Prailiu is one of the many traditional and
exotic villages in Sumba. It is located in a suburb area of Waingapu,
the capital city of East Sumba District about two kilometers away from
the city center. Despite rapid development, traditional tall houses
with sharp leaf roofs are still apparent here. However, you can now see
many zinc roof houses with different designs. The local government,
assisted by the World Bank, is currently reconstructing local
traditional houses in this village.
Although most of the local inhabitants are Christian, they still
follow local traditions based on their original religion of Marapu.
Tall houses and burial processes, for instance, are closely related with
their traditional beliefs. Their traditional houses have three parts,
representing local cosmology i.e., underground as the home of the dead,
the middle part as the home for the living, and the roof as the home of
In addition to traditional houses, Prailiu also has a number of
original cemeteries. You can also find the famous traditional woven
fabric and its weaving process here.
Merpati airlines has a regular flight to Waingapu airport. It provides
flights from Kupang via Maumere and from Denpasar four times a week
(Merpati Waingapu: 0387-61323). Transnusa also provides this route from
Kupang but its schedule is tentative. Merpati flies with the same
frequency to Tambolaka in West Sumba, but from there, you have to take a
four-hour drive to Waingapu. Although winding, the condition of the
roads from Tambolaka to Waingapu are good. Meadows and savannas in East
Sumba provide amazing scenery along the way.
For sea transportation, motor boats from Ende and Aimere in Flores
and from Kupang in Timor (ASDP-Waingapu: 0387-61533) are available.
Pelni ships arrive in Waingapu twice a week.
You can find rented cars at Waingapu airport. If you are a hotel guest,
you can ask for a pick up service. Hotels generally provide rented
cars. In the city, there are motor taxis that can take you around. You
can just stand by the street, and they will come to offer their
You can do many things in Prailiu. Local inhabitants are familiar with
tourists and researchers. You can see mothers weaving fabrics who can
show you how to weave, spin, and make natural colored dies for yarn.
Buying fabrics and various types of woven products are certianly what
they expect from tourists. You can walk around the village while
observing traditional houses and cemeteries full of carved materials and
corpse preserving process.
Waingapu has many hotels and home stays. Some commonly visited by
vacationers are the Hotel Merlin (0387-61300), Hotel Sandlewood
(0387-61887), and Hotel Elvin (0387-62097).
Hotels usually have their own restaurants such as Merlin, Sandlewood,
and Evlin restaurants. At night, there are many food stalls selling
grilled fish in Pelabuhan Lama.
Buying various types of woven products is certainly something you should
not miss when visiting Prailiu. Each village in Sumba actually has its
own special product. Some villages are famous for their woven fabrics,
and some others are known for their scarf products. In Prailiu, you
can find them all because woven fabrics from various villages in
hinterlands are also available here.
Betel is a compulsory dish for visitors. You don’t have to eat it but
you have to be polite when rejecting it so as to respect local customs.
Tourists are considered potential buyers by mothers selling fabrics.
It is best not to have a quick transaction, but you should have a small
talk first. Hospitality will bring many advantages. You will probably
be given information about which products are made of manufactured
yarns and which are of home woven yarns.
Quoted from :
Supported by : JavaTourism, Lintang Buana Tours