top of page



Sumba is an Indonesian Southeast Asian island. She belongs to the small islands of the Probe.

The island is located south-east of Sumbawa Island, southwest of Flores Island, west of Timor Island and north of Australia. It has an area of ​​11,153 km ², about 220 km long and 40 to more than 70 km wide. The highest point is Gunung Wanggameti with 1 225 meters,

mountain located south island.


The current inhabitants of the island have arrived in Southeast Asia to the eleventh century from India via the Strait of Malacca and the island of Java, and settled in the peninsula of Tanjung Sassar northwest of the island.

It is not known if, before the arrival of its new occupants, Sumba was a virgin or already occupied by an original population. It remains unclear in this case if it was decimated. On ethnic origin, newcomers brought with them their animism and horses arabian, product trade between Arabia and India.


Sumba is in the list of "dependent regions" of the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit mentioned in Nagarakertagama, an epic poem written in 1365. From the fifteenth century with the installation of the first Portuguese trading posts and Muslims in Java, the barter develop around the horse trade, but also sandalwood which was the main wealth of the island against the porcelain, jewelery and weapons.

The first Europeans arrived in 1522. Island was incorporated into the Dutch East Indies in 1866, but the Dutch administration are set at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was during this period that we see the beginning of the evangelization of the people with the establishment of Catholic and Protestant missions.


The island had a population of 685,184 inhabitants at the 2010 census.'s Main city of Sumba is Waingapu, with a population of about 50,500 inhabitants. Between 25% and 30% of the population practice traditional religion called Marapu. the rest is Christian, mostly Calvinist but with a significant Catholic minority. A small number of Muslims are found in coastal areas.




Pasola is a game played by Sumbanese to celebrate the rice planting season. The game is played by throwing wooden spears to the opponent while riding a horse. It is played by two different groups, men of different clans or tribes. This is a game that requires great skill on horseback and great skill Javelin.

He finds himself in a bloody game when the wooden spear hits the participant. In ancient beliefs, bloodshed fertilize the earth and multiply the harvest. Religiously speaking, the ritual battle Pasola, is "essentially a fertility rite. Similarly, people of Sumba in their religious traditions are "believers in spirits of nature and their ancestors"



bottom of page