Although Damai can put together a mean dive trip, it’s not all we do….
The Indonesia archipelago is a great place to cruise around. Whatever your interests, we can provide you with a comfortable boat, a stunning backdrop and plenty of activities during your trip, although we will definitely encourage you to get in the sea to explore our amazing underwater environment whether you would like to discover scuba or just happily snorkel.
Damai II has just completed a 17-day cultural cruise around Nusa Tengarra and the Forgotten Islands. The islands still have a strong tribal cultures, animistic traditions, world class ikat weaving and some great photo opportunities…..along with some very good diving!
Damai first visited Sumba, which is one of the most traditional areas of Indonesia and one of the least touristic. This island is famous for its animistic, Marapu religion, megalithic culture, wood carvings, pasola and, of course, its ikats. Dotted around the rolling hills are the traditional houses, still lived in, and actually looking quite comfortable.
With a little preparation the villagers are decked out in their traditional finery offering a warm welcome to the rare visitor. The peoples of Raidjua island have made a life around the Lontar palm economy; from providing food, housing materials, tools and wood to even fertilizer. This has given the population more free time to devote to fishing, livestock and education. These traditional dancers have used lontar in their head-dresses.
The visit to Savu island concentrated on the beautiful ikats woven by the village ladies. These excellent examples of traditional weaving are large and can take months to complete. The threads have been hand dyed using natural vegetable ingredients; the dark indigo or the brown of the morinda. Villagers still wear ikat but for our guests they are works of art to be displayed on their return home.
The guests are able to shop for artifacts, interact with the local people, experience the traditional cultures and ceremonies and get literally carried away….
The hill tribes of Alor where formerly headhunters and continue the Dongson cultural traditions. These tribes are famous for their Moko drums which are bronze kettle drums. Although these drums are from a pre-christian era they are still important status symbols and highly prized for their ritualistic values.
Damai cruising is an excellent way to explore the Indonesian archipelago. There is history, culture and nature to suit everyone’s interests from the comfort of our liveaboards.
Many thanks to Sylvain for the photos.