I was so fortunate to have an opportunity to visit Traditional village of Takpala in Alor Island. It’s my forth times to visit this island, but at my previous trips I just explored the beaches. At this trip, one day before I left this island, I took my self to visit this internationally-well-known traditional village.
This village is located only about 20kms from capital of Alor regency, Kalabahi. I got there by riding a rented motorbike (Rp 50k/day) less than one hour. I enjoyed the views during my trip to this village. The road was well paved along the beach. Takpala village is perched at the top 300 meters high ridge facing to takpala bay. From the top of the hill, you can enjoy the cool breeze and an incredible view of the bay.
This Takpala village consists of 15 traditional Abui homes called rumah lopo. Thirteen of these homes, called kolwat, have no walls. The other two are, called kanuarwat by the locals, and only certain people are allowed to enter.
The thing that I noticed instantly was how gorgeous the architecture was. These traditional houses were so perfect. Clearly, the knowledge and expertise required to build these amazing houses was passed down from generation to generation. As I walked around, I noticed that all the villagers were changing from their day-to-day garb to some sort of special outfit. I ended up wearing their traditional outfits.
These local inhabitants still strictly practice their tradition and culture. The word “takpala” derived from the word “tak” means “barrier” and the word “pala” means “wood”. Therefore, Takpala can be described as “a wooden barrier”, but some would prefer to describe it as “a wooden bludgeon (beater)”.
The village of Takpala firstly known by European tourists since a Dutch tourist named Ferry exhibited his photographs capturing the life of local people of Takpala in 1973. He also made some of those photographs a calendar while promoting a primitive life in Alor Island.