The Megalithic era is a period of civilization inworld history. In the Eastern part of Indonesia, there is a hamlet which still looks like its original image.It is called ‘Bena hamlet’ in East Nusa Tenggara. It still has amegalithic landscapeand it is maintained well. The word of Bena comes from the first original tribe which lived in the region. But, there are many stories on the origin of the ancient hamlet which is predicted to have existed since 1,200 years ago. It is locatedon theslope of Mt. Inerie as high as 2,245 meter above sea level, or precisely at Tiwuriwu village, Aimere district in East Nusa Tenggara. The hamlet is longwise from the North to the South andknown for itstraditional house,Bena villagersand also their ancestors’ tradition. Thesmall hamlet, which is occupied by the original tribe of the region, was determined a world heritage site by UNESCO. Terracedsoil structures are alsoa beautiful part of the hamlet. At the end of the hamlet, at the peak of the stairs, there is a gazebo which can be used for praying. The existence at the slope of the mountain is characteristic of old community of mountainous devotees as the God’s place. According to residents of the hamlet, they believe in the existence of Yeta, the Godwhich liveson the mountain and protects their hamlet.
Bena hamlet consists of 40 houses which surround each other. The hamlet is longwise from the North to the South. The hamlet gatewayis located at the North. While, at the South, there is a peak and a steepcliff edge. Generally, thelivelihood of the menis farming. In addition to producing corns, tubers and beans, they also plant coffee, and candlenut on Mt. Inerie. Meanwhile,women work diligently by weaving, inwhich their products are sold to tourists or sent to Bajawa City. The distance of Bena hamlet is around 19 kilometers from Bajawa which is the capital city of Ngada. To get there, you can use land transportation. Even though theroad is good, you must be a skillful driver, since the road is curvy and hilly.
Bena hamlet is the tourism destination of Ngada hamlet. In fact, the hamlet is often visited by foreign tourists from Germany and Italy. At the middle of the hamlet, there are some buildings which are called ‘Bhaga’ and ‘Ngadhu’ by local people. The shape of the Bhaga is similar with little huts without dwellers. While, Ngadhu is a building with one pole and palm fiber roof so that its shape is like shelter. Ngadhu’s pole is usually made from special kind of hard wood because the pole also functions as animal sacrificial gallows when traditional parties are held. The hamlet is not touched yet by technology. Bena’s building functions not only as residence but also having a deep meaning with local wisdom and at present, it is still relevant to be applied for the people in maintaining the environment. Peace and comfort will be felt when you are in the hamlet.