CULTURE, TRADITIONS & RELIGION
Flores, one of the many facets of the Indonesian kaleidoscope, is a Catholic dominant island. Muslims (bugis from southern Makasar, Sualesie) came by boat and settled mainly on the coasts. Flores is Catholic all the while sharing its life with Muslims.
Around 1920, Christendom was made the official religion of the island. The "Kafir" animists also on the islands, have always kept their ancestral beliefs.
You will find several "houses of customs (temple)," the place in which the animistic people perform their rites. Statues, masks and other objects of divination have the power to enter into communication with the spirit world, called "Nenek Moyan."
Il y a, ne serais-ce que 20 ans auparavant, nous pouvions voir encore de vieilles maisons des coutumes. Heureusement, il reste encore quelques endroits où nous pouvons apprécier l’architecture de ces vieilles maisons. C’est dans le centre de Flores que l’on trouve le plus de ces maisons.
The Manggarai is also a rich influence and culture you can experience in Flores.
We barely touched the surface of the animist practices. They are very present and prayers for Mary and Jesus occur daily in their lives. Many churches are built across Flores, with hit or miss architecture, but all worth checking out. A series of photos of architecture is available if you are further interested in this topic.