Flores Island is a small island from more than a thousand island in Indonesia. Flores island is the lesser of Sunda island, come into East of Nusa Tenggara Province with 14.300 km² total area and the population are 1,831,000 cencus 2010. Flores know as Nusa Nipa ( Snake island ) because the shape looks like snake. Changed by Portuguese S. M. Cabot as “ copa de flores” that means “flower”. On 1636 Hendrik Brouwer change this island to be Flores Island.
There are 9 regencies in this island, West Manggarai, Manggarai, East Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Nagekeo, Sikka, East Flores and Lembata regency.
Flores Island Ethnic :
– Manggarai – Riung ( Manggarai, Pae, Mbay, Rajang and Mbaen )
– Ngada – Lio ( Rongga, Maung, Ngada, Nage, Keo, Palue, Ende and Lio )
– Mukang ( Sikka, Krowe, Mukang and Muhang )
– Lamaholot (West Lamaholot, East Lamaholot and Central Lamaholot )
– Kedang ( southern part of Lembata island )
Flores island language
There are many language in Flores island, some of regency, subdistrict has different language. Indonesia language is national language. English is important language as international language in tourism industry. Manggrai language, Ngada, Ende, Lio, Sikka lembata and many more languages in this island. Both of the languages are Austromelaniesian family.
Cristiany or catholic is the main religion in Flores island since 16th century. In 1556 the Portuguese first arrived in Solor. In 1561 Bishop from Malacca Dominicans sent 4 missionaries to estabilish a mission there. In 1556 father Antonio da cruz built a fort at Solor and seminary near Larantuka town where until now still used by SVD missionary. In 1557 there were 50.000 catholics in Flores, then 1641 a massive Christian migration to Larantuka when Portuguese conquered the dutch in Malaka.
Solor is the starting island for Flores people known Catholic religion. Different with the other region in Indonesia, in this island Catholics are the main religion while the other religions also like moslim, Hinduism and others. However, religious life in Flores as well as in various other parts of the archipelago, strongly colored by the pattern elements of traditional cultural from the ancestors. In this island, there is such a strange mix between christiany and paganism. The ancestors believe to God of the sun – moon and eart. The trust that is astral and cosmological comes from the agrarioan life experiences, which are of goodness sky ( rain ) and the eart ( plants).
Agriculture is the main activities in Flores island, besides fishing and seaweed production. Most of the people in Flores work as farmers, government officer, own bussines, work in tourism industry in etc. the primary food grown in Flores are rice, corn, sweet potatoes and cassavas. Leading commodity that has been appreciated a variety of forms : the center of the cashew nut production in East Flores, Sikka, Ende, Lembata, Ende and Nagekoe exported to India. Arabica coffee from Ngada exported to United states since 2005 and also Rrobusta coffee from Manggarai and Ende. Cocoa production center in Sikka, Ende and Nagekoe. Nuabosi cassava, baranga banana and red bean comes to be popular as Flores commodity exported.