dry it on the rooftop.
Hiliamaetaniha Traditional House.
Grandma smile at the window.
Build the bridge, connecting place.

The Guard of Tetegewo.
Nias Kids, love to pose.

That was my trip to Nias, short trip but really precious to witness the unique of culture and heritage of this island. Hopefully I can go there again.

***Text & Photos by Haryadi Wijaya***


  1. Crazy! amazing trip my friend! I really admire you honesty ;)

    1. beh gaya gen ci mank...bhsa bali je anggo..

  2. ka. itu alat musik nias ada lagi ga selain feta batu?