In Nele Village, located around 7km from Maumere, titi parang (the local expression for the craftsmanship of machete making) is an important source of income for the local men.
The parang (machete) plays an important role in the daily life of the Florinese people. It serves not only as a useful tool especially for men both in the farm and the woods, but also as a traditional weapon. Culturally, the parang is an indispensable accessory in the local men’s attire as a part of their personal identity. Even in many traditional Florinese dances, the parang is used as a male dance accessory.
Parang makers usually inherit the art from their ancestors. This knowledge has been passed down over generations. They used the bodies of cannons as a base material for the blade. As there are no distinctive marks of identification on these weapons, nobody knows exactly where these four-meter cannons came from and how they came to be in the village. The elderly villagers only remember that they were bought from the neighboring village of Koting.
While walking through Nele, you can enjoy the beauty of a Florinese village while listening to the sounds of clanking iron, that creates a rhythm that almost sounds like a wordless song performed by the ironsmiths. Being an ironsmith has been a reliable way of earning an income, besides farming, for a majority of the male villagers of Nele and its neighboring village, Kaduwair. Four to five parang can be finished in a day and sold in the markets around Maumere.
Parang craftsmanship is just one of the attractions offered in Nele. Ikat weaving is also an important activity. The Nele women, who prefer to work on their masterpieces in the front yard of their houses, give you the opportunity to peek at the different steps of ikat production. Nele ikat, adorned with artistic local motifs, is hand-woven and dyed traditionally with natural colors.
Maumere is just 7km away from Nele Village and offers plenty of accommodation and restaurants. This makes Maumere the perfect starting point to visit Nele and other nearby villages.
How to get there
You can reach Nele by taking the Transflores ‘highway’ from Maumere in the direction of the sub-district of Nita.