flores island



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Flores Island

           Lavalon: Where the music Has no barrier

flores island
Labuan Bajo Beach, Flores

 

Flores is an exceptional scenic island, located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and Alor . To the southeast is Timor . To the south, across the Sumba strait, lies the island of Sumba and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is the island of Sulawesi.

The name Flores is Portuguese and means 'flower' as the Portuguese were the first Europeans to colonize East Nusa Tenggara. They eventually sold it to the Dutch.

Flores measures 17,164 square kilometer, is heavily treed with forests and is mountainous, rising to 2,399 m. above sea level. The island is divided by strings of volcanic mountains into several regions with distinctive languages and traditions. The largest town is Maumere.

The western part of the island is mainly of Malayan origin whereas the eastern part is mainly inhabited by people of Papuan origin.

HOW TO GET THERE

Flores (Maumere or Labuan Bajo) can be reached by aeroplane from anywhere in the world, with one plane change via Denpasar Bali.

2 or 4 day boat tours from Lombok and 7 day boat tours from Bali to Labuan Bajo pass through Rincah/Komodo and other  surrounding islands.

Prehistory

Among the prehistoric inhabitants of the island were small-proportioned humans (classified as Homo floresiensis in 2004) that may have evolved from Homo erectus and lived on Flores as recently as 13,000 years ago. Some scientists, however, believe that remains are those of micro cephalic modern humans who also suffered from dwarfism. Much later under the rule of Sulawesi princes, Flores came under Dutch influence c.1618. The Dutch gradually gained control of the island, although Portugal held the eastern end until 1851 and the natives were not completely subjugated until 1907.

Flores Man

In September 2004, at the Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, Paleoanthropologist discovered skeletons of a previously unknown hominid species. Homo floresiensis, affectionately termed hobbits after the small characters in the Lord of the Rings, appear to be miniaturized versions of Homo erectus standing about one meter tall. They may have existed until as recently as 11.000 BC.

Flores Man
Flores Man
Local reports of elf people, the Ebu Gogo, or the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, have caused speculation that Flores man may have survived into the historical period, or even to the present. The discovery has been published in the October 28, 2004, issue of Nature magazine. Flores was also a habitat of the extinct Stegodon dwarf elephant until approximately 18,000 years ago.

Administration

Flores belongs to the Lesser Sunda Islands and is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into five regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.


Volcanoes

Flores has several active and dormant volcanoes, including Egon, Ilimuda, Leroboleng, and Lewotobi.

Kelimutu is a mountain which is famous for its "Three Color Lakes", dark brown, light blue, and dark blue. It is really a magic natural wonder. According to the people who live around the lakes the colors of these lakes sometimes change. Climb to the top of the mountain to experience a truly dramatic panorama on these lakes.

> climbing info and pictures of Mt. Kelimutu and the three color lakes

Three Color Lakes of Kelimutu
Three color lakes of Mt. Kelimutu  


Map of Flores island

Map of Flores island

 

Flora and fauna

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild. The Flores giant rat is also endemic to the Island.


Culture

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the center of the island in the districts of Ngada and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngada, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha. Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language and culture.
The traditional village of Bena, Ngada, Flores
Bena Village in the Ngada district  

Located in the Ngada district in Central Flores one can find the secluded village of Bena where the architecture is still traditional, with rites and customs that are remnants of the megalithic aera. > pictures of Bena village .


Religion

Flores is almost all Catholic (95%) and represents one of the "religious borders" created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia. In other places in Indonesia, such as in Maluku and Sulawesi, the divide is more rigid and has been the source of bloody sectarian clashes. At the coastal areas of Flores one can also find small muslim communities.

Mbaru
A ‘traditional’ village 3km
from Ruteng has a Kampung, a traditional an­
cestor altar composed of a raised stone burial
platform and a couple of rumah
adat (traditional houses)
Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo Village (Maggarai)

GUIDES

When you are in Labuhanbajo or Bajawa the following one guides or Tour Operator are recommended by Lavalon:

Fransiska-Sutri Phone/Fax: 6238541437
Mobile: 6281337426934


info@florescharm.com

Ervin Wali
Hotel Elizabet    
Jl: Inerie. 
phone:+62(0)38421223.

Hp.+62(0)81339193584 

Experienced guide, speaks very good English, has a good knowledge of the Ngada culture and Flores in general, can organize tours in Flores and other islands (has comfortable car) and also trekking (up to 10 days and more). Reliable.

 

PLACES TO STAY

Around Maumere:

Ankermi Restaurant and Dive Center
(Right on the beach at Watumita, 29 km east from the town of Maumere)

email: ankermi@yahoo.com


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