Hari Proklamasi 1990 … contests

Bajawa Kampung Music groups – Hari Proklamasi [17th August 1990]

Bajawa is the main town of the Orang Ngada Region. It’s a hill-town [1,100 metres] in SW Central Flores … one of the Eastern islands between Bali and Timor. Almost all of the Ngada people are either animist Catholics or to a lesser extent animist Protestants [both Portugese and Dutch influence here].

On Bajawa’s soccer field at the 17th of August Hari Proklamasi 1990 independence day celebration there were many local kampung music groups competing against each other. What stood out was that there was such diversity of music styles between neighbouring villages.

The images presented here are from 20 year old faded slides scanned on a canon flatbed scanner. In August 2010, I revisited Bajawa to see if they still exist and if they still compete at Hari Proklamasi celebrations in Bajawa. Soon I will present what I found out in Bajawa & surrounding Kampungs last year.   Included will be recordings & images from the 2010 visit.

Of special interest was the row of trombone like bass-line bamboo ‘flutes’ [bombadoms]. These bombadoms actually aren’t flutes … they’re more somewhere between a didgeridoo & a trombone. They sounded awesome … so mellow. However most of the villages performing there had vigouous predominately slit-drum percussion groups.

And yes … this group did win the contest!   However they had to wait through a tug o’ war [rope] and a push o’ war [bamboo pole] contest before the results were announced. You can hear the bamboo pole push o’ war after the group finish playing.


1991…Bamboo slit-drums group … 15:28 mins


1991…Suling, Bombadoms & drum … 8:32 mins


Warm-up practice before their group performs

We’re on next!    Setting up the bamboo slit-drums

One of several vigorous, fast paced ‘war drum’ percussion ensembles composed mostly of Bamboo slit-drums

Singing group accompanied by guitar & what looks like a home-built Double Bass. Is there a Portugese influence here?

Bamboo suling flute ensemble with a row of amazing sounding trombone-like bass ‘flutes’ at the rear called bombadoms

The music contest results were delayed till after the Bamboo pole ‘push/pull ‘o war’ and rope ‘tug ‘o war’ contests

Impatiently waiting for the results. However they did win the contest.