Regional development will be more valuable if it can adapt to the environment and is sustainable. In addition, each region certainly has its own uniqueness and added value as its own attraction that determines the positioning of the region. Therefore, it is necessary to implement periodic and sustainable development, which means that the attraction requires planned management and development. Tourism development contributes to accelerating economic growth with an approach to economic growth and equity for people’s welfare and development, oriented toward regional development that is community-based and sustainable through community empowerment, which includes various aspects, such as human resources, destination management, infrastructure, accommodation, science, marketing and technology.
Regional cultural diversity is a social potential that can shape the cultural character and image in each region, and it is an important part of the formation of the image and cultural identity of a region. Some of the values and forms of local wisdom, including customary law, cultural values and beliefs that exist, are partly very relevant to be applied to the planning and development process of a region or area, such as those found in several areas such as Bali, Toraja and others that have various rules of regional planning and development [1
The origin of the development of the Wae Rebo Village in 1997 was with the research on anthropology by Catherine Allertone, which contained photographs of the life of the Wae Rebo people and the shape of the building called Mbaru Niang (Round House), whereby the image then spread throughout the world through a picture on a postcard. Furthermore, in 2001, Mbaru Niang Wae Rebo received an award from the Indonesian Architects Association (IAI) in the conservation building category. Then, on 27 August 2012, he was awarded the UNESCO Award of Excellence at the Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Conservation 2012 in Bangkok, by setting aside 42 cultural heritages from 11 countries in Asia. The award is given based on the criteria as a site that reflects local wisdom, by providing benefits, namely, contributing to the surrounding environment and the sustainability of local culture and history [2
]. Conservation of traditional houses or Mbaru Niang has succeeded in overcoming the problems of environmental conservation in a wide scope through local traditions. This shows that the conservation of traditional houses not only maintains the existence of traditional houses as inanimate objects but also has cultural values in maintaining the integrity and local traditions.
Traditional architectural buildings can be a tourism attraction and are representatives that describe the socio-cultural life of the community and as heritage works which have norms of customs or cultural inheritance that have been passed down from generation to generation. The existence of a traditional village is an answer to the demands of the function and value of the house as a form of social interaction from the community in the village as a place to live together. The people of Manggarai, especially Wae Rebo, have proven that their architecture is a manifestation of the unity of the values of their sacred life and their habits of life. Traditional village patterns, building forms, spatial planning and forms of accessories as well as the rules of the procession of life are united in the physical building of space, as if there are no boundaries between physical and religious, so that in the end they build an economy based on local wisdom with the strength of community togetherness.
3. Wae Rebo Tourism Product Components
The components of Wae Rebo tourism products include:
Beautiful natural landscapes are presented in the mountains along the Wae Rebo, where there are 42 species of trees living in the protected forest. The tree species found were Natu (Planchonella firma
), Ketang (Planchonella bovate
), Maras (Dysoxylum
sp.), Worok (Dysoxylum nutans
), Moak (Dacrycarpus imbricatus
), Pinis (Podocarpus amarus
), Rukus (Adinandra javanica
), Kenti (Leptospermum flavescens
) Rentigi (Vaccinium timorensis
) and M debris (Decaspermum fruticosum
). Based on the survey, Indecon managed to record 38 species of birds found in the mountain forest. Two of them are endemic to Flores, namely, the Flores Crow (Corvus florensis
) and the Flores Celepuk (Otus alfredi
). Apart from birds, there are several other animals that inhabit the mountainous forest, namely, wild boars (Sucelebensis
), long-tailed monkeys or Kode (Macaca fascicularis
), squirrels (Callosciurus notatus
), ferret (Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus
) and porcupine (Hystrix javanica
Cultural Tourism Attractions
Wae Rebo is one of the traditional villages which, to this day, preserves the authenticity of the village, the authenticity of the architecture of the buildings, community life and customs. Upon visiting Wae Rebo, tourists will visit some of the cultural attractions directly, but there are also some cultural attractions that cannot be directly observed, because the time when they travel is not favorable. The travel time is not correct, as some of the cultural attractions of Wae Rebo will be performed at major events scheduled at another time, particularly in November.
Wae Rebo Building Architecture
Mbaru Niang is the uniqueness of the village of Wae Rebo. Figure 1
presents a photo of Mbaru Niang, which is a traditional house and has a distinctive architecture left by the ancestors of the Wae Rebo community. Mbaru means house while Niang means tall and round. Mbaru Niang is a house built with an architecture that is different from other house buildings because it is conical in shape and towers upward.
