Manggarai people

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Manggarai people
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Manggarai-familie van een schoolonderwijzer van een desa TMnr 10005938.jpg
A Manggarai family.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
(Flores Island) East Nusa Tenggara
Manggarai language
Christianity (predominantly), Islam, Folk religion
Related ethnic groups
Lamaholot people

The Manggarai are an ethnic group found in western Flores in the East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. Manggarai people are spread across three districts in the province, namely the West Manggarai Regency, Manggarai Regency and East Manggarai Regency.


According to historical records, they have been occupied alternately by other tribes such as the Bima people from the island of Sumbawa and the Makassar people from Sulawesi island, Indonesia. As of the late 20th century, there are about 500,000 Manggarai people.[2]


Their political system is clan-based, led by a chief clan called Todo. This people practices patrilineal descent system, and historically they live in villages of which consists at least two clans.[2]


Manggarai womenfolk.

The Manggarai people are known to have series of ritual as a thanksgiving for the life that has been given to them to live in a certain time period. Among others are:-[3]

  • Penti Manggarai, a ceremony of harvest thanksgiving celebration.
  • Barong Lodok, a ritual that invites the guardian spirit to the center of Lingko (middle farm).
  • Barong Wae, a ritual to invite ancestral spirits to be a watcher over springs.
  • Barong Compang, a ceremony of summoning a village guardian spirit at night.
  • Wisi Loce, this ceremony is conducted so that all spirits who are invited are able to wait a moment before the climax of the Penti ceremony.
  • Libur Kilo, a ceremony of thanksgiving for the welfare of each family in their homes.

Manggarai people also have a traditional sport called caci, a fight and parry each other using a whip and a shield and it is usually performed by two young men in a large field. Caci performance usually begins with Danding dance performances, before the caci warriors display their abilities to hit and parry in the competition. The dance is commonly referred to as Tandak Manggarai, a dance performed on stage to predict the outcome of the Caci competition.[3]


The language spoken throughout the region is called Tombo Manggarai, a language with around 43 sub-dialects and it is a language that is very distinct from the languages of ethnic groups to the east and from Indonesian.[4]


  1. ^ "Manggarai in Indonesia". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "Etnis Manggarai, dari Ritual ke Ritual". Liputan6. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  4. ^ - Ethnologue: Manggarai

External links[edit]

Media related to Manggarai Regency at Wikimedia Commons