For the remote West Sumba Regency in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, the month of February every year is an auspicious time when the natives seek blessings of the gods for a good harvest.
The two-day Pasola War Festival is an important ritual of the Sumba community as the livelihood of the natives is mainly dependent on their corn and rice crops.
The Pasola ritual is an ancient war game between two groups of 100 men from the Hill village and the lowland village, riding colorful decorated selected horses, flinging wooden spears at each other. Dressed in their traditional costumes, the Sumbanese men force the horses, which they ride bareback without a saddle, to run faster and make strategies on how to win war.
With the rest of the villagers judging the war game, the selected people attempt to defeat their opponents in the game. The word Pasola is reportedly derived from the terms Sola or Hola which means a kind of a long wooden stick used as a spear, flung on each other by two opponent groups of horsemen.
Start the slideshow for a glimpse of the unique Pasola Festival in Indonesia:
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