About Flores Island Culture

flores island cultureFlores is culturally very diverse place. It can be roughly divided into 10 etnicities with their own languages, yet within these the languages they also differ ever so slightly between villages. Indonesia is widely spoken as well, and is the lingua france all over the island.
Like everywhere in Indonesia, religion and spirituality are an important part of life. If you engage in conversation with Indonesians, one of the very first questions will be about your agama or religion. In Flores, 90% are catholic and even in the smallest village there is a church. Muslim minorities can be found along the coast, and all biger town have mosque. Greater muslim populations can be found in Ende and Labuan Bajo.
Ancient traditions and rituals (adat) are still very much alives as well and have been interwoven into Christianity. Ofter, two opposite concept such as man and woman, eart and sky, inside and outside, form the base of these traditional beliefs. Mutually dependent, one unable to exist without the other, they form a circle of life whose continuity has to be maintained through rituals and ceremonies. Spirit, good or evil, are omnipresent and meddle with people’s lives. Regular offerings help keep them at bay. Ceremonies are held at major events in people’s live, such as birth and death, weddings, traveling and in case of illness. Communal rituals are perfomed to bless sowing, planting or harvesting. Ritual often involve animal sacrifices. Many villages have rumah adat or traditional houses which is built in an traditional way and often beautifully decorated with wooden figurines and simbol-laden carvings. Rumah adat and other sacred objects can only be made from specific species of trees.