Rote island…., my hometown.
It’s in the southernmost island of Indonesia, a small island of 1214,3 square kms in size
and forms a part of the Kupang Regency. It has an exceptional spectacular natural
environment with clear, transparant waters, caved rock formations, terraced
plantations and rolling hills rugged with palm trees, savanna and some forests.
It is also famous of its tenun ikat and traditional musical instruments named Sasando.
An instrument is like a harp with 28 or 56 strings and it’s believed known to
Rote people since 7th century.
The main part of sasando is a bamboo tube that served as the frame of the instrument.
Surrounded the tube is several wooden pieces served as wedges where the strings are
stretched from the top to the bottom. The wedges function is to hold the strings
higher than the tube surface to produce various length of strings to create
different musical notations.
The stringed bamboo tube is surrounded by a bag-like fan of dried lontar or palmyra leafs,
functioned as the resonator of the instrument. Sasando is played with both
hands reaching into the stings on bamboo tube through lontar opening on the front,
and the player’s fingers plucked the strings in the fashion like playing harp or kacapi.
the legend of Sasando
According to local tradition, the origin of Sasando was linked to folktale of Rote people
about the tale of Sangguana. , there was a boy named Sangguana
who lived in Rote Island. One day he tended to savannah. He felt tired and fell asleep under
a palmyra tree. Sangguana dreamt that he played beautiful music with a unique instrument.
The sound and the melody was so enchanting. Then he woke up,surprisingly Sangguana
still remembered the tones he played in the dream. He wanted to hear it one more time, so he tried
to sleep again. He dreamt the same song and same instrument. Sangguana was enjoying
his dream, however he had to wake up.
Did not want to lose those beautiful sounds, Sangguana tried to recreate the sounds and in
no time created a from palmyra leafs with the strings in the middle,
based on his memory from the dream.
a beautiful island
at the East tip of equatorial emerald series
rare traditional culture
but seems forgotten by the government
or they might be not even remember its existence
I could only wish…
one day it listed in the agenda of tourism development
then it would become a charming and captivating area
my poor Rote island
Ikat with patola design from Rote island
summary of Wikipedia image: http://www.biyunasakgallery.com/lavalon/rote.htm