[Destination] Gomo

Nias island lies 125 kms off the west coast of Sumatera in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the interesting tourist destination of North Sumatera. It take several hours by boat from the sothern coast of North Sumatera. Some forms of the megalith culture are still found in Nias, in village inhabitated.

Visitors to the island can take daily ferry from Sibolga to Gunung Sitoli and Teluk Dalam, if you are starting from Medan, it is a full day’s drive to Sibolga, conti-nued boat or ferry to the island. Cruisers or ferry execursion include nias on their itenerary for a one day trip when cultural perpormances are being held.

The oldest village oon Nias island is Bawomataluo. Its name means sunhill, it is stone steps. Some interesting points are built arounda square in front of the King’s house. This square is used for perpormances as war dances, complete with amour, shield and spears. Also the traditional stone jumping ritual to initiating boys into manhod and training them for war. This stone jumping is demonstrated for visitors now.

• Bawotaluo Village

The name,which means ‘sun hill’, originated because the village is situated on top of a hill, 1,313 feet above sea level. Visitors have to mount steep stone steps to rach the village.

Bawotaluo is the oldest village, located in the southern part of Nias island. The dwelling of the tribal chief is a quite impressive one. It is built on large pillars having a circumference of about 0,75 metre each.

On Nias island, the pig is considered a symbol of social status and measurement of one’s animals are slaughtered in large number for the feasts and certain traditional ceremonies.

The biggest of the traditional house in Nias is about 50 feet high, measured from the tip of its roof down to the ground. Other interisting things to see are the round stone tables and stone chairs used by the tribal chiefs, each weighing approximately 16 tons. In front of the village there might be a human corpse on stone table. According to the ancient tales, all dead bodies were left lying the stone table and would be burried after all the flesh had decayed.

• Hilisimaetano Village

The village of hilisimaetano is more easily accssible. The villagers’ houses area built around a square in front of the king/chief’s dweling. The square is used for performances of war dances and the stone jumping ritual, which is specific to the Nias island. Dancers wear a traditional outfit with bird feathers as a headress. In ancient time, the war dance and stone jumping was a from training in wafare for the young men. Now a days, they are still performed on special events or on request for atourist group.

• Gomo Village
There is an old park in gomo where visitors find many old stone carvings from the ancient times. The historical remains of the Nias ancestors always astonishers visitors, they wondeer how the Nias people brought the large stones up to hill from valleys.

• Lagundari and Sorake Beaches
Lagundari and Sorake are located on the south coast of Nias. They are about 12 kms from Teluk Dalam. Lagundari beach, which froms 4 kilometers in length, joints the sorake beach where there are big, rolling, waves, good for surving. The long white sandy beach, clear water and rows of coconut along the shore, make these beaches particularly attrative.

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