Bena village, Ngada – Flores – Indonesia

Located 17 km from the town of Bajawa, the villagers still faithfully follow megalithic traditions, where sincere friendliness to strangers comes from the heart, where all around  the village you will see vestiges of an age long gone when large stone monuments to ancestors were an inseparable part of daily life. The megalithic village of Bena is one of Indonesia’s rich living cultural heritage that can still be enjoyed to this very day but should also be carefully preserved.

Life in the village of Bena seems not to have changed since the megalithic age some 1,200 years ago. Here are 9 clans living in 45 houses. These are the Dizi, the Dizi Azi, the Wahtu, the Deru Lalulewa, the Deru Solamae, the Ngada, the Khopa, and the Ago. Each clan lives on a different level of the terraced village, with the Bena clan in its center. This is because the Bena are deemed the oldest clan and founder of the village, for which reason the village is named Kampung Bena

In general, the inhabitants of Bena live from agriculture tending to the many green gardens planted on the slopes of deep valleys surrounding the village. They communicate with each other in the Nga’dha language. Most villagers are Catholic. Nevertheless, they still follow the ancient belief in ancestor worship, its rituals, and traditions.

Today Kampung Bena counts 326 inhabitants in 120 families. However, those related to the tradition (Adat) and to the village are thousands of village descendants now living outside the core village.

Bena villagers believe that the god Zeta resides on the peak of Mt. Inerie. This mountain, which reaches 2,245 meters above sea level is overgrown with thick forests on its west side only, while its south side is planted with various orchards or gardens. To the Bena people, Mt. Inerie is the right of the mother (hak mama) , while Mt. Surulaki is the right of the father ( hak Bapa).

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Bena village

Bena traditional village

Ngada Flores island