Also known as: Lamboya

The Laboya are one of the many ethnic communities (suku in modern Indonesian terminology) inhabiting the western end of the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia. The indigenous religion was a form of ancestor worship. The more distant an ancestor was, the more powerful this ancestor was believed to be. The founding ancestors, called marapu as elsewhere in Sumba, were believed to have had godlike powers. More ordinary spirits of the dead were believed to undergo a series of transformations, eventually becoming clouds and rain.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1983)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 33-86
Nature god(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 33, 57, 228-400, 280
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 57-86
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 12, 33-86
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 33-43

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 59-65

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 60-78, 69-70, 76-77
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Principal determinant of one's afterlife (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 60-78
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and creationist (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 57
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 33-86, 280
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 33-43

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 63-64, 285

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-86, 193-227
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-32
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 35, 69-70

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 261
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 261
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 3
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 252
Largest religious community Whole society or larger (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 134-165
Political and religious differentiation No overlap (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 193-227, 198-199

Rites

Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 185, 233
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 119, 233
Social Environment +
Population 12000 (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 12
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-19
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-19
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Geirnaert (1989), pp. 446

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 3
Conflict within community High (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 29
(No) internal warfare Rare or never (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 3
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 8-10
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 2
Distance to nearest continent 825.0 (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. Map 2: West Sumba
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 4, 12
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 12
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19-20
Land-based gathering Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-32
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19-20
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19-20
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19-20
Water-based gathering Minor (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 19-20

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 5-6, 8-10
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 16-32
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 1, Map 2

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Tectonic (Source)
Vel (2008), pp. 24
Island Size (km²) 11153.0 (Source)
'Sumba' (2016)
Maximum elevation (meters) 1220.0 (Source)
'Sumba' (2016)

Location

Latitude -9.7 (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. Map 2: West Sumba
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 119.4 (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. Map 2: West Sumba
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1983-1983)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Medium (Source)
Keane (2007), pp. 152-153
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Vel (2005), pp. 91
Keane (2007), pp. 153-154
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 3-4
Immigration Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 1-8

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 5-7
Sea port Absent (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 5
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 162

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Geirnaert-Martin (1992), pp. 5-10
Current Culture(1983)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Vel (2005), pp. 91
Keane (2007), pp. 153-154
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Area Calculator. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Geirnaert, D. (1987). "Hunt Wild Pig and Grow Rice": On Food Exchanges in Laboya, West Sumba (Eastern Indonesia). In de Ridder, R. & Karremans, J.A.J., The Leiden Tradition in Structural Anthropology: Essays in Honour of P.E. de Josselin de Jong. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

Geirnaert, D. C. (1989). The Pogo Nauta Ritual in Laboya (West Sumba): Of Tubers and Mamuli. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 145(4), 445-463. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/stable/27864057

Geirnaert-Martin, D. C. 1992. The Woven Lands of Laboya: Socio-cosmic ideas and values in west Sumba, eastern Indonesia. Leiden, Netherlands: The Centre of Non-Western Studies, Leiden University.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keane, W. (1997). From Fetishism to Sincerity: On Agency, the Speaking Subject, and Their Historicity in the Context of Religious Conversion. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 39 (4), 674-693. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/179364.

Keane, W. (2007). Christian moderns: freedom and fetish in the mission encounter. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Retrieved from: http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=2Z3YWMn6XQgC&pg=PA156&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=nonhuman&f=false

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Sumba (2016). Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Sumba.

Vel, J. (2005). Pilkada in East Sumba: An Old Rivalry in a New Democratic Setting. Indonesia, 80, 81-107. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/stable/3351320.

Vel, J.A.C. (2008). Uma Politics : an Ethnography of Democratization in West Sumba, Indonesia, 1986-2006. Leiden, Netherlands: KITLV. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/reader.action?docID=10745948&ppg=39