Nusa Tenggara:: Sawu Island

Pulau Sawu, East Nusa Tenggara. A village with traditional houses built by timber and leafs from palm trees. A group of curiously waving people can be seen in the lower center of the image. This is from southern Sawu (from helicopter) (Bjorn Grotting)

Pulau Sawu, East Nusa Tenggara. A village with traditional houses built by timber and leafs from palm trees. A group of curiously waving people can be seen in the lower center of the image. This is from southern Sawu (from helicopter) (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Sawu (also known as Sabu) is a small island, approx. 461 sq. km, located southwest of Timor and southeast of Sumba. Population about 60.000. Sawu is isolated from other islands by a deep ocean. This island is like Sumba less influenced by modern lifestyle, and is known for a culture where old traditions like offerings, dance and other rituals can still be seen. Their old animistic beliefs are known as “jingitui”, and survived the first Portuguese missionaries who came here before year 1600 AD, later followed by Dutch missionaries.

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