A Blend of Culture & Natural Panorama in Belaraghi Village

Belaraghi village is one of the few traditional villages of the Ngada ethnic group that is still preserved its authenticity and is still very traditional. Belaraghi traditional village is located in Keligejo – Aimere Sub-district and is 45 Km from Bajawa City. Belaraghi Village has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in East Nusa Tenggara.

 

Belaraghi Village Settlement

 

Belaraghi Village is located on the slopes of Belaraghi Hill, hence the name. Originally the village was located at the top of Belaraghi Hill, but in the 1950s the village suffered a severe fire that made the village finally moved to the slope. Although it has been relocated, the old village location is still often visited by tourists, or often referred to as Old Belaraghi Village.

 

Road access to this village is also quite difficult, because the road to this village is still rocky, uphill and unpaved. The difficulty of the terrain makes four-wheeled vehicles unable to pass through, so tourists must walk to reach this village. Road access will be even more difficult if tourists want to reach Old Belaraghi Village.

 

The residential complex of Belarghi residents is unique. They build houses facing each other and line up parallel on the left and right of the road, stretching from the northeast to the southwest. In the center of the settlement is a public space for carrying out traditional activities.

 

The Belaraghi traditional village is inhabited by three traditional tribes, namely the Belah Tribe, the Bawa Tribe and the Fu’i Tribe. Each traditional house has different names, including Kaka, Sapu, Sa’olobo, Ka’kafu’u, Ka’kalobo, and Sa’odoro.

 

Traditions of the Indigenous People of Belaraghi Village

Credit: Benny Vicenso

 

Traditions of the Indigenous People of Belaraghi Village

 

Belaraghi residents have a tradition that is considered very friendly to welcome guests who visiting. When a tourist comes, residents will voluntarily serve food in the form of sweet potatoes, bananas and taro. They also serve drinks, ranging from coffee to traditional wine to tourists who come. For Belaraghi residents, tourists are guests who must be respected. Every guest or tourist who comes will be entertained at the sao satu house, a special house where residents will introduce guests and tourists who come to their ancestors.

 

In addition to serving food for tourists, Belaraghi residents also have a ceremony to serve food to ancestors, called the Ti’i Ka Ebunusi ritual. This ritual is intended not only as an offering to the ancestors, but also to ask for blessings before hunting.

 

Access to Belaraghi Village

Credit: Bondan Petra

 

Access to Belaraghi Village

 

To reach Belaraghi traditional village, there are 2 alternatives, which are trekking from Wolowio through the forest and hills for 3 hours and by private vehicle from the Aimere T-junction to the front of this village. From the Aimere T-junction it only takes approximately 30 minutes to get to Belaraghi Village through asphalt roads and some paths that are still a little damaged, but two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles can access this village.

 

When you arrive at Belaraghi Village, you will feel a calm, safe atmosphere away from the crowds. The people here are very respectful of tourists who come. After registering by filling out a guest book, you will be invited to one of the houses to enjoy a glass of coffee and eat dishes such as fried or boiled sweet potatoes.

 

Most of the people who live in Belaraghi Village are mothers while the fathers and children live in a nearby village where they have to go to school in Aimere. Belarahgi residents make their living as farmers, this can be seen from the crops that are usually dried in front of their houses. To experience the sensation of staying in a Ngada ethnic house, you can try staying overnight in Belaraghi Village and in the evening you can see the ritual of giving offerings to the ancestors.