Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stone jumping or Fahombo (Lompat Batu Pulau Nias)

(Photograph: http://zamrud-khatulistiwa.or.id)


Nias Island lies about 125 km of west Sumatra Island on the Indian Ocean. It is part of North Sumatra Province.

Nias people call themselves as “Ono Niha”. Ono means an offspring, Niha means human, and Nias Island as “Tanö Niha”, which Tano is land. We can predict this etymology as human offspring that live on earth.

One of the famous tourism in this area is Lompat Batu Pulau Nias or Stone jumping or Fahombo is one of particular initiation from Nias. Stone jumping or Fahombo is the tradition carried out by a man wearing traditional clothes Nias, and jump over a stone monument-like building (the pyramid) with the upper surface flat. The height was less than 2 (two) meters with a width of 90 centimeters (cm) long and 60 cm.

The jumpers must have the technical knowledge such as when landing, because if he landed with the wrong position can cause muscle injury or broken bones.

After passing this initiation a man is considered appropriate to get marry or defend their village.

The event was created as a forum to test the physical and mental male teenagers in Nias late adulthood. Any adult male who was in the war must be passed down the rock ritual. After passing this initiation a man is considered appropriate to get marry or defend their village.

Most of Nias people hold Protestant Christianity as their religion, with the minor people who have Islam for their faith that usually coming from the immigrant from elsewhere from Indonesia. However, either Christian or Muslim, those are just a symbol for them to have label on religion.

To reach this place, there is weekly ship from Jakarta to Gunung Sitoli; There are Ferries from Sibolga to Gunung Sitoli, Teluk Dalam, or Lahewa every day. Gunung Sitoli is the capital city of Nias and it is the center of administration and business affairs of regency.

There are several travel agencies hotels, public busses and rental cars to support tourism here.

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