Sejarah lengkap kerajaan Manyili

– Sumber: Asian Textile Studies

The first historical record referring to Mangili comes from Hendrik Engelburt, the opperhoofd (chief) of the VOC at Kupang in 1723. The chief of Mangili had asked for VOC assistance regarding a dispute with Umbu Nggaba Haumara, the ruler of neighbouring Pau (Umalulu), who at that time was supplying sandalwood to the mixed-race Portuguese Topasses based in Larantuka (Roo 1906, 193-194; Kapita 1976b, 146).

The next opperhoofd of Timor, Daniel van den Burgh, visited Sumba in 1751 – the first senior VOC official to do so. There he met with the leaders of eight domains, one of which was Mangili (Roo 1906, 196). This must have been Umbu Lakaru Taraandungu, the leader of the Karindingu clan, who ruled from 1750 to 1775. Van den Burgh believed that he had secured an oral agreement with each domain, including Mangili, under which their leader acknowledged the sovereignty of the VOC and agreed to trade with it exclusively (Wellem 2004, 19-20). It turned out that the tribal chiefs were not as committed as he had naively thought.

Concerned about the intentions of the Topasses on Timor, the Hoge Regeríng, the supreme authority of the VOC in Batavia despatched their commissioner, Johannes Andreas Paravicini, on an important diplomatic mission to Kupang in 1756. There he obtained signatories on a contract of allegiance from a number of regional leaders from the islands of Solor, Savu, Rote and Timor, but just one from Sumba – Umbu Lakaru Taraandungu from Mangili (Kapita 1976b, 146; Fox 2003, 12; Wellem 2004, 19; Hägerdal 2012, 376-381). The contract supposedly applied to eight regents from Sumba, but controversially the Mangili leader took it upon himself to sign it on behalf of all the others without consulting with any of them! On the 9th June Paravicini staged a solemn ceremony in which 92 regional heads, including Umbu Lakaru Taraandungu, swore an oath of allegiance to the banner of the VOC.

It seems that the chiefs of the four leading landowning clans of Mangili, the mangu tana, deliberately avoided coming into direct contact with the VOC (Kapita 1976b, 146-47). They clearly feared the possible adverse consequences of establishing links with an unknown foreign power.

Another opperhoofd of Kupang, Hans Albrecht von Plüskow, sent a further mission to Sumba in 1758. It was led by Hans Erasmus, but included Gabriel Kotting, the Kupang-based brother of the Regent of Dengka from Rote Island, and Bale, the district head of Kupang, who also happened to be married to the daughter of the Raja of Mangili (Erasmus and Leupe 1879; Kapita 1976b, 147). It seems that Mangili was the only domain on Sumba that had established some form of relationship with the VOC at that time.

In 1768 the Raja of Mangili, Umbu Lakaru Taraandungu, travelled to Kupang to ask the VOC to place an interpreter on the island and also to launch an expedition against Raja Sumba Galan of Pau (Umalulu) who was apparently regarded as an enemy by the other domains (Roo 1906, 214-215). A. Carnabe, the new opperhoofd of Kupang, decided the VOC could not intervene militarily but tried diplomacy instead. He posted the translator Corporal J. J. van Nijmegen to Mangili the following year in the hope of improving relations with local leaders and persuading them to expel the Makassarese slavers who were constantly raiding the coasts of Sumba (Roo 1906, 216). In the following year van Nijmegen opened a school in Mangili with a teacher from Ambon but it was short-lived and closed in 1775 (Haripranata 1984, 39).

Following the appointment of B. W. Fockens as opperhoofd of Kupang in 1771 the VOC resisted a move against Umalulu, which was trading with the Topasses, but continued to maintain close relations with the Raja of Mangili. The latter reciprocated with annual gifts – in one year a pair of slave girls.

In October 1774 Kupang sent a senior administrator called Tekenborgh on a 10-week mission to Savu and Sumba. His findings were summarised in a 1775 report (Roo 1906, 219-235). Tekenborgh discovered that Makassarese smugglers were landing on the coast of Mangili every year in 30 to 40 prauws, collecting large numbers of slaves and sandalwood before sailing on to Selura off the south coast of Sumba and to Pasir Island south of Roti to gather large quantities of trepang (sea cucumber). It appeared that the oath of allegiance given in 1756 counted for little.

For the next two decades the VOC was plunged into turmoil, its charter finally lapsing in 1799 when its assets were taken over by the Dutch government. Following the French annexation of Holland, the Netherlands East Indies faced two periods of interim rule by the British, authority only being transferred back to Kupang in 1816.

