Starch Mata Ka Ata, Rituals in Top Flores


Some mosalaki pu-u (traditional elders) offerings in dakutatae (rock where the offerings) in the custom event Starch Mata Ka Ata, which is feeding the people who have died, in the area of ​​Lake tricolor Flores, Ende Regency, East Nusa Tenggara.

One morning, the weather was overcast and drizzling rain. However, when the sun began to rise, the weather turned bright and vibrant, especially the grass decorated arngoni (Vaccinium varingiaefolium), endemic plant that thrives around the summit of Mount Flores.

Arngoni plants that have been fresh and ripe fruit also seemed to welcome the warm presence of the mosalaki pu’u (traditional elders) that day at the helipad area that meets the core zone of the National Parks Flores, Ende, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara.

While waiting for the ritual begins, the mosalaki also used the time to see the beautiful panorama of three crater lakes with different water colors, matchless in the world.

Flores National Park area is administratively located within the five districts, namely District Wolowaru, Flores, East Ndona, Ndona, and Detusoko.

The mosalaki also did not get enough of staring at arngoni clumps that have been cooked fruit, small black. They were so careful when they wanted to touch it because the fruit arngoni also believed to be the food of the gods or ancestral spirits at Lake Flores.

Around 11:00 pm, ritual begins. That day for the first time at the top of Lake Flores, with a height of 1777 meters above sea level, Ata held Mata Ka Pati, ceremonial feeding of the spirits of ancestors or deceased person.

Domestic and foreign tourists in the area was flooded helipad. They do not want to miss this historic event to perpetuate it. Similarly, the surrounding community and also among the media.

Ritual procession begins nine mosalaki representing nine tribes with traditional clothing were given offerings to take to dakutatae, a natural stone as a monument where the offerings. The offerings are presented in the form of rice, meat of sacrificial animals (pigs), Moke (a kind of local wine), tobacco, betel nut, and lime.

Nine mosalaki pu’u it together into a stone monument and also put together the offerings at the monument, which means from nine mosalaki that position no higher or lower.

"This traditional ritual followed by all indigenous communities in the region Lio. At the same time this ritual is an asset of cultural arts district and national well worth conserved. This ritual is also able to unite the tribes Lio, "said mosalaki Detusoko, Emanuel K Ndopo.

Ende region consists of two native tribes, namely Ende and Lio. Ende dominant tribal region in the west to the south, while the tribe of Lio Ende town to the east to the north.

Eating ancestors

After feeding the ancestors who carried out by the mosalaki, then the visitors, by mosalaki, also offered to participate to enjoy the offerings as a sign of rejoicing along with the ancestors. Stages of the ritual followed by Gawi, dance with the mosalaki with surrounding stone monument.

"This event is a surprise for me. I am also very lucky because I did not know at all customary rites will be held here the first time. I originally intended to just relax, "said Philippe Cazaux, tourists from France, who also works as a teacher in the country.

Some mosalaki said Ata Mata Ka Pati held intended to raise prayers to ancestral spirits – other than to deny reinforcements, and also to the Ende kept away from natural disasters and fertilized to provide welfare for its citizens.

The reason, in 1996 a male tourist from the Netherlands were killed at Lake Flores. In 2004 citizens of the Village strikes, Flores district, committed suicide in the lake. At the end of 2008 also was found dead a resident of Tent Village, District Wolojita, in light green color lake or lake where spirits of young children (Tiwu Nua Muri Koo Fai). All the victim’s body remained in the lake because of the difficulty of terrain, so the bodies could not be evacuated.

From the myths that are believed by the public hereditary Lio Ende, the peak area of ​​Lake Flores is the gathering place of residence or the spirits of the deceased. The gate (pere bun) Lake Flores maintained by Konde Queen, the ruler.

Three craters

At the top of Mount Flores there are three crater lakes, besides Tiwu Nua Muri Koo Fai, is now Tiwu Ata Polo are dark green (before December 2008 are still blackish brown), which is believed to be a gathering place for the wicked. The third lake, Tiwu Mbupu Ata, an old colored blackish green which is a gathering place for the spirits of old.

That’s why the local community to assess the area is so sacred and hallowed top of Mount Flores. They also do not dare to do strange things or reckless in situ. Location of Lake Flores about 55 kilometers east of Ende town.

"This event is held by the Government of Ende as a form of cultural preservation area. From the traditional ceremony that has lasted for generations, the ancestral feeding is only done in every home residents, village, or tribe. Now the traditional ceremony held at the peak Kelimutu involving tribes Lio. Furthermore, this ritual will be held regularly once every year and this tradition is also on the agenda of tourism Ende, "said Head of Culture and Tourism Ende Anna Anny Labina.

Francis Lasa, Expert Staff Regent Ende Social Affairs and Human Resources, argued, ritual Starch Mata Ka Ata is expected to be used by people around the region to increase their income from tourism.

Each tribe is completed

Head of the National Park Authority Soebiantoro Billy Flores said Ata Mata Ka Pati expected after all the events held similar custom in every tribe held so that the ceremonial finish at Lake Flores were actually a series of rituals peak or end.

Meanwhile, when a working visit to Ende on August 10 to 16, the Director of Community Development Culture and Tourism Ministry expects that ritual Bakri also increase the income of the people, especially around Lake Flores. It seriously needs to be facilitated by the department of culture and tourism.

"They should do a good communication with business travel and tourism bureaus and hotels so that the agenda of the annual rituals can also be promoted to the outside. Residents around the area also needs to be nurtured so that they can actually receive, welcome, and provide satisfactory services to tourists, "said Bakri.

He also mentioned the existence of horticultural gardens owned by residents in the surrounding area of ​​Lake Flores that can be utilized so that foreign tourists in addition to looking at Lake Flores also can be directed to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables belong to the citizens.

"Local Art should also be encouraged, whether it’s art and the art of dance music that would become the main attraction for tourists. Why is art in Java or Bali has so far not die? Therefore, the arts in the region can provide added value to the community, "said Bakri.

Ceremonies are held there are still many shortcomings, one of which inaccuracies implementation time. Originally scheduled at 08.00, when the public and tourists thronged the location on the morning excited about it, a new ritual was held at 11.00.

What a pity too, the ritual at the top of the mountain is relatively short. Supposedly a series of ceremonies starting from cutting the sacrificial animals, cooking, until the preparation of the offerings can be packaged into a series of interesting cultural attractions that can be followed by the wider community.

In addition, all attributes associated with traditional clothing worn mosalaki in the ritual, such as headband, gloves, and clothes from traditional ikat cloth, should be utilized by surrounding communities to sell to tourists. Party of National Parks or regency of Ende Flores can facilitate by providing a place of sale.


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