Bawomataluo is probably the quintessential village in Nias Island. All things cultural about Nias is represented in this very unique village. Some even say that, in the traditional sense, Bawomataluo is the pinnacle of Nias Culture because this village was built into perfection.
This village has the megaliths culture, the traditional woodworking art that enables them to build houses, and of course the traditions. Bawomataluo is where you go to learn about Nias and its people. Here is what you need to know about Bawomataluo.
Bawomataluo in the local language means the Sun Hill. The village is indeed located on a hill on southern Nias, overlooking a beach. Administratively, this village is in Fanayama District, South Nias Regency. The elevation is roughly 270 meters above the sea level. You must climb a flight of 77 stairs to get to the village.
This location was chosen for security reason. This village was founded in the early 19th century when many villages were still at war with each other, and thus higher position is preferred. They are safer from any ambush or sudden attack on the hill.
Bawomataluo is a traditional village with 137 common traditional house (Omo Hada) and the main house for the leader (Omo Sebua). The houses are mostly made of timber taken from nearby locations. The workmanship on the timber is of high skill, shown in many details of the house. Every nook and cranny was crafted carefully to make a great house.
Another thing you might notice from this village is that there are many big stones. The road and floor are made of stone. However, the most remarkable ones are the megaliths located in front of the houses. Those stones can weigh to several tons and serve many functions. There are chair and table rocks, menhir, and royal stones.
You can also see the unique culture and tradition of Nias in this village. You can enjoy the war dance, describing the bravery and heroic of Nias people on the battlefield. You can also see the stone jump. Initially, the jump was a rite of passage for youngsters to be considered mature. Today, you can enjoy those traditions routinely.
Bawomataluo is a unique village that can be considered as the perfect representation of Nias. Not only that this village has the impeccable buildings and culture of the island, but it also shows the rich past and the former glory of the village.