At some time during the nineteenth century the noble clans of Mangili moved down from Paraingu Mangili to settle on the coastal lowlands at Kaliuda. Although there is no folk memory of when this took place, it is possible that it was earlier rather than later (Twikromo 2008, 57).

According to an 1831 report by the government commissioner E. Francis, immigrants from Savu had established their own kampong on Sumba following a royal marriage alliance between the Raja of Melolo and the Raja of Seba (‘Kupang in 1831’ 1838, 366; Roo 1906, 241). A second colony was established at Kadumbu on the northeast coast of Sumba in 1848 as a result of a marriage alliance between ruling families from the two islands (Wijngaarten 1893, xx; Fox 1977, 164; Aritonang and Steenbrink 2008, 318). It seems these immigrants also arrived with their wives and children (Gronovius 1855, 304). The Raja of Seba seemed willing to provide an ongoing supply of men, either to support the Dutch militarily or to provide reinforcements to the Rajas of Sumba (Fox 1977, 163). Some of the closest ties were between Savu and Raijua and the eastern coastal regions of Mangili and Waijelu (Aritonang and Steenbrink 2008, 318).

These new Savunese immigrants seem to have maintained close relations with the Raja of Sebu. When the new Resident of Timor, Cornelius Sluyter, discovered that none of the signatories from Sumba to the 1756 Paravicini contracts had established the slightest relationship with Kupang or fulfilled any of their commitments, the regents of Savu advised him against forcefully intervening (Roo 1906, 248). They did not want to put at risk the foothold that the Savunese had just established on Sumba. In May 1845 he did negotiate new contracts with a limited number of Rajas on Sumba, but on the east coast these were limited to just Mangili and Kadumbulu (Kapita 1976, 26 and 148).

In 1860 Umbu Mangu was inaugurated as the next Raja of Mangili, a position that he held for ten years. In June of that year, the Resident of Timor, W. L. H. Brocx, came to Sumba and signed a contract with him, as well as with the Rajas of Kambera, Kadumbulu and Taimanu (Kapita 1976, 26). During the same year some 400 Savunese warriors were brought to Sumba to help the Dutch rid the island of a small group of Endenese slave merchants who had established themselves on the island (Roo 1906, 264). After a short campaign that ended in Umalulu most of them returned to Savu.

In the spring of 1863 an American whaler was shipwrecked at Hudu on the coast of Mangili. The crew escaped in lifeboats for fear of being killed by the large number of natives who appeared on the beach and set about looting and burning the ship to recover its copper  (Roo 1906, 273).

In 1866 the first Dutch government official was instated on Sumba, Kontroleur Samuel Roos, who had previously been the gezaghebber of Larantuka (Steenbrink 2002, 155). He was located at Kambaniru to the east of the new port of Waingapu and was assisted by H. van Heuckelum and a translator called Baliede who had not only lived on Sumba for some years and was well acquainted with some of the Rajas, but was also married to a daughter of the Raja of Mangili (Kapita 1976, 155; Haripranata 1984, 66-67).

Although Roos visited numerous domains during his ten-year stay he does not seem to have visited Mangili, although presumably Baliede did. Roos did report that Mangili was one of the seven regions where the Endenese were still obtaining their slaves, shipping them on to Ende, Sumbawa and Lombok (Roos 1872, 11). At the same time the slaves from Kambera and the interior were supplied to the coastal domains of Mangili and Waijelu as well as to Kapunduk and Mamboru. He also made a comment that indicated the growing influence of the Savunese. The Raja of Savu owned 100 sheep – an animal that was rare on Sumba – which were kept at Melolo and Mangili (Roos 1872, 26).

Umbu Ngabi Rajamuda became the Raja of Mangili in 1872 following the death of Umbu Mangu two years earlier. Once again the new Raja did not belong to any of the four leading clans – the Maru, Watu Bulu, Matolangu or Wanggi Rara. The Sumbanese rulers remained suspicious about the Dutch. Umbu Ngabi Rajamuda would serve until 1893. (Kapita 1976b, 50).

