Traditional Village of Compang Ruteng, Flores

A compang is a stone altar usually found in the yards of traditional homes of the Manggarai community.  The Compang is the center of traditional ceremonies, among which is  the penti, a ceremony to thank God for a bountiful harvest.  Water buffalos and cows are tied to this Compang to be subsequently sacrificed.

compang 2

The Compang Ruteng is located in the center of the Ruteng Pu’u village in Golo Dukal sub-district, Manggarai, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).  The stone Compang and the yards surrounding it are on higher ground than the local homes. A Beringin tree (Ficus Benjamina), locally known as a Ruteng, once grew in the center of the Compang.  The tree is no longer there and is now replaced by a Dadap tree.  To its east, the Compang has two local traditional tall houses with sharp roofs.

You can go inside the traditional house, called Rumah Gendang, to see its structure, wooden interior, and equipment such as a gong, small drums and shields used for traditional dances.  When you first enter the house you will be received as an official guest and there will be a series of ritual ceremonies that you must follow.  Local inhabitants can only speak in the Manggarai and Indonesian languages.  It is necessary for you to have an interpreter if you can’t speak Indonesian and wish to enter the Rumah Gendang.

compang 3

How to get there:

Compang Ruteng is located three kilometers from the town of Ruteng  in the Manggarai district in the western part of Flores.  You can can travel overland from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng, and further on to  Ende and Maumere.  There are daily flights from Kupang (on Timor island) to Maumere and Ende. From Kupang, there are flights twice a week to Ruteng. While to Labuan Bajo, there are daily flights from Bali, and an inter-island motorboat from Sape, on Sumbawa’s east coast, in West Nusa Tenggara.

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