TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – West Nusa Tenggara has an unique way to welcome their guests. They use an exotic dance to give their guests a warm welcome as to greet them. This dance is so called Kataga which originally came from Central Sumba, one of the districts in the area.
The dance itself was performed by the local guys. They will hold a machete and shield while dancing. It’s a little bit creepy but don’t get it wrong, it was all because back then they have to show their strength and how powerful they are to protect their territory.
It’s just their insecurity back then. But as the country has found their freedom, this dance performed only on certain occasion or when they have guest of honor for them. “It symbolizes their power and their strong will to make the tempat better, ” Yudi Rawambaku, a local cultural practitioner said.
The dance will be followed with drums as the main music instrument. Two group of dancer will follow the music with headdresses, machete and shield on their hand. Those groups will fight each other.
Sometimes they will swing the machete and hit the shield in harmony to the music. Some of the dance move also shows that they are dodging their opponent. No wonder some people will find it as a dance of war.
Yudi also said that up until now Kataga still becomes one favorite dance to hold by the local community of West Nusa Tenggara especially those who live in Central Sumba. Other than becoming a prelude dance, Kataga sometimes also performed in some exhibition and some other ceremonies. (*)