In 1872 a British iron ship was shipwrecked on the reef at Nusa Manu on the north coast of Mangili and the crew were rescued by local Savunese – J. K. Wijngaarden saw the skeleton of the ship 20 years later (1893, 363). The Raja of Mangili, Umbu Ngabi Rajamuda, arranged for them to be taken to Melolo and on to Waingapu, assisted along the way by Umbu Hiwa, the Raja of Kadumbulu, and Umbu Tubuku, the Raja of Lewa-Kambera (Kapita 1976a, 28-29). In response Kontroleur Roos acquired eight stallions and sixty-four mares as gifts of thanks. Early the following year his new assistant, van der Feltz, was tasked with delivering one stallion and eight mares to the Raja of Mangili in Larahau while the other horses were given to the Raja of Kadumbulu (Kapita 1976a, 29). At the same time silver-topped rottenkoppen canes and Dutch flags were awarded to the Rajas of Mangili and Lewa-Kambera. The Raja of Kadumbulu was excluded from these latter gifts because of thefts from the vessel.

The Nederlandsch Zendelinggenootschap (Dutch Missionary Society) sent its first pastors to neighbouring Savu in 1872 in an attempt to convert the population to Protestantism (Smith Kipp 1990, 102). However the Savunese strongly resisted this alien religion, and the few who did convert were ostracised by the traditional majority. The Dutch saw these pro-Dutch Savunese converts as potential allies and increasingly encouraged them to migrate to Sumba. In 1874 Savunese warriors intervened in the tiny civil war between Mbatakapidu and Kiritana to the south of Waingapu (Kapita 1976b, 31). The following year they assisted the Savunese to crush the Raja of Batakepedu, who was attempting to stop them settling along his coastline (Fox 1977, 172). By 1880 there were already 300 Savunese living in Waingapu (Steenbrink 2002, 151).

In 1889 the Dutch Christian Reformed Church, the ZCGK, sent the missionary Willem Pos to Sumba. He believed the church should be proactive and open schools in the middle of villages to preach the gospel. Based at Melolo, he eventually opened a Christian school at the village of Yalangu in Mangili with a teacher from Ambon and a second from Savu called Titus Djina (Aritonang and Steenbrink 2008, 321; Wellem 2004, 148). The work of the missionaries on Sumba mostly revolved around the Savu immigrant community at that time (Coolsma 1901, 852). The following year the school was destroyed when the Raja of Rindi, Umbu Hina Marumata, plundered and burned the village, taking many captives (Kapita 1976b, 40). The Resident of Kupang demanded responsibility for Rindi’s actions and imposed fines, sending a warship to Rindi and Mangili to ensure that all of the captives were released and the fines paid (Kapita 1976b, 42). Kupang also appealed to the Raja of Timu to send 100 warriors to Sumba, but he failed to do so (Wijngaarden 1893, 368-369).

It was around this time in 1891 that the Dutch anthropologist Herman ten Kate passed through Mangili on his way to Waijelu. Just beyond the Mangili River he briefly stopped at the kampong of Kopa with its seven houses to visit the grave of the Raja of Mangili and his three wives (Ten Kate 1894, 582-583). He was of the opinion that Mangili was at that time without a Raja. He was also confused as to where the domain began or ended.

During the 1890s Kupang organised large migrations from Savu to the north coast, Kambaniru (eastern Waingapu) and Melolo, but this latter group did not really merge with the Sumba people. They established settlements of their own and were exploited by the Dutch to supply warriors to fight against the traditional rulers of Sumba (such as in the Lambanapu war of 1901).

In July 1892 the clergyman J. K. Wijngaarden sailed from Savu to Mangili, choosing the hazardous 30-hour crossing in a fully loaded local prauw instead of taking the KPM steamship to Waingapu by way of Ende. As they approached the shore they were prevented from sailing into the Puru River (Luka Burukulu) by the long offshore reef and for a while became temporarily stranded upon it before making landfall on the beach. The local region was thickly forested, which explained why some Savunese had previously come to Mangili to obtain wooden beams for constructing the church at Seba and the house for the Raja of Seba. Other Savunese even sailed their boats to Sumba to have them repaired. It was said that the two islands belonged together.

Because there was already such a significant Savunese population on Sumba, many Savunese came to Sumba temporarily every year for one to three months during the eastern monsoon, arriving in prauws fully loaded with 40 passengers (Wijngaarden 1893, 353-362). Many stayed on because of the ready supply of water and food and the cooler climate. Those who were sick often came to Sumba to recuperate. As Wijngaarden emphasised (1893, 368):

The Government would gladly see that there were more Sumba settlers, as a counterweight to the Endenese. The Savunese have a certain civilizing influence. Where they settle, the slave trade disappears. The Board promotes emigration as much as possible. Nevertheless, the move has not yet taken place on a large scale.

