The Traditional Villages of Lombok will give us more information about the history and culture of the Sasak Tribe. The Sasak is the native people of Lombok. It is also the largest tribe in Lombok, comprising about 85% of the island’s population. If you’re tired of the beaches in nearby Gilis, head towards Sade Village or Ende Village for an authentic and different experience.
Sasak Sade is one of Lombok’s indigenous villages. One that will immerse you into the unique, colorful and musical culture of the Sasak Village of Lombok. A short drive south from Praya is the traditional Sasak Village of Sade, which provides an amazing insight into traditional Sasak life. In fact, 700 people are currently residing in the village. And it is not a museum nor only for the tourists. But it is a real village that has been inhabited by the indigenous people of Lombok for a long time. The village consists of around 150 households living in thatched houses with walls of cow dung, which is freshly applied to the house every month to repel mosquitoes and keep the house cool. But amazingly, there was no smell of cow dung on the dry floor. Here you can also visit several homes, get the low-down on family life and guys will enjoy learning how to ‘kidnap’ a bride. Don’t forget to watch the amazing Ikat Weaving and maybe pick up a traditional sarong or two.
The Sasak Sade Village is big, and tourists could get lost in it if they go far. The women of Sasak are taught to weave since they are young. They say that a girl cannot marry if she doesn’t know how to weave. Their traditional woven cloth, Ikat, is born of a labor-intensive process. The whole process of dyeing and weaving can take months to finish a high-quality product.
Aside from the weaving, they also live on agriculture. The men do the farming of course. They store their rice and other food in a building called “lumbung.” You’ll definitely notice the rice granary too because it stands higher than the rest of the houses. Although it may look touristy, one must understand that this is also their livelihood. And that they are also doing this to preserve their culture and traditions.
For centuries, the Sasak people in Lombok have maintained their traditional lifestyle by eschewing modern staples such as electricity and technology. This Bali’s sister island is experiencing increasing tourism, and Ende Traditional Village has become a stop on Lombok’s tourist trail for visitors who are curious to learn more about how Sasak residents live. Ende is one of the more authentic (and least touristy) options for immersion in the Sasak culture. It offers opportunities to tour well-preserved and still occupied, examples of traditional Sasak homes built in their unique architectural style. You can also interact one-on-one with villagers while learning about their customs and cuisine.
Ende is located about 15 minutes south of Lombok International airport in Central Lombok Regency on the main road to Kuta Lombok. The Sasak make up 85 percent of Lombok’s population (the remaining portion is Balinese). Unlike their next-door neighbors in Bali, the Sasak embrace Islam rather than Hinduism – although they share an ethnicity and language. Like the Balinese, the Sasak people have rich traditions of dances, textiles and agriculture.
Sasak homes are known for their interesting construction methods. Wooden pillars and frames, bamboo walls, and alang-alang (woven grass) roofs are standard — no nails or metal tools are used in the construction of these sturdy “lumbung” huts found in abundance in Ende. Lumbungs are traditionally used for grain storage. Clay floors are polished with dried cow dung in a ritual said to keep mosquitos at bay. You can easily acquire a local guide for a very reasonable fee in Ende and stroll about the village admiring their ingenious architecture. You won’t find loud hawkers here.
You will have the opportunity to enter and examine several domiciles, as well as observe the villagers as they go about their day to day life. It is common to be invited into a home and become involved in the preparation of a meal, followed by dining with the inhabitants. There is often a night gathering where you can learn further about the traditions, including the ceremonial “kidnapping” of a future wife and the religious practices of the villagers. Some homes may have woven textiles available for sale. Generally, Ende is an agrarian community making its living on the rice growing in the surrounding paddies, and weaving is an off-season occupation. The people are friendly and kind-hearted, and happy to share. It’s scenic and pastoral, and a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the unique population of the island.