Monday, November 26, 2012

Melo Village, Not Mellow

You can not say Melo like the way you say Mellow. A letter “e” in Melo is same as “e” in “There”. Melo.

 A place where Melo Women weaving the Songket
Melo village is located in Desa Liang Darat, kecamatan Sano Nggoang, Manggarai Barat, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. We can reach this village by motorbike or other transportation which cost IDR 10.000 from Labuan Bajo. We reach this village at noon. That was so quite, cloudy. Only a few people who walked away in this village. We didn’t see others. When we sit in a big stone we feel the calm environment and we can see the wide view of Flores from the top. It becomes misty while cloudy and fogged. But it feels so different when we enter the wood house and meet the Melo people. They have a sincere smile. We meet Yoseph Ugis, the elder of Melo people. He said sorry for didnt give us a proper greet. Usually people call Ugis first before come to Melo so that Ugis and the Melo can prepare the Manggarai traditional dances such as Caci, the women weavering songket and Rea hat, traditional songs, and some traditional games.
Melo children with their sweet smile
They gave us some coffee and tea. It taste so special because the coffee is originally from Manggarai. The coffee processed naturally from beginning. The seeds were picked manually, pounded manually and also fried by people. They didn’t use any machine for process it. The taste is different from common coffee in town. I don’t really like coffee, but I was tempted to try it. What about the tea? It feels like I drink the extract of tea leaves. It was served while it’s still hot enough in a rainy day. They also sell it to the town, Labuan Bajo.
The Original Manggarai Coffee. by Udin
We gathered in a warm house like a shelter called Sanggar Compang To’e. Mr. Yoseph Ugis is the owner of Sanggar Compang To’e. It built in 1993. Compang means raised altar area in the center of village in Manggarai and To’e is the name of indigenous Manggarai ethnic group. Compang To’e was established by Yoseph himself. He built it based of his love to his unique tradition. 
Inside Compang To'e. Children play the music by Udin
While we talked about Compang To’e, Yoseph showed some pieces of Songket weaved by the Melo women. He offered help our host, Mad, to try the Songket. Mrs. Yoseph suddenly came to us and also gave a Songket for woman. So, this is me wear a Songket with the Manggarai crown..
Hey..I wear the songket completely by Udin. Din..kenapa moto ginian pake wide sih, mukaku aneh.. tapi lucu :*
Mr. Yoseph Help Mad to use it by Udin

We love them!! by Udin
It was an honor for me can use that traditional Songket with Kebaya.
“Songket has some meaning,” said Yoseph. A pattern that has a vertical symbol in the edge of Songket shows their believing to God. Second, a pattern that form a line beside the flowers pattern is a symbol of the unity of Manggarai in goodness and badness. Third, the flower pattern reflects their life with the nature. Forth, the black of Songket shows Manggarai people’s way of life as a farmer not as a seller or others. The last, Songket is a religious symbol for Manggarai people. They use Songket in a special occasion such as wedding ceremony, opening the new farm and sort of. The interesting one is, when someone use Songket and Rea hat, that man should talk with the indigenous language.

The Rea with its symbol by Udin
Mr. Yoseph Ugis almost use Rea hat every day. Rea hat is a cane work like peci and the pattern looks like a Songket. The different is, the pattern of Rea only focus in the shape of Mbaru Gendang, a traditional house of West Manggarai which is reflecting the local’s social life. Songket and Rea are sold about IDR 5 up to 300 thousands. They hope people in the world know about Songket and Rea and the government will help them to improve it.

Mr. Ugis has create a new song. He teaches Melo children about the songs, the dances, the games and else. Fortunately, He asked the children to sing the new song composed by him. We were hypnotized by the song. It’s a beautiful song called Manik Lain which means The Beauty. In the last, one of them say something about the song. What’s inside the song. She said about their unique culture, the beauty of Manggarai, their believe in God. These were the children said at the last of the song.

“Manik Lain song is telling us about the beauty. First, the nature of West Manggarai Barat is so beautiful and unique. There are so many pretty natural and unique destination, both in the sea and the land. Komodo is more interesting. All of them are created by God. Second, the social culture of Manggarai is precious and unique. There are beautiful and unique culture, those are traditional musics and dances, especially The Caci traditional dance of Manggarai. All of them are made by our ancestor. Let’s together keep and continue the culture for our future.”

So, what’s your reason for not falling in love with Indonesia?
Bye Melo!! Hope we'll see you again.


  1. OMG.. u gonna post this @ international event :D
    Mehhh I am proud of you..! You are lucky girl ;) #hugs&kissees anywaaay.. I LOVE INDONESIA and MADLY PROUD TO BE INDONESIAN!

    1. Thq mbak.. Iya ya, I should post this to the international event :D Thq idenya mbak..
      Lucky. I'm lucky and I'm blessed. Alhamdulillah