History of Flores


The name of Flores was taken from the Portuguese words "Cabo de Flores" which means "Cape of Flowers". It does not really reflect on the flowers but perhaps Flores in the old time was full of colors (since it has many tribes, skin color, and so on). S. M. Cabot was a person who named it, and it was actually a name for the eastern region of the island. Later, the Dutch Governor for the East Indies, Hendrik Brouwer officially used it since 1636. The name of Flores has been already existed nearly four centuries. Orinbao (1969), through his research and study, apparently revealed that the original name of the island of Flores was called Nusa Nipa, means Snake shaped Island. Anthropologically, the term seems to be more logical because Flores contains a variety of cultural background, language, beliefs and religion.

Flores has a short rainy season and long dry season. Flores Island region includes eight sub-districts, they are West Manggarai, Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka, and Flores Timur

Flores Population
The population history of Flores indicate that the island was inhabited by various ethnic groups who live in communities that are almost exclusively rely on nature resources. Each occupies a particular ethnic complete with social institutions and cultural ideology that binds the members of the community as a whole.

Flores population are heterogeneous seen in the history of the origin, ethnicity, language, philosophy, and beliefs.

There are six sub-ethnic groups in Flores. The six sub-ethnic groups are: ethnic Riung Manggarai (including different languages Manggarai, Pae, Mbai, Rajong, and Mbaen). Ethnic Ngadha-Lio (consisting of a group of languages Rangga, Maung, Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Palue, and Lio Ende. Mukang ethnic groups (including language of Sikka, Krowe, Mukang and Muhang). Lamaholot ethnic groups (including different languages Lamaholot West, Lamaholot East, and Central Lamaholot). Finally Kedang language groups (which are used in the southern island of Lembata).
The six ethnic groups in Flores actually having genealogical origins and culture.

Religions in Flores
Christianity, especially Catholicism, has been introduced in Flores from the 16th century. In 1556, the Portuguese firstly arrived in Solor. In 1561, the Dominican Bishop of Malacca sent four missionaries to establish a permanent mission there. In 1566, Father Antonio da Cruz built a fort in Solor and a seminary near Larantuka. In 1577 alone there were 50,000 Catholics in Flores. Then in 1641, there was a massive migration of Malay Christianity as the Dutch conquered Larantuka from the Portuguese. Since then most of the people of Flores began to recognize Christianity, starting from the island of Solor and Flores Larantuka in the East and then spread throughout the mainland of Flores and Timor. In Indonesia, Flores is one of the island that has Catholic Religion as the majority.

Although Christianity has been known since the beginning of the 16th century, religious life on the island of Flores has various peculiarities. However, religious life in Flores-as well as in various other areas of the archipelago is characterized by elements of the cultural heritage that is the pattern of the original tradition of the ancestors. In addition, historical elements, ie, outside the traditions that go through the missionaries also played a role in public life.

Although, there are lots of differences in religions and beliefs, Flores people have been living in peace with other different religions, such as Moslem, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Flores is one of the island that never has stories of conflicts caused by different beliefs. It remains peaceful all the time.