Rote Island is a part of Kupang Regency and is
the southernmost island of Indonesia. It is located in the west
coast of Kupang. This exotic island can be reached only in four
hours. From Kupang by inter-island ferry to dive and tour this untouched
beautifully rugged land. Spectacular walls and caverns mirror the
hills, valleys, and escarpments underwater. The marine life is so
varied and profuse that is hard to believe from Fire-fish to Mantas.
The architecture of Rote is unique, as is their exquisite ikat weaving.
See the people is their traditional lifestyle, which has remained
unchanged for centuries.
Rote has many historical relies including fine
antique Chinese porcelains, as well as ancient arts and traditions.
Many prominent Indonesia nationalist leaders were born here. A popular
music instrument Sasando, which is made of palm leaves. According
to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese
sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer,
who could not speaking Portuguese, introduced himself, "Rote".
Rote just off the southern tip of Timor Island consists of rolling
hills, terraced plantations, and acacia palm, savanna and some forests.
The rotinese depend, like the Savunese, on lontar palm for basic
survival, but also as the supplement their income with fishing and
Before Indonesia's Independence, Rote, boasted
the highest density of kingdom in the East Indies. Even today the
island, the Rotenese and their kingdoms are divided, following ancient
tradition, into two domains, one known as Sunrise and one as Sunset.
A “male” Lord, a “female” Lord and several
advisers, representing the clans within that domain, rules the domain.
Each clan that possesses ceremonial rights performs it's own rituals
during the annual HUS celebration, a traditional New Year festival.
At the HUS, Rotenese men wearing their unique hats make offerings
to the clan ancestors and the women dance accompanied by sasando,
The Rotenese guitar.
Rote is particularly well know for its surfing,
each year surfers flock to Namberala to ride the near perfect tubes
formed by the shallow reefs and off-shore winds. Accommodation in
Namberala includes a traditional beachfront bungalow resort and
several home stays. The beach itself is one of the best examples
of a palm fringed pure white sandy beach to be found anywhere. Diving
in the area is also exceptional due to the large numbers of Manta
and Dugong seen there. A boat trip to nearby Dana or Ndao Islands
is also recommended.