Wijngaarden travelled on to Melolo where he was welcomed by Willem Pos, who ran the local church and school, which were both attended by the local Savunese community.

As a reprisal for continual horse theft, the Raja of Rindi summoned Umalulu and Mangili to join forces with him in 1895 against their longstanding common enemy, the interior domain of Karera (Kapita 1976b, 39).

In late 1900 the Raja of Rindi once again struck the village of Yalangu in Mangili and, after looting it, took many prisoners. The attackers burnt the school that had only recently been reopened in 1899 by Reverend Pos and his teacher Titus Djina (Kapita 1976b, 40).

Slowly but surely the Dutch were being sucked into direct intervention. The Raja of Lewa-Kambera, Umbu Biditau, was engaged in a violent conflict with the Raja of Tabundung, supported by Umba Hina Maramata, the Raja of Rindi. When rumours spread in August 1901 that Lewa was about to attack Waingapu, the civiel-gezaghebber sent telegrams to Resident Heekert in Kupang and the Governor of Makassar calling for assistance (Kapita 1976b, 41). The warships Java and Pelikaan responded but the Raja fled into the interior and commenced a long guerrilla war. It was not until 1907 that he was forced to surrender. Meanwhile the Dutch troops moved south to attack Umbu Hina Marumata, who refused to surrender, despite suffering heavy losses. As a compromise he declared his willingness to end the war by paying a fine, to which Resident Heekert acceded.

In return for their loyalty to the Dutch, the Resident of Kupang issued the Raja of Mangili, Umbu Hina Hungguwali, and the Raja of Waijelu, Umbu Teulu Atakawau, with Deeds of Recognition on the 5th October 1901. These were ratified by a decree seven months later. As a symbol of their authority, each Raja was issued with a gold-topped rottenkoppen and a Dutch flag (Kapita 1976b, 42). Once again the Raja of Mangili had been chosen from the Kanatangu clan, not from the four land-owning Maru, Watu Bulu, Matolangu, and Wanggi Rara clans (Twikromo 2008, 59). His appointment was however endorsed by the Matolangu clan.

The Dutch missionaries opened a second school in Mangili after 1901, which was mainly attended by Savunese children, the Sumbanese being resistant to the concept of education (Twikromo 2008, 90).

Until now the official Dutch colonial policy towards Sumba and the other ‘Outer Islands’ had been one of non-interference, although this could be suspended if circumstances demanded (Dietrich 1983, 39). These islands were considered incapable of generating a profit for the colonial treasury and it was therefore deemed that they should be ruled at minimum cost. It was sufficient enough for the local rulers to acknowledge Dutch supremacy.

In 1901 the post of the civiel-gezaghebber of Sumba was taken by Captain G. C. A. Dijk, a military officer (Kapita 1976b, 40-41). In April 1902 F. A. Heckler took over as Resident of Kupang and in he 1904 deposed the troublesome Raja of Larantuka. In the same year, Joannes Benedictus van Heutsz was appointed Governor-General of the Netherland East Indies, having previously gained control of the Sultanate of Aceh by means of a highly successful counter-insurgency campaign. This depended on the use of light and flexible detachments of military police (marechaussee), recruited from Ambon and Java. Faced with numerous ongoing local insurrections across the Outer Islands, van Heutsz realised that stability and prosperity would require a new hands-on approach with the installation of strong local rule. He initiated a campaign throughout the East Indies, which despite being euphemistically called pacificatie or ‘pacification’ was in certain places brutally violent.

The next Resident of Timor, J. F. A. de Rooy, took over from Heckler in March 1905 and was given clear instructions regarding this much more active policy. The former policy of non-intervention, in which the supreme authority was with the native rulers rather than the colonial authority, was to be abandoned (Steenbrink 2002b, 70). De Rooy’s primary task would be to forcefully implement the new strategy across all the self-ruling districts within the residency. With regard to Sumba, de Rooy did not have to wait long to find a suitable reason to intervene. The Raja of Mamboro, Umbu Karai, soon led a raid against Kodi and on his way through Laura threatened the local Raja, Umbu Lara Lungggi, that on his return he intended to settle an old score. The Raja of Laura appealed for assistance to the civiel-gezaghebber in Waingapu, who immediately alerted his superiors (Wielenga 1949, 30).