According to traditional leaders, it is important to reveal that Mbaru Niang’s form is significant because it is a symbol of the protection and unity of the Rebo community. In particular, the floor in Niang is circular, which symbolizes harmony and justice for all residents living in it. Mbaru Niang has been guarded and preserved by the Rebo community for generations despite being abandoned by their ancestors.
The importance of the house has lasted for 19 generations. Mbaru Niang Rebo consists of seven buildings that have stood since their foundation in 1920 until today. The building consists of only seven niang, because it is said that the ancestor built the seven niang to honor the seven directions of the mountain peaks surrounding the village of Vee Rebo, which is also considered the protector of prosperity and peace in the village. Among the seven buildings, there is a circular altar in the middle of the Mbaru Niang group. Compang is the center of the seven Niang, which is considered by the inhabitants of Vee Rebo as a place that has the most sacred value because it serves as a place to perform worship rituals and offerings to God and ancestors [6
The seven Niang buildings have different traditional names, including: Niang Gendang, Niang Gena Mandok, Niang Gena Jekong, Niang Gena Ndorom, Niang Gena Pirung, Niang Gena Jintam and Niang Gena Maro. Of the seven Niang buildings, Niang Gendang is bigger than the six Niang Gena, while the other six Niang Gena are the same size. Mbaru Niang has five levels, each with a common name and seven important parts that have different meanings and names. The following are the names and functions of the five levels of Mbaru Niang. Hekang Code (5th level): serves as a storage room for ancestors in the form of woven bamboo or langkar; Lempa Rae (4th level): serves as a food reserve; Lentar (3th level): serves as a storage place for seeds of arable and garden crops; Lobo (2nd level): serves as a storage room for other foods; tent (1st level): serves as a room for human activities/inhabitants. Inside, there is a meeting room, a living room and a dining room, as well as a bedroom for 6–8 families.
To explain the names and meanings of the seven important parts of Mbaru Niang, among others, include: Ngando: works as a roofer throughout, flags were also put up during the 17 August celebration; Hunchback: acts as the center of a building of high sacred value, as well as a seat for traditional leaders when performing waelu’u; Bamboo Book: serves as a roof frame which also functions as a roof support; Wehang: serves to cover and protect occupants from rain and sunlight; Door: serves as a way out or enter the house; Foundation Pile: serves as a support for the Mbaru Niang building. The activities carried out by the community while inside the Mbaru Niang building are located on the very first level (tents). The size of the tents inside Niang Gendang is larger than the six Niang Gena, being 14 m in size while that of the six Niang Gena are 11 m in size. The difference in size is due to the fact that the number of residents in Niang Gendang is more than in the six Niang Gena, namely, eight families, while those living in the six Niang Gena are six families. The inside of the tent is divided into two parts, namely, Motang and Lutur, which have different functions. Motang is a private zone that has a stove for cooking and family meals, as well as a bedroom. The order of the bedrooms is arranged based on the birth order of each head of the family. The concept of a circle is used to organize the seven Mbaru Niang where Compang is the most sacred part as well as the concept in the room, namely, the hunchback as the center point, which is also sacred. Therefore, the traditional leader always sits in front of the hunchback pole because he is also considered sacred by the Wae Rebo community.
One of cultural tourism attractions of Wae Rebo village is the Penti ceremony, carried out every month of November (Beko), which is believed by the Wae Rebo community as the new moon in the moon counting system. Based on the results of interviews with the head of customs, we found that: the Penti ceremony is held as a form of expression of gratitude to the creator. In addition, the Penti celebration is also held as a New Year celebration as a form of gratitude for the success given by the creator for a whole year, by giving offerings in the form of chicken meat or agricultural products on the altar table available in the village of Wae Rebo. The Penti ceremony is celebrated with the hope that the people of Wae Rebo will have the same success in the coming year. The Penti ceremony is considered as a traditional ceremony to prepare new plant seeds or in local language “Wuat Wini” to be planted in the garden. Penti ceremony the community hopes that the seeds that have been planted are blessed by The Creator so that the results obtained during the harvest are good results. Penti traditional rituals are carried out for one day with several stages of ceremonies, namely, the blessing of SPRINGS, the salvation of the village, and evil spirits. The community is called to gather at The Drum House and then head to the ritual place accompanied by Sanda singing. The Sanda chant is only sung when the Penti ceremony is in progress. Then the dance Caci is performed.
