Ende Traditional Village
One of the several traditional Sasak villages in Lombok that have opened their doors to tourism, Ende is one of the more authentic (and least touristy) options for immersion in the Sasak culture. It offers opportunities to tour well-preserved and still occupied, examples of traditional Sasak homes built in their unique architectural style. You can also interact one-on-one with villagers while learning about their customs and cuisine. Ende is located about 15 minutes south of Lombok International airport in Central Lombok Regency on the main road to Kuta Lombok.
The Sasak make up 85 percent of Lombok’s population (the remaining portion is Balinese). Unlike their next-door neighbors in Bali, the Sasak embrace Islam rather than Hinduism - although they share an ethnicity and language. Like the Balinese, the Sasak people have rich traditions of dance, textiles, and agriculture. Sasak homes are known for their interesting construction methods. Wooden pillars and frames, bamboo walls, and alang-alang (woven grass) roofs are standard — no nails or metal tools are used in the construction of these sturdy “lumbung” huts found in abundance in Ende. Lumbungs are traditionally used for grain storage. Clay floors are polished with dried cow dung in a ritual said to keep mosquitos at bay.
You can easily acquire a local guide for a very reasonable fee in Ende and stroll about the village admiring their ingenious architecture. The oppressive hawker atmosphere present at some sites is not found here. While on your walkabout, you will have the opportunity to enter and examine several domiciles, as well as observe the villagers as they go about their day to day life.
It is common to be invited into a home and become involved in the preparation of a meal, followed by dining with the inhabitants. There is often a night gathering where you can learn further about the traditions, including the ceremonial “kidnapping” of a future wife, and the religious practices of the villagers. Some homes may have woven textiles available for sale.
Generally, Ende is an agrarian community making its living on the rice growing in the surrounding paddies, and weaving is an off-season occupation. The people are friendly and kind-hearted, and happy to share. It’s scenic and pastoral, and a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the unique population of the island.