Pasar Geliting is a lively weekly market, which looks back on more than 100 years of trading history. Every Friday, people from the surrounding villages gather to buy, sell, and barter their goods and livestock.
In the past, there used to be a well in the area of Geliting Market, which was a meeting point for sailors to get drinking water. With the influence of the Sultanates of Goa and Bima on many parts of the Florinese coastline starting in the 16th and 17th centuries, the seafaring Bajo and Bugis people reached the Geliting area. They started to trade with the local residents and finally settled permanently in Ban Bihan.
Time after time, this place, which in the meantime was renamed to Natar Bajo (Bajo village) turned into an important meeting point for trade. The farmers brought their corn, tubers, and fruit to trade with the coastal communities for fish, salt, and lime. At the beginning of the 20th century under the Dutch colonial government, the market was expanded with permanent market stalls and shops – to be rented out to traders, that now also included Chinese merchants.
After the Bajo people had moved from Bajo Natar to Wuring, a fishing village further west on the coastline, the market changed its name to Geliting. As this word does not exist, neither in the local Sikka language nor in Indonesian, one can only guess about the origin of its name. One assumption is that it derives from Go Lie Ting, who was the first Chinese merchant to rent a shop in the market and it changed to Geliting as time past.
Geliting market offers a vivid, colorful experience that will catch the attention of all your senses. Start your stroll at the fish stalls, which will reveal the whole richness of submarine life brought to the surface, either in fresh or dried form. The biggest of the dried fish are sometimes used as a part of bride wealth. The fruit and vegetable stalls, as well as those which specialize in ingredients for the sirih pinang, the popular betel nut chew, will give you a burst of colorful impressions.
Besides food, you can also find all kinds of everyday goods, and, of course, ikat. In the animal market the local farmers sell all kinds of livestock: different colored chickens, small and large pigs, horses, goats, and also dogs. Be aware though that your perception of animal rights may not be the same as the locals.
How to get there
The market is situated right on the main road just 10km east of Maumere.