Caci is a traditional dance from Manggarai which is performed in traditional ceremonies and major events such as Penti ceremonies, celebrations of the Independence Day of The Republic of Indonesia, wedding day and welcoming state guests. The Caci dance is performed by two men who describe their respective strengths, telling the story wherein one of the two men whips the opponent, rewarded with parry, and lashes against the opponent in turn, lasting for several minutes until the end of the dance.
The Caci dance is identical to male strength in Manggarai because it is associated with courage, masculinity and attractiveness for women. The main actors of the Caci dance are men, but not all men can do it because the Caci dance is only performed by brave men, strong and clever in performing dance movements, and singing folk songs, as the dance is accompanied by drum music, gongs, and also regional songs such as “Lando” and “Mbaku”.
Caci is a dance based on its philosophy: Caci is a way of communication between God and people. Ca means one and Ci means test; therefore, the dance consists of only two people, which means that God tests the players one by one, with the aim of finding out whether the two dancers are guilty or not. One of these tests is the whip, which symbolizes lightning. Lightning symbolizes God’s judgment, but lightning also symbolizes the relationship between heaven and Earth. Caci is a symbol of God, the unity of Mother Earth and Father Heaven. The shield in the right hand is a symbol of the womb and Mother Earth, and the willow wand in the left hand is a symbol of heaven. The strike of the whip connects the motherland and the top of the sky. Caci dance scars become a source of pride for dancers, because they are considered a symbol of masculinity.
Some of the attributes used to perform the Caci dance are: (1) white trousers and songke fabric (trousers are worn and then wrapped with songke fabric, symbolizing the innocence, generosity, honesty, kindness and obedience of the Manggarai people); (2) Ndeki (an attribute in the form of a ponytail in the middle of a dancer made of rattan and white goat hair, symbolizing masculinity and strength); (3) bells (installed at the back of the waist, which will sound after the dance movements performed by the dancers); (4) Panggal mask (worn on the head and symbolizes the strength and charisma of the Manggarai people; (5) Larik (whip used as a weapon, made of dried buffalo skin and equipped with a woven rattan at the end); (6) Nggiling (a round shield made of dried buffalo skin, whose function is to block the opponent’s attack when performing the Caci dance); and (7) Tereng or Agang, made from rattan which serves as a tool to repel an attack.
6. Wae Rebo Tourism Village Model Based on Local Wisdom with a Technological Approach in Creating Economic Resilience
Matutano describes five aspects that have a significant impact on the application of community-led tourism [9
]. Social contracts include improving the quality of life of people, including improving education in schools outside Wae Rebo, increasing community pride, and promoting equality in all matters, such as with the housewives in the village. Wae Rebo is directly involved in tourism activities, including institutional management membership, direct participation in planning meetings, management, decision making and other tourism activities. The economic aspect can be related to the availability of funds from tourism activities for tourism development in Wae Rebo, which increases employment in the local community, including the guide. The cultural aspect encourages the people of Wae Rebo to respect cultural differences, which is why the community has done so, namely, by opening up and accepting all the cultures of the world. The community has helped tourists in the field of culture, namely, by sharing information about the culture of Wae Rebo, so that tourists are also interested in learning about it, for example about the traditional clothes that are worn on a daily basis. The political aspect of community participation has increased since the existence of tourism activities until now, since the activities carried out in Wae Rebo should be of direct concern to the community as a whole on the basis of the activities under consideration. Community development in Wae Rebo is more extensive thanks to the cooperation gained from these activities. These activities develop tourism in Wae Rebo, which increases employment in the local community, and one of them works as a guide in cooperation with various tourism NGOs [10
]. The rights to ensure the management of natural resources are based on the order of the Regent of Manggarai, according to which Wae Rebo is designated as a cultural reserve of the Regent of Manggarai and is overseen by the Ministry of Forestry.
A technological approach is used for marketing activities, namely, the promotion of Wae Rebo village through social media, by means of local guides documenting photos of Wae Rebo village life through social media. However, there is also a personal approach, namely, through word of mouth, through friends, because tourists are present in groups as friends or together with family. Moreover, the technological approach is used to make it easier to access information about the village of Wae Rebo, particularly about the social and cultural life of the community, tourist attractions, facilities, and locations as well as the uniqueness of Wae Rebo, including the supply chain about the sustainability of the village. Villages that maintain local wisdom as social capital maintain the community’s economy with technology as a tool or media to provide excellent service to tourists.