The Sasak Tribe of Lombok

The Sasak are the indigenous people of the island of Lombok. Like many ethnic groups in Indonesia, they belong to the Austronesians who migrated from mainland Asia some 5,000 years BC to populate South East Asia all the way to the South Pacific Islands. Today 85% of the Lombok population is Sasak. Although Bali has greatly influenced Lombok, yet unlike in Hindu Bali, most Sasak embrace Islam.

A distinct feature of religion here is what is known as Wektu Telu, a syncretic belief of Islam intertwined with elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, and ancient traditional beliefs, unique to Lombok.  Many Sasak have, nonetheless, also come to embrace the Wektu Lima, or the mainstream Islamic obligatory five time prayers in a day.

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Traditions, customs, worship and ordinances related things in life, house building and the Sasak tribe very specific everyday life. Their main livelihood is farming and farming, while women traditionally weave their home. Weaving results with a variety of attractive colors and patterned in great demand by many local and foreign tourists.

As for the uniqueness of the Sasak tribe is building on each floor houses come from a mixture of soil with cow dung. They do not use raw materials for cement floor of his house because according to tradition they can buffalo dung flies.

Cidomo is the name of the traditional public transportation in Lombok and Sumbawa Island. Cidomo controlled by a driver and pulled by a horse that is equipped with various accessories, including: mask or goggles horses, rope tail, chest strap, whip, and strings. Until now the traditional tools by local governments has been used as an object and appeal to tourists is to hold a traditional Cidomo race.

At Bayan, once a year a celebration of the ancient thatched mosque, called Bayan Beleq is held. Another event worth watching is the Peresehan, a local tradition involving a fight between two men using long rattan staves and small rectangular shields made from cow hide. In the old days, blood used to flow freely, however, today the performance is done mostly for tourists.


While annually, around February, the Bau Nyale celebrations are held with the appearance of seaworms along the shores of Lombok, believed to bring luck and prosperity. The Sasak are predominantly farmers cultivating rice fields, while their women are adept at weaving, producing the beautiful Lombok ikat cloths.

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