Wologai is one of the few villages in the Ende district with well-maintained houses built in the traditional Lionese architectural style. Throughout the year, there are several ceremonies held in these beautiful buildings. During a big harvest ceremony that usually takes place in August, Wologai people from abroad reunite in their home village and turn it into a very lively spot.
Since they are constructed from bamboo and palm fiber, the houses are highly flammable; so even more, as the kitchen is located inside. The village already burnt down several times and had to be reconstructed.
The main ceremonial house is the storage place for several sacred objects and ritual paraphernalia, including a myth-spun drum. The story goes that this instrument is made out of human skin. This drum is only used during an important annual ceremony. On this occasion, musicians do not play it with their hand or a drumstick, but only with a special kind of dried grass. Unfortunately, recently the drum got stolen. So, the local adat elders are still holding purification ceremonies to find the drum, and also the thief.
Guests are not usually permitted to enter the ceremonial house during a spontaneous visit. However, visitors have the opportunity to look inside the non-ceremonial traditional houses which are inhabited by the villagers.
Besides the traditional houses, Wologai is also worth a visit due to its handicrafts – above all the carving which is mostly produced by a charming old man. In addition, the processing of local palm liquor – moke – is also an interesting part of the Wologai people’s livelihood.
The closest town with accommodation and small shops is Moni, only about 16km from Wologai.
How to get there
From Ende to Wologai, it takes about 36km; from Maumere to Wologai 112km. Wologai is also reachable by public transport.