Bena Traditional Village

Bena village is one of the megalithic villages located in Ngada, Nusa Tenggara Timur, precisely in the Village Tiwuriwu, Aimere District, about 19 km south of Bajawa. The village is situated on a hilltop with a view of Mount Inerie. Its existence under the mountain is typical of the old society as a devotee to their gods living on top of the mountain. According to the villagers, their god, Yeta, was enthroned in the mountain of Inerie to protect them.
The village currently consists of approximately 40 houses that surround each other, from north to south. The entrance is just north of the village. While the other end in the south at the same time is the top edge of a steep cliff. The village has become one of tourist destinations in Ngada. Apparently this village is the patron of travelers from Germany and Italy.
In the middle of the village or the fields, there are several buildings which they call “bhaga” and “ngadhu”. “Bhaga” looks like a small cabin (without occupants). While “ngadhu” is a single colonnaded building and its roof is made of palm fiber to shelter. Ngadhu pile is a special hard wood because is also used a gallow for sacrificial animals at a traditional party.
Bena residents belong to the Bajawa tribe. Most of them are Catholic followers. They generally work as farmers and women are also weavers. At first there is only one clan in the village, that is the Bena clan. Marriage with other tribal clans gave birth to new clans which now form the entire villagers of Bena. This could occur because they adhere matriarchal kinship system .
This village has not been touched at all by technological advances. The architecture is very simple, only has one gate for entry and exit. According to the records of Ngada government, Bena village is thought to have existed since 1200 years ago . Until now the pattern of life and culture of the people have not changed much. The people still adhere to customs passed down by their ancestors .
The architecture of the building is not only a purely residential, but also has a deep meaning and function containing local wisdom applied to the public and is still relevant today in the management of the built environment that are environmentally friendly .
Bena villagers do not exploit the environment. They keep their land to the appropriate original contour hilly ground . Bena village resembles the shape of a boat because according to the megalithic belief, boat was considered a vehicle for the spirit to his residence. The values ??reflected in this boat is collaboration, cooperation and hard work. In 1995 the village of Bena was nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Written by: Team)


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