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The Things You Should Know About Manggarai People

Religion & Cultures Rituals 

Religion and cultures rituals of Manggarai  people is two different things which is very close each other. They have the same portion on Manggarain daily life which make their belief are completely dualism.Catholic religion which is belief to Jesus Christ  is affected of Portuguese and over of hundred years ago the Manggarain ancestors were belief that soul and spirit could be found in anything named Animism.  


According to Toda (1999: 329), Described briefly two things process of how the Catholic religion on Manggarai ethnic for the first time affect their life. Firstly, login and Christianity rooted through the education purcued. The Second, pursued through the power approach. Toda noted that Catholic missionary presence in the Manggarai the early twentieth century brought religious and territorial ambitions of its own, it also keeps a veiled political agenda. Catholic missionaries want to build an “empire” Catholic with Catholic king or prince. To realize the ideals of the Christian kingdom founded in Manggarai, they must baptize one of the small kings in Manggarai. One of the little king of considerable influence at the time was the son of King Todo. Selection fell on Prince Todo Christianization effort.

Cultures Rituals

An older man holding a cock as the sacrifice animal on Penti celebration

The Manggarai people are known to have some of rituals from birth to death. They celebrate the variety of the rituals which is they believe that by doings the rituals correctly will make the life are more peace and escape from the lot of problem that might be caused by spirit or any other things beyond their control. For example on birth ritual celebration, the Manggarain doing the rituals named Cear Cumpe (given name to the baby) with a white rooster as sacrifice animal. One of the wings or any other part of the rooster will put in “ Langkar” (a place for offerings) as offerings. On death rituals you can find some of ceremony called” Ela Haeng Nai” or Black Rooster rituals. One of the big ritual ceremony in Manggaraian cultures is “Penti” a ceremony of harvest thanksgiving celebration and a thanksgiving for the life that has been given to them to live in a certain time period. Penti have series of ritual as below:

  • Barong Lodok, a ritual that invites the guardian spirit to the center of Lingko (middle farm).
  • Barong Wae, a ritual to invite ancestral spirits to be a watcher over springs.
  • Barong Compang, a ceremony of summoning a village guardian spirit at night.
  • Wisi Loce, this ceremony is conducted so that all spirits who are invited are able to wait a moment before the climax of the Penti ceremony.
  • Libur Kilo, a ceremony of thanksgiving for the welfare of each family in their homes.

Fighting arts

Manggarai people also have a traditional folk sport and war dance called caci, a form of whip fighting where fighting and parrying each other using a whip and a shield. The fighting usually performed by two young men in “Natas” Public Playground of a large field. Caci performance usually begins with Danding dance, before the caci warriors display their abilities to hit and parry in the competition. The dance is commonly referred to as Tandak Manggarai, a dance performed on stage to predict the outcome of the Caci competition. Caci normally is held to welcome the big day like Penti, Wagal and any other big days of Manggarai people.


The language spoken throughout the Manggarai region is called Tombo Manggarai, a language with around 43 sub-dialects and it is a language that is very distinct from the languages of ethnic groups to the east and from Indonesian. (Adrian Floresfuntrips)

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