Nale (Phoro: Doc. Mingar Generation)

Lembata, Vox NTT-Another stunning one from Lembata. A worthy destination to visit is the south-western region of Mingar.

Administratively this region is included in Nagawutung Subdistrict. If coming to Lembata it seems incomplete if not yet set foot to the exotic white sand beach.

Because of this so exotic white sand then this village was named Desa Paasir Putih (White Sand Village). It takes two hours by wooden bus from Lembata this village.

Along the way from Lewoleba to Mingar the hills of savanna stood firmly address us. Mingar does have white sand with a long coastline, which reaches three kilometers more. Waves that soar so high typical of the south coast is a unique sight.

The waves on the white sand beach of Mingar are rambunctious waves. Noisy and just like the strains that seemed to ask for prink, can be more famous if it become the arena of surfing and fun surfing.

From the noisy whisper of the waves to the most memorable of the Mingar-Pasir Putih, is the tradition of nale fishing (the Indonesian of nyale). If in whale fishing tradition in Lamalera there is a Baleo-baleo-baleo shout, then Mingar has duli gere-duli gere-duli gere.

This shout is  actually happiness yell for the coming of nale. The Mingar people believe that nale is the incarnation of the supreme being that comes to preach a universal cue, that the year that is being lived is a year of fertility and abundance of food, from the fields of farmers filled as well as the catch of fish from abundant sea. The nale form that appears every year is like a green golden worm colony.

Yoris Muda, a resident of Mingar said when the nale rises to the surface and stretches it like a beautiful sarong-like rug. Moreover, exposed by the blazing torches of citizens who came to take naleNale taking process that usually occurs in February and March was also through custom rites. The tribe who was entrusted since the emergence of nale in ancient times until now is the Ketupapa Tribe.

This tribe who first got the inspiration to take nale. According to Luke Labi (76), the first nale was introduced by two men named Srona and Srani. Out of nowhere, these two figures were commissioned by the commander of their tribe to find the nale, who went from their village waters.

In their journey and sight, nale is apparently in the waters of Mingar territory. By two men from the Ketupapa Tribe named Belake and Geroda, who accidentally met with Srona and Srani, since then they had been friends.

Belake and Geroda then invite Srona and Srani to Mingar village to meet the elders of the village and all the inhabitants. Srona and Srani became part of the Mingar family and stayed with the Mingar. To the citizens who received them well and full of respect, Srona and Srani also gave instructions on how to take nale that has been in the waters of Mingar sea.

The important thing is that before the process of taking begins, all who want to go to the sea should be clean inwardly. Rites for nale taking usually occur in January and are at Batu Koker Nale. The time to take nale happens every year at the seventh full moon. After Srona and Srani died, the mandate to lead the nale taking rite was handed over to the Ketupapa tribe from generation to generation until today.

If the retrieval time has been completed, the closing rite return in the Koker Nale. At the time of the concluding rites all are required to make a kind of muttered gratitude for the generosity of the Supreme Being.

In this closing rite the elders of Ketupapa sang a mantra enem lau pito jae, pito jae buto lau tune mu besol, mo akaju para boi ribu ratu moa ia duli pali epak rea. Waike ake da malu mai.

The meaning of this mantra is a request as well as a hope that in due time come and give the welfare of society. Mingar always calls his children back when the nale catch season arrives.

They want to eat nale for the body. Nala (nyale) has a much higher protein content than chicken eggs and cow’s milk. By comparison, Nale has a protein content of 43.84% whereas eggs of chicken and cow’s milk are only 12.2% and 3.50% each.

Phosphorus levels in nale (1.17%) are also quite high when compared with eggs of chicken (0.02%) and cow’s milk (0.10%). Nale even has a calcium content (1.06%) which is still higher than the calcium content of cow’s milk is only 0.12%.

That is Mingar and his nale, he affirms all of his children to live in harmony with nature.

(Hengky Ola/VoN)

Translated by Rini Kartini/HOS


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