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5 Days Lamalera Traditional Whaling Village

Lembata the Hidden Paradise Island

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Lamalera is a remote village well-known for its peoples’ profession as whale hunters. Lamalera is located on the southern coast of Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara. Lembata, once integrated with East Flores Regency, is now an independent regency of its own. Lamalera Village is divided into two sub-villages: Lamalera A andLamalera B, each with a population of approximately 2.000 people.

In the past years, Lamalera was a remote and isolated village located far from the hub of the local government, but now development of electricity facilities and paved highways have commenced to alleviate transportation difficulties to and from the regency’s capital. During the summer, this village is very dry and arid. As far as the eye can see, only savannas and dry, thorny bushes adorn the landscape. This condition has caused the Lamalera community to become dependent upon fisheries every year to sustain their lives.

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Before the beginning of hunting season, Lamalera villagers possess a tradition to carry out a traditional culture ceremony as a means to request blessings from their ancestors and pay respects to those who died at sea. The ceremonial process is held every 1st of May, signaling the beginning of the whale hunting season, otherwise known as the “Lefa” season.
Whale hunting will normally occur during the months of May-November, but occasionally it has also been found to take place in December-April whenever a whale happens to pass through the Sawu Sea. Thus making the Lefa season a special time of the year to go to sea, and hunt whales

dolphins, sharks and various other sea mammals. Everyday except Sundays during the Lefa season, the people of Lamalera will go out to sea and hunt together.
As for the rest of the year, the Lamalera society will traditionally produce salt, weave textiles, or grow corn in the rocky arid surroundings. Whale hunting in Lamalera Village is done traditionally. The people involved and equipments used in the process are:

  1. Peledang

Peledang is a name for the ship used for hunting whales. The width of a peledang is 1.5 m with a length of about 7 m. In constructing a peledang, the rule is that there must not be any metal pins used to attach the pieces of wood. All parts of the boat must be made using wood and enjoined by wooden pegs. Every peledang is designed roofless to ease the task of watching whales while at sea.

  1. Tempuling

Tempuling is the name of the spearhead used to thrust at the whales. This spearhead is made from metal

  1. Bamboo

A bamboo of 4 m in length is used as a pole for the spearhead/ tempuling, and a grip to hold when thrusting at a whale.

  1. Rope

The rope should be 50 m in length. One end of the rope is tied on the tempuling and the other end is tied to the ship/ peledang.

  1. Balafaing/Lamafa

Balafaing/Lamafa is the name for the thruster, the most significant person of the team who determines the success or failure of the hunt.

  1. Matros

Matros are the ship’s crew whose main function is to assist the lamafa/ thruster in the whole whaling process. In one ship there should be at least 12 matros.

What clients should bring:
* Soap, Tooth paste, Towel, Shampoo
* Walking shoes
* Good hat
* Sun cream
* Flash light
* Jacket or sweater
* This is really a picturesque destination, please bring a lot of film.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 : LARANTUKA – LEWOLEBA – LAMALERA (L,D)

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04:00 ; Starting from Maumere to Laratuka. (Drive 4 hours). ALL CLIENTS wearing the life jacket

04:00 : 07;30 : On driving to Larantuka and see some happenings during trip to Larantuka

07:30–08:00 am : Our guide will meet and greet the guests and prepare to boarding to Lewoleba, by Public boat through Adonara and Solor Island with its natural beauty.

08:00–12:00 : Arrive at Lewoleba Harbor. Upon arrival at Lewoleba harbor transfer to Berkat Lomblen restaurant for Lunch.

12:00–14:00 PM : Lunch time.

14:00–18:00 : Drive to Lamalera passing some Villages.

18:00 : Arrive at Lamalera. We arrange with Welcome Ceremony Overnights at Home Stay in Lamalera.

19:00 : Dinner at home stay at Lamalera.

DAY 2 : FULL DAY EXPLORE LAMALERA (B,L,D)

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“if you may be lucky you will see muscular harpooners chasing the whale using the wooden canoe called “Pledang” in which its sail is made of palm leaves”.

06:00 After having early breakfast, walk to the beach, short introduce about process hunting and wearing life jacket. Joint with local fisherman for go to hunt the whale.

06:30 – 12:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

12:00 : Lunch time will be served on your boat.

12:00-15:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

16:00 : Late in the afternoon back to Home Stay.

17:00 : Free program until Dinner time.

19:00 : Dinner and overnight stay at Home Stay.

Hope fully they caught one on your arrival. If there is no Whale on the water surface, Local people make a Demonstration or Attraction, starting with the opening ceremony until the arrest of attractions. Back to home stay

DAY 3 : FULL DAY EXPLORE LAMALERA (B,L,D)

lamalera-5

After having early breakfast, joint with local fisherman for go to hunt the whale. Lunch   will be served on your boat.

06:00 After having early breakfast, walk to the beach, short introduce about process hunting and wearing life jacket. Joint with local fisherman for go to hunt the whale.

06:30 – 12:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

12:00 : Lunch time will be served on your boat.

12:00-15:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

16:00 : Late in the afternoon back to Home Stay.

17:00 : Free program until Dinner time.

19:00 : Dinner and overnight stay at Home Stay.

Hope fully they caught one on your arrival. If there is no Whale on the water surface, Local people make a Demonstration or Attraction, starting with the opening ceremony until the arrest of attractions. (Just in Case)

Today you still have free day, if you may be luckily you will join again with the fisherman to hunt the whale.

DAY 4 : FULL DAY EXPLORE LAMALERA (B,L,D)

lamalera-6

After having early breakfast, joint with local fisherman for go to hunt the whale.

06:00 After having early breakfast, walk to the beach, short introduce about process hunting and wearing life jacket. Joint with local fisherman for go to hunt the whale.

06:30 – 12:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

12:00 : Lunch time will be served on your boat.

12:00-15:00 : Process hunt the whale with the fisherman.

16:00 : Late in the afternoon back to Home Stay.

17:00 : Free program until Dinner time.

19:00 : Dinner and overnight stay at Home Stay.

Hope fully they caught one on your arrival. If there is no Whale on the water surface, Local people make a Demonstration or Attraction, starting with the opening ceremony until the arrest of attractions. (Just in Case)

Today you still have free day, if you may be luckily you will join again with the fisherman to hunt the whale.

DAY 5 : LAMALERA – LOLONG VILLAGE – LEWOLEBA  – LARANTUKA – MAUMERE (B,L)

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05:00 – 06 : Early wake up and having early breakfast, Morning free until time to depart to Lolong Village

06 :00 – 08:00 : On driving from Lamalera to Lolong passing by ocean view, traditional Village and see some happening during on the way.

08:00  : Arrive at Lolong Village. Local people will welcoming with Ceremony and traditional dance performance using traditional custom (Sarong).

08:00 – 10:00 : Coffee Break & Village Tour.

Take opportunity to see how the local people cook the traditional food. Someone will explaining the process to us. We drank coffee, chatted and sampled the local delicacy: “Jagung Titih” or smashed popcorn (we called kwaru breket). The kernels are first cooked over a fire in a clay pot until they pop, then smashed with a flat rock. It doesn’t sound like much, but it tasted surprisingly good. The villagers, especially the village headman, were so friendly that we were reluctant to leave.

10:00 – 11:00 : Lunch at Village House (Dion”s House). After lunch local people invite all clients to joint dance with them (farewell dance)

12:00 ; Drive to Mingar Village white sand beach for relax in a few minutes then continue drive back to Lewoleba and using evening late afternoon cruise to Larantuka

14:00 : Upon arrive at Larantuka, our guide will pick them up and drive to Maumere

14:00 – 18:00 : Arrive in Maumere. Accommodation and Dinner by own arrangements

 

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