The cap­i­tal city of Sikka is Maumere, with a pop­u­la­tion of about 50,000. The town used to be fa­mous for its reefs in the Gulf of Maumere which used to be one of the finest div­ing sites in the world. Sadly, the sites are now marred due to chem­i­cal and bomb fish­ing.

Maumere’s air­port, the Frans Seda Air­port, also known as Maumere Air­port, has re­cently been ren­o­vated to ac­com­mo­date night flights and nar­row-body air­crafts like the BOE­ING and the AIR­BUS. An in­ter­est­ing point of at­trac­tion in Maumere is the statue of Mother Mary in Nilo hill, 5 km south-west from Maumere. The statue stands 18 me­tres (59 ft) tall, but with its pedestal and foun­da­tion it is 28 me­tres (92 ft) tall. The 6-ton cop­per-clad statue was con­structed on 2005, lo­cated at the peak of the 500 me­tre (1,640 ft) Keli hill, Nilo vil­lage, and has be­come the tallest statue raised in Sikka Re­gency.

Sikka in East Flo­res is one of the first places of Por­tuguese in­flu­ence and catholic mis­sion­ary ac­tiv­ity in Flo­res. It is most fa­mous for Ikat weav­ing and re­mains one of East Flo­res’ most im­por­tant and fa­mous weav­ing cen­tres. Tourists can visit and see for them­selves the com­plete steps of ikat weav­ing for a small fee in­clud­ing dye­ing of threads with nat­u­ral colours.

The two ma­jor so­ci­eties of Sikka are the Tana ‘Ai peo­ple in the moun­tain­ous east and Sikka-krowe peo­ple in the cen­tral ar­eas as well as on the north and south coast. While the Tana ‘Ai peo­ple were hardly ex­posed to ex­ter­nal in­flu­ences, the Sikka-krowe peo­ple con­stantly faced ex­ter­nal in­flu­ences, with the Sikkanese Royal House rul­ing over the Sikka-krowe peo­ple for at least 16 gen­er­a­tions.

Sikka Natar

This is the for­mer cen­tre of the king­dom of Sikka and also the site of a big church that was built in 1899 by Je­suit priests. Dec­o­rated with Ikat mo­tifs, the church was used by the lo­cals for Holy Mass and the in­au­gu­ra­tion of new kings. Dur­ing Christ­mas time on the 26th of De­cem­ber, you can wit­ness a dance-drama of Por­tuguese ori­gins called Toja-bobu about a beau­ti­ful princess be­ing courted by many men from a va­ri­ety of back­ground. Un­for­tu­nately the per­for­mances are rarely held to­day.


This area is well-known for tra­di­tional Ikat weav­ing us­ing tra­di­tional hand­spun yarn made out of local cot­ton and local nat­u­ral dyes that come from plants in the vil­lagers’ own gar­dens. Watublapi Ikats have trav­elled the world into the hands of col­lec­tors via the Bli­ran Sina or­ga­ni­za­tion, a lo­cally es­tab­lished co­op­er­a­tive made up of about 40 mem­bers who also re­ceive vis­i­tors to Watublapi with tra­di­tional dance and mu­sic per­for­mances, while en­joy­ing a serv­ing of “sirih pinang”, the be­tel chew, a tra­di­tional Sikkanese wel­come rit­ual.

Pasar Gelit­ing

With over 100 years of his­tory, Pasar Gelit­ing is a fes­tive weekly mar­ket where peo­ple gather there to buy, sell and barter goods and live­stock. It used to be the meet­ing point for sailors, traders, farm­ers and mer­chants from across the re­gion in­clud­ing Goa, Bima and many parts of the Flori­nese coast­lines in­clud­ing Bugis and Bajo sea­far­ing peo­ple. In the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury un­der the Dutch colo­nial gov­ern­ment, the mar­ket was ex­panded with per­ma­nent mar­ket stalls and shops which were rented out to traders. It is be­lieved that the name “Gelit­ing” was de­rived from the first Chi­nese mer­chant to rent a stall there, whose name was Go Lie Ting.

To­day, Pasar Gelit­ing re­tains its colour­ful vigor. There are fish sec­tions both dried and fresh, fruits, veg­eta­bles and herb stands, the Ikat, and an an­i­mal sec­tion with chick­ens birds, pigs, horses, goats, and even dogs.

Bikon Blewut Mu­seum

The Bikon Blewut Mu­seum is an ideal place to view Flori­nese cul­tural and nat­u­ral his­tory. The name is de­rived from an an­cient verse in Krowe-sikka rit­ual lan­guage about the cre­ation of the uni­verse and is filled with unique and in­ter­est­ing ob­jet d’arts and pieces that show­case the Flori­nese’s daily lives. Sit­u­ated within the Fil­safat Katho­lik Ledalero high school, the mu­seum is a well-known Ro­man Catholic priest’s sem­i­nary. While you’re there, be sure to en­gage the help of a friendly local cu­ra­tor to glean in­for­ma­tion on the ob­jects ex­hib­ited. Open­ing hours are Mon­days to Satur­days from 07.00 – 13.00.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.