Wologai Village in Ende, Flores – East Nusa Tenggara, is located close to Kelimutu mountain; famous for its magnificent three lakes of different colours. According to the stories that I’ve heard, the village has a dark past, so dark in fact that it gives me goosebumps. A long time back the people from Wologai used human skin for making their drums, I was thinking this is not a kind of story that you want to hear when you are about to visit the village.
It was after watching the sunrise at Kelimutu that we first heard about Wologai. We had asked our driver for a suggestion of where to visit. We had a few hours to kill before we flew to Labuhan Bajo from Ende to the island of Komodo for a sailing trip. Luckily for us our driver was a local, which was a blessing, as he knew the roads well and was able to suggest that we visit one of the most mysterious yet interesting villages on our short trip to Ende.
To be really honest we weren’t able to visit the village that I was most looking forwards to visiting, Wae Rebo, because we didn’t have time. So Wologai sounded like a good replacement at that momet. Our decision to visit Wologai turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. Before we could enter Wologai though, we had to fill in the guest book and pay a little money.
A massive tree welcomed me at the entrance to the village, and instantly made me curious about what came after it. We went up several steps and the entire village appeared over the hill. A middle-aged man that acted as the head of the village showed us around Wologai and talked to us about the history and culture of the village and the people who lived there.
In the center of Wologai, there was a ritual stage. Because we were outsiders and did not live in Wologai we were prohibited from entering the area. We were told by the village chief that if we entered our soul would be trapped in this village forever. As far as I can remember he was not smiling when he said this.
There was also a ceremonial stone that was fenced around by simple bamboo sticks, which we weren’t allowed to touch. This time is was because if we touched it a storm might suddenly erupt or bad weather would affect the village. I confess, I was curious at that moment to see what would happen if I touched it, but I decided not to break any of the rules of Wologai.
Anyways, besides all of the spookiness, there were also several interesting things about Wologai. For instance, I really enjoyed interacting with the villagers because they were all so friendly. The adults were quite shy, but the kids were very happy to say hi to visitors. They also had some pretty hand-made wooden statues and they claimed that the coffee from Wologai was the best in the region.
Thanks to Nanien Anggraini for some of the pictures 🙂