Wae Rebo is a small village of Manggaraian people that preserve to live traditionally in a very remote, isolated area surrounded by hilly mountains in southern part of west Flores. The presence of these group of people was originally believed to be complying the order of the King of Todo to guard the southern area of Todo from the intruders that could cause threats to the Kingdom. As time went by, these people settled down permanently which we could see until today. However they are pretty much still the descendants of Todo people. As you may have seen the picture of the old houses in Todo Village, their houses here are also the same in shape and in the philosophical meanings.
Wae Rebo’s main characteristics are their unique houses, which they call Mbaru Niang that are tall and conical in shape and are completely covered in lontar thatch from its rooftop down to the ground. It appears that at one time such kind of houses were quite common to the region.
The house has five levels, each level designated for a specific purpose. The first level , called lutur or tent, are the living quarters of the extended family. The second level, called lobo, or attic, is set aside to store food and goods, the third level called lentar is to store seeds for the next harvest, the fourth level called lempa rae is reserved for food stocks in case of draught, and the fifth and top level, called hekang kode, which is held most sacred, is to place offerings for the ancestors.
Wae Rebo is one of a must-see-place during your visit in Flores. As it is located at a very deep and isolated area, getting there takes a little bit of extra effort on trekking. Trekking or hiking lovers would love it. The trekking will start from a village called Denge and will pass three rest spots. Overall, the trekking to Wae Rebo will approximately take about four hours. Despite of the tiring walk, you will be enjoying the fresh mountain air, passing the river, hearing birds singing and experiencing local people’s activities on farming.