Beautiful Lariangi Dance of Kaledupa Island, Wakatobi District


No one would regret visiting Wakatobi District. Usually, tourists come to such region for its beautiful nature. However, some of them are also attracted to its stunning dances like Lariangi. According to locals, the dance was inspired by an ancient tradition of Buton Sultanate. In fact, it has been there since the 17th century. Also, it has been assigned as a national culture heritage and becomes the pride of Wakatobi. Such artistic performance is a signature entertainment of Kaledupa Island, actually. This explains why tourists should visit the island if they want to watch the dance directly.

The Nuance
There are both female and male dancers and they put on attractive attires. Usually, the number of dancers is around 12 and all of them are young. Even they wear the same costume and ornaments. The color is quite bright, actually. It is the combination of red, pink, white and blue. Aside from dancing, they might also sing during the performance, following the rhythm of the accompaniment. When it comes to ornaments, they wear a head accessory called “panto”. This represents a high social status. Next, there is a flower bun, representing the palace fort. The other accessories are dragon pins and a sun-shaped necklace.

Enjoying Lariangi Dance
The history of Lariangi Dance is also worthy. According to local people, the dance was performed to entertain the king. The dancers had one job, which was to help the king eradicate his boredom and tiredness. Due to the wave of modernism, the dance is also affected, though. Today, the audience is allowed to join the dancers regardless of their dancing skills. However, they need to give some money to the dancers before joining. This tradition is called “nyawer”. There is even a special plate to collect visitors’ money.

In the past, Lariangi Dance was only performed in the palace. It also became a recommended performance to greet important guests of the king. Today, it becomes an interesting cultural entertainment for both the locals and tourists. It is not only the beautiful movements, but the dancers also offer a mesmerizing song. Those combine well with stunning attires and accessories. Overall, the audience would get astonished by simply enjoying the performance. They can even learn the meaning of the ornaments, which represent different information and advice. A tour guide or the locals would tell such information to tourists, after all.

Usually, the dance lasts for about 7 minutes. Despite the short duration, it never fails to astonish the audience. Most of the movements involve sitting and turning around. The dancers also carry “lenso” (a traditional fan) during dancing. Not to mention they might sing along with the accompaniment. At the climax, they perform the last move, which is called “nyibing”. It is when the male dancers may surround the women, protecting them from any threats.

Nearby Attractions

  • Alam Derawa Cave
  • Togo Fort
  • Ollo Fort
  • The Old Mosque

How to Get There
As mentioned earlier, Lariangi Dance is performed mostly in Kaledupa Island. Once travelers reach Matahora Airport in Wangi-Wangi Island, they can take a speedboat and head to Kaledupa. From there, the last destination is any nearby village. It is better to talk to a tour agent regarding the schedule of the performance, though.

Where to Stay

  • Wakatobi Resorts

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