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Umbiro Ritual in East Nusa Tenggara

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Ninety percent of the people in East Manggarai work as farmers, both field and rice farmers. They live together with nature. Everything related to planting various types of horticulture is always preceded by traditional rituals to honor the universe and God, the Creator. Therefore, it is not surprising why the people of East Manggarai have various rituals related to agriculture. One of them is the Umbiro ritual, which is carried out on the edge of the field when the rice begins to fill.

The Umbiro ritual is held to ask the universe, ancestors and God the Creator to give abundant results and protect rice from disturbances by spirits. The Umbiro ritual is always held by farmers in East Manggarai, especially at Mbengan in Ranakolong, Gunung, Gunung Baru and other 22 villages. Until now, local people hold the Umbiro ritual on the edge of the field when the rice begins to flower and is usually held in March.           

The Umbiro Ritual is a ritual asking the universe for long and abundant grains of rice. In the local language, "Umbi" is a pull and "Ro" is the name of a rope, which lives and grows in the forest. So, this ritual is like a tug of war competition. Uniquely, those who do Umbiro are women against men by wearing the local traditional “songke”, shawl and headband. When this ritual is performed, songs related to rice also accompany the ritual. Before the Umbiro ritual is carried out on the edge of the field, previously offerings are offered to nature, ancestors and God Almighty in the form of chickens, pigs and goats and other objects.

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