In March 1906 27-year-old Lieutenant Cornelis Adrianus Rijnders, the military commander at Kupang was despatched to Sumba, landing at Mamboro with 26 soldiers and 36 armed police (Kapita 1976b, 48-50). We do not have the details of their offensive but according to the Dutch minister Douwe Wielenga, who arrived in Sumba in 1904, they encountered no opposition in the coastal domains, presumably including Mangili, with even the powerful Raja of Rindi submitting without a fight (Wielenga 1949, 30). The real resistance took place in the interior, especially from the Raja of Lewa (Wielenga 1949, 32; Lamster 1945, 165). In 1909 Rijnders turned his attention to the rebellious mountain region of Masu-Karera, which he only subjugated after establishing a military base at Kananggar in Masu (Wielenga 1949, 32). The entire population was eventually disarmed and registered. Instead of installing posthoulders, the military leaders took on the responsibilities of civic officials, with Rijnders taking the position of civiel-gezaghebber in West Sumba in 1907.

After the death of Umbu Hina Hungguwali in 1911, leaderless Mangili was also briefly placed under military rule (Kapita 1976b, 53). In 1912 Rijnders divided the Mangili region in two (Kapita 1976b, 54). Northern Mangili, from the Aumarapu River (Rindi Majangga) to the Kaliongga River, was combined with Rindi kingdom to form the sub-department of Rindi, with Raja Hina Marumata at its head (Kapita 1976b, 54; Forth 1981, 13). Southern Mangili, from the Kaliongga River to the Wula River, was combined with Waijelu.

Umbu Hina Hungguwali had left just one daughter, Rambu Babangu Nona who, after having been widowed, married into another noble clan from Mangili with an appropriate exchange of bridewealth. By customary law she therefore lost her hereditary rights to her father’s land, livestock, heirlooms and power (Kryut 1922, 507; Twikromo 2008, 71). When she then made a move to inherit her father’s position her uncles objected. During the ensuing family dispute, the late Raja’s regalia were returned to the Dutch authorities. It was a major turning point – Mangili no longer had a legitimate Raja at its head.

Umbu Tunga Eta became the acting chief of Mangili until 1916 but did not have the status of Raja.

Rijnders left the island in 1912 (one report says 1911). Military control was transferred to a civilian administration led by A. J. L. Couvreur, based in Waingapu, initially with the title civilian Controleur of the Afdeeling of Sumba within the Residency of Timor, but later as Assistant Resident (Kapita 1976b, 50). A. J. van der Heyden became the civiel-gezaghebber at Melolo. At the beginning of 1913 Controleur Couvreur divided Sumba into four onderafdeeling, each subdivided into self-governing subdistricts or zelfbesturende landschap of which there were nineteen in total. Each of the latter was headed by a local noble leader or self-governing Raja. In the onderafdeeling of East Sumba there were four: Umalulu, Rindi-Mangili, Waijelu and Masu-Karera (Wellem 2004, 26). Without its own Raja, the whole of Mangili was now merged with Rindi under the leadership of Raja Hina Marumata (Kapita 1976b, 54). It was around this time that the missionary J. F. Colen Burner opened a school at Kanaggar in Mangili.

After this setback Mangili became increasingly regarded as a backwater. Although pacification had made it far easier for the Dutch missionaries to undertake their work, Mangili was not a priority region. The Reverend Douwe Wielenga, who had arrived in 1904, had looked at Mangili as a possibility, given that it was already home to a number of Christian Savunese families and had had a Christian teacher from Savu, Titus Djina. However he had concluded that Mangili was too remote and not appropriately located as a centre to influence the rest of the island (Wellem 2004, 153).

In 1916 Mangili gained more formal recognition with the appointment of Umbu Njara Limu Rihiamahu as the Raja Bantu or deputy Raja of landschap Rindi-Mangili. He was the eldest son of the late Raja of Mangili, Umbu Ngabi Rajamuda, and was based in the royal village of Kopa in Mangili while serving alongside Umbu Hina Marumata based in Parai Yawang (Kapita 1976b, 50). In 1919 the younger Umbu Rongga Hambabanju replaced Umbu Njara Limu Rihiamahu, holding that position until 1930.

Umbu Nggala Lili Kani Paraing became the Raja of Rindi-Mangili following the death of Umbu Hina Marumata in 1918. However because of the onset of deafness it was not long before he delegated power to his son, Umbu Hapu Hamba Ndima, who represented him from 1925 until he abdicated in 1932. In that year Umbu Hapu Hamba Ndina, known as Umbu Kandunu, or ‘the one who wears the star’, finally became Raja of Rindi-Mangili, ruling until his death in 1960. In 1928 the religious teacher Ndjurumbatu was posted to the school in Mangili.

