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."
Even 20 years ago, we could still see old custom houses. Fortunately, there are still a few places where we can appreciate the architecture of these old houses. The majority of these houses are found in the center of Flores.
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.