With its rolling alpine meadows sprinkled with pretty wild flowers and distant mountain ridgeline, the central highlands village of Fatumnasi looks almost out of place. Like someone dropped a Swiss village in the otherwise rather dry and barren West Timor landscape. The ume kbuubu, traditional conical houses and the smiling, brown skinned villagers quickly remind you where you are.
There are other differences too, like the weirdly shaped ampupa eucaplypts, stunted and deformed by moss and other mysterious forces of nature, into fantastical bonsai forests. Then there are the marble rock formations, incongruous outcrops in predominantly limestone country. To the Dawan (or Atoni Metu), the indigenous tribes of the region, the marble rocks are sacred. To them, the rocks are a land’s bones, water is its blood, the earth and forests its flesh. But the rocks are the key; the rocks funnel and catch the water which then feeds the earth and the forests and it’s through these rocks that the Dawan connect with their ancestors and all life forces.
Fatumnasi is one of those rare places where you can experience with relative ease, the combination of natural beauty and traditional culture among truly welcoming villagers. As well as learning about the culture and beliefs and witnessing traditional ikat weaving, there are many easy and pleasant treks in the region to sacred rock formations like the Citadel, the small lake Fatukoto (simply stunning at dusk) and Mount Mutis. The nearby Oehala waterfall is not to be missed.
Fatumnasi village is around 35km north of Soe, via Kapan. Soe can be reached by bus from Kupang, then grab an ojek to Fatumasi which takes about an hour and will set you back around 50.000Rp. The Lopo Mutis Homestay run by Mateos Anin is the only place to stay in Fatumnasi and most visitors love it. Accommodation is in one of three traditional Ume Khubu traditional huts which are comfortable and cosy. Meals are included in the tariff and Pak Anin can arrange local guides and jeep or ojek transportation if required. See our page for more information on the Mount Mutis summit trek.