From pre-colonial times there had always been a small dam across the river in Mangili, to provide water for irrigating the rice fields. In 1936 the Netherland Indies Government allocated funds for a modern irrigation project based on the construction of a new dam across the Luku Bakulu. The objective was to put an end to the frequent food shortages that occurred in this area during periods of drought. The dam was completed between 1939 and 1940 and led to a significant increase in the acreage under agriculture. It provided an opportunity for Louis Onvlee, an ethnologist working for the Netherlands Bible Society to study the impact the dam would have on the lives of the local people (Onvlee 1949). He was helped in this task by Umbu Hina Kapita, a nobleman and former schoolteacher from the village of Paria Nggangga in Mangili.

Following the completion of the dam, a group of Christian Savunese relocated south from Melolo to Kaliuda in Mangili (Twikromo 2008, 44).

After landing in Waingapu on 14 May 1942, the Japanese military soon penetrated most parts of the island (Kapita 1976b, 66). In Mangili, the Japanese established an army base camp at the royal village of Kopa in Desa Tanamanang and a naval base camp at Laiwila in Desa Kaliuda (Twikromo 1976, 105). It was a time of great repression, with large amounts of livestock and food crops appropriated for the military. Men were forced to work in the fields, to build bomb shelters and serve as unskilled labourers while women were forced to feed the troops. With little food, no shelter and the constant risk of beatings, conscription into the Japanese workforce was tantamount to a death sentence (Kuipers 2003, 177). European missionaries were arrested and later sent to internment camps in South Sulawesi.

After the war the missionaries returned. In 1948 the first Protestant minister, Hapulewa, arrived in Mangili, where he remained until 1970. Because he was not a member of the nobility, the local leaders and their followers generally ignored him.

In 1957, some eight years after the granting of independence, the Sukarno regime introduced a new system of local government, intended to transfer power from the hereditary nobility to government-appointed leaders. Sumba was split into two Kabupaten or regencies, East and West, in 1959 and three years later in 1962 the old system of zelfbesturende landschaps was abolished with East Sumba subdivided into swaprajas or subdistricts, each administered by an official or camat, appointed by the government. At the same time, the swaprajas of Umalulu, Rindi, Mangili and Waijelu were grouped into the new Kecamatan of Pahunga Lodu (literally ‘east day’, meaning where the day begins), with Kabaru as its capital  (Kapita 1976b, 155). This turned out to be too large, and in 1964 it was divided into Kecamatan Rindi-Umalulu, composed of the former swaprajas of Rindi and Umalulu, and the smaller Kecamatan Pahunga Lodu, composed of the former swaprajas of Mangili and Waijelu, with Ngalu as its capital (Kapita 1976b, 155). Finally in 1999, Pahunga Lodu was reduced in size again with the separation of the new Kecamatan of Wula Waijelu.

Following Suharto’s coup in 1965 he unleashed a violent anti-communist purge. All citizens would henceforth be required to declare their faith in one of six state-recognised religions specified in a new Presidential Decree: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism or Confucianism (Myengkyo Seo 2013, 56). Those who did not have one of these specified faiths recorded in their national identity card ran the risk of being accused of being a communist and losing their life. After the departure of the missionary Hapulewa in 1970, a maramba from Melolo, Taraandung, became the new minister in Mangili and established good relations with local tribal leaders (Twikromo 2008, 76). Given the political climate, the latter increasingly encouraged their people to convert to Protestantism (Twikromo 2008, 70). Nevertheless in reality many still held on to their traditional marapu beliefs.

A new dam was constructed across the Luku Luanda (sometimes called Luku Kaliuda) close to Ngalu in about 1979, turning the area below the escarpment into an agricultural oasis. It has since become one of Sumba’s major rice-producing regions. Yet even with the dam there was a bad drought in 1995 that caused crop failures and severe food shortages (News and Views Indonesia 1996, vol. 9, issue 90, 11).

Today the descendants of the Mangili royal family still reside in Kopa, just north of the Luka Luanda, and have farms in the nearby rural location of Larahau. The current head of the royal family is Umbu Hina Ratu Wula who resides in Larahau.

One of Mangili’s finest sons was Umbu Hina Kapita, a maramba from Maru clan, who was born on 31 December 1908 at Paria Nggangga in modern Desa Tanamanang. From 1928 until 1950 he worked as the translator and research assistant to the Dutch scholar Louis Onvlee, later becoming a prolific publisher of his own work. He died on 21 December 2002, and was buried 21 days later.


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: