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Published on February 16, 2015

The Pasola 2015 ritual jousting battles will again take place during the months of February and March in six traditional villages of the island of Sumba, in the province of Ease Nusatenggara.  In February Pasola jousting will be held in the villages of Homba Kalayo, Bondo Kawangoi and Rara Winyo. While in March these fights can be seen at Maliti Bondo Ate (Ratenggaro), Waiha and Wainyapu.

The exact dates when the battles will take place are determined by the village elders at full moon rising,  known as “naalbukolo”. Here the Rato nyale plays a most important role to decide on the dates.  It is difficult to estimate when exactly the Pasola jousting events will be held since the fights are not only organizedfor entertainment but are part and parcel of and an important ritual in the local belief called Marapu.

In Pasola, two parties prepare for battle, each comprising 100 men carrying wooden lances with a diameter of 1.5 cm but having a blunt edge. During  the fight, men  who have fallen off their horses may not be attacked. The belief goes that each drop of blood that falls on earth will fertilize the soil for the next harvest.

The Pasola battles are  not only meant for fun and entertainment but this tradition has long  been embedded in the culture of the Sumbanese people. Pasola comes from the word sola or hola, in the local language means wooden lance, but added with a prefix, pasola means a game to strengthen brotherhood.

For the Sumba people,  Pasola is a peaceful and friendly battle:  a ritual required by tradition (therefore, not a war game), so that  despite the fact that victims do fall, Pasola on Sumba is held to  sympathise – as the legend goes – with the distress of their ancestor at losing his soulmate, which is at the core of this ritual.

The island of Sumba itself offers many amazing attractions to catch on film. Besides the exciting Pasola battles , Sumba is also famous for its Megalithic traditions, large stone graves as well as the Marapu traditions that have survived over the centuries.

The Pasola 2015 traditional jousting battles will take place as follows:

In February 2015

10 February 2015 :Pasola Homba Kalayo, in the sub-district of Kodi Bangedo.

13 February 2015 :Pasola Bando Kawango, sub-district Kodi.

14 Februar 2015 : Pasola Rara Winyo sub-district, Kodi.

In March 2015

11 March 2015 :Pasola Maliti Bondo (Ratenggaro), sub-district Kodi Bangedo.

13 March 2015 :Pasola Waiha, sub-district Kodi Blaghar.

14 March 2015 :Pasola Wainyapu, sub-district Kodi Blaghar.