Discovering Wae Rebo: A Journey to the Ancient Heart of Flores Island

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Deep within the lush, untamed jungle mountains of Flores Island, Indonesia, lies a hidden gem steeped in history and tradition. At an impressive altitude of 4,200 feet, Wae Rebo stands as a testament to the enduring culture of the Manggaraian people. This ancient village, inhabited for nearly two millennia, offers a rare glimpse into a way of life preserved through the ages.

The Village of Wae Rebo

Wae Rebo is renowned for its unique architectural marvels – the Mbaru Tembong. These eight conical thatched homes, each shared by multiple families, are a sight to behold. Their design is not only functional, shielding inhabitants from the harsh mountain climate, but also symbolic, representing the unity and strength of the community.

about wae rebo

The Manggaraian People

The Manggaraian culture, deeply rooted in Wae Rebo, is a fascinating study in resilience and adaptation. For nearly 2,000 years, these people have maintained a self-sufficient lifestyle, relying on the land for their sustenance. Their diet primarily consists of taro, coffee, various vegetables, and jungle-sourced meat, embodying a profound connection with nature.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Manggarai familie van een schoolonderwijzer van een desa TMnr 10005938

Preservation of Tradition

In an ever-changing world, Wae Rebo stands as a remarkable example of cultural preservation. The way of life here has remained largely unchanged for two millennia, offering insights into ancient practices and beliefs. This continuity is not just a matter of survival; it is a conscious choice by the Manggaraian people to honor and preserve their heritage.


Wae Rebo is more than just a village; it is a living museum, a bridge to the past, and a reminder of the enduring nature of human culture. For those who venture into the remote mountains of Flores Island, Wae Rebo promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of ancient tradition and communal living.

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