Welcome to Anakalang

Right beside the main road to Waingapu, 22km east of Waikabubak, Kampung Pasunga boasts one of Sumba’s most impressive tombs. The grave of particular interest consists of an upright stone slab carved with images of a chief and his wife with their hands on their hips. This monument dates from 1926 and took six months to carve; 150 buffalo were sacrificed for the funeral ceremony. It is visible from the road. Pasunga’s kepala desa, whose house has racks of buffalo horns, is friendly if you share some sirih or cigarettes with him. He will ask you to sign the visitors’ book and leave a donation.

At Gallubakul, 2.5km down the road from the modernising village of Kabonduk (as elsewhere, metal roofs predominate), tombs are largely crafted from concrete and cheesy tile, but it’s also home to Sumba’s heaviest tomb, weighing in at 70 tonnes. It is said that 6000 workers took three years to chisel the Umbu Sawola tomb out of a hillside and drag it 3km to town. The tomb is a single piece of carved stone, about 5m long, 4m wide and nearly 1m thick. At its eastern end is a separate upright slab with carvings of the raja and queen who are buried here, as well as buffalo and cockerel motifs. The raja’s son lives right by the tomb with his wife and can tell its story. He’ll also ask you to sign in and make a donation.

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Anakalang in detail

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