Wae Rebo Village located in West Satar Mese Barat, Manggarai District. This small and isolated village was recognized for its rebuilding of the traditional Mbaru Niang traditional house based on the spirit of community cooperation towards a sustainable tradition, while at the same time improving its village welfare.
Wae Rebo Village is very remote village located at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. To reach this small and unique village, you can just drive from Labuan Bajo or Ruteng Town (about 5 – 7 hours) to Denge Village. And from Denge Village you can just walking to reach this village about 3 – 4 hours (depend on your stamina).
Wae Rebo’s main characteristics are their unique houses, which they call Mbaru Niang that are tall and conical shape and are completely covered in lontar thatch from its rooftop down to the ground. It appears that at one time such kind of houses were quite common to the region. But today, it is only this village that continues to maintain the typical Manggarai traditional house, without which these unique houses would have been completely fazed out.
The house has five levels, each level designated for a specific purpose. The first level , called lutur or living house, are the living quarters of the extended family. The second level, called lobo, or attic, is set aside to store food and goods, the third level called lentar is to store seeds for the next harvest, the fourth level called lempa rae is reserved for food stocks in case of draught, and the fifth and top level, called hekang kode, which is held most sacred, is to place offerings for the ancestors.
One special ceremonial house is the community building where members of the entire clan gather for ceremonies and rituals. They are predominantly Catholic but still adhere to old beliefs. In this house are stored the sacred heirloom of drums and gongs.
With a small population of around 1,200 inhabitants only, Wae Rebo village comprises 7 houses, with half of these falling into disrepair. Thestaple diet of villagers is cassava and maize, but around the village they plant coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon which they sell in the market, located some 15 km. away from the village. Lately, however, Wae Rebo has grown in popularity as a touirst destination for international eco-tourism enthusiasts, and this has added to the economic welfare of the village. The people of Wae Rebo warmly welome visitors who wish to see their village and experience their simple traditional life.