Though most people travel to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara for the beaches or taking a short break from Bali, little did they know that they are in for one of the most cultural regions in Indonesia. Alongside the beautiful beaches and fantastic nature surrounding, Lombok has an amazing cultural charm. Meet the Sasak tribe, a community that inhabits the island of Lombok. This community is the largest tribe in the province that lies between Bali and West Nusa Tenggara. Some of the Sasak tribe live in Sade Village, with approximately 700 families residing in it.
Sade Village is the cultural village of Lombok where it was designed to showcasing the local tradition to tourists. Arriving in Sade Village you will be greeted by villagers looping a colorfully weaved scarf around your neck. The frenetic beat of the gendang beleq drums soon followed and the traditional welcome dance of Sasak tribe. After the performances, you will be given free time to go around the village, to walk along streets composed mostly of shops selling textiles, souvenirs, and accessories. The village is pretty big, and you could get lost in it if you go too far.
The inside of a traditional Sasak house is also interesting. The floor is made from clay and periodically polished with cow dung, which is a tradition done to ward off the mosquitoes. But surprisingly, there was no smell of cow dung on the dry floor. You will also notice that there are only two rooms inside the house. The inner room is both a kitchen and a sleeping quarter for the single girls. Their houses are also made from dried grass roofs, wooden frame, and bamboo walls.
Another unique thing you can find in Sade village is the fact that the people still maintain Sasak tribe ‘customs strongly. One of the customs is the marriage process or merariq, or elope marriage. Marriage procession started by the man ‘kidnapping’ the woman, but this ‘kidnapping’ process is actually bringing the woman to the man’s house, without informing the woman’s family, in the night time. The man’s family will then inform the woman’s family the following day, telling that their daughter is fine and ask the parent to be her guardian to marry the daughter.
The Sasak women are taught to weave since they are young because in Sasak custom, a girl cannot marry if she doesn’t know how to weave. Ikat, the traditional woven cloth, is born from a labor-intensive process. The whole process of dyeing and weaving of Ikat can take few months to finish a high-quality product. The prices of Ikat is depending on the kind of weave and dyeing process. You can of course buy Ikat at Sade Village.
There is a fee entrance for entering the Sade Village, which will be used to maintain the village’s authentic design and to keep it clean.