General information about Flores
Flores is one of the largest islands of Nusa Tenggara. The island scenery is beautiful and varied, volcanos dominate the image, but there are also admire some beautiful crater lakes, savannah and mountain forests. Despite all the natural beauty Flores is one of the least visited islands of Indonesia. The Christian mission has been very successful in the past, as many as 85 percent of the population is Catholic. Muslims live mainly in the coastal areas of Flores. The population is divided into five major linguistic and cultural groups: from west to east are the Manggarai, the Ngada, Ende and Liogroepen, the Sikkanezen and Lamaholot. Despite the Christian faith, the values and customs of the animistic belief not left geheelos. Especially in rural areas is clearly the many rituals from birth to death still play an important role. Especially the traditional customs are still kept alive in Ngada district near Bajawa. This is indicated by the ritual battles that are still taking place, the ritual dances and the megalithic stones which still is valued. Offers to vote to honor the ancestors or beneficial, however, also carried out by the educated, English-speaking residents.
Transport on Flores
If you want to travel, you often rely on Flores on buses and trucken driving around the island. For the trucks, you just lost a lot of money for the buses, the trucks are a lot less comfortable. If you are reliant on the boat would travel from Flores to the surrounding islands.
History of Flores
The island of Flores is named after the captain of a Portuguese expedition was on its way to the Moluccas. The captain called the easternmost peninsula 'Cabo das Flores, Cape of Flowers. The Portuguese were the first Europeans who settled halverwegde the sixteenth century on the island. Before that it was the Makassarese and Bugis from South Sulawesi who held most of the coast of Flores. For the Bugis the island belonged to their trading network in the archipelago. In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, most of western and central Flores in the hands of the kingdom of Gowa in South Sulawesi and East Flores was in the hands of Ternate in the Moluccas. The Portuguese were engaged in profitable sandalhouthandel with Timor and Flores as on the route they established forts on Solor and Ende. In 1561 Dominican priests established a mission in Solor. From here the Portuguese Dominicans expanded their mission area to the east of Flores, in 1575 the number increased to twenty missions. The Dominicans had been attacked by pirates, local Muslim princes and troops of Gowa. Nevertheless, they managed to convert many of them.
Eventually, the fort at Ende in 1637 is still conquered by the Muslims and were left all missions in South Flores. The growth of Christianity would continue. In the seventeenth century the Portuguese were from Flores and surrounding areas chased by V.O.C.s so they could monopolize trade in sappanhout and cinnamon. In the seventeenth century Gowa and Ternate waived their rights to Flores and surrounding areas. It would take until 1907 before the Dutch Flores had more or less under control. Around 1850 were also the last Portuguese settlements bought by the Dutch. The Dutch Jesuits took over the mission work and established posts in Maumere and Sikka. In the twenties, the missionaries also drew the isolated mountains in the west. The Portuguese and Dutch missionary work has borne fruit; in almost every village now stands a Christian church.