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Wulla Poddu

Each year, between the last full moon in October and the next full moon in November, some Sumbanese tribes celebrate the Wulla Poddu ceremony. Wulla Poddu means bitter months. Wulla Poddu is a kind of holy month comparable to Ramadan or Passion. During this month, there are certain prohibitions or taboos (no funerals, weddings, parties, topping-out ceremonies, eating dogs…). Wulla Poddu is associated with agriculture. It is the time for giving thanks to the Marapu before the next planting season begins. Land, crops, livestock, and good efforts are blessed by the Marapu.

For people the Wulla Poddu is the time of family reunion, reconciliation, forgiveness and pardon. At the beginning of Wulla Poddu there are performances of rhythmic chanting and ritual dances. They dance on the central squares of the villages, both Marapu priest, equipped with appropriate relics, warriors with swords and spears, and women in colourful costumes. The end of the Wulla Poddu is also celebrated. In contrast to the beginning, many animal sacrifices are then made.

The Wulla Poddu is celebrated in Tarung / Waikabubak, Bondo Maroto / north of Waikabubak, Gollu & Gella Koko / Loli, Ubu Koba / Wewawa, Kadoku / Wanokaka, Sodan / Lamboya.

Villagers with strong believes pay very close attention to the observance of taboos during Wulla Poddu month. Sometimes it might be forbidden to a stranger to enter villages or specific areas in the villages and take photos.