Saturday, June 6, 2015

Don't go to Boti village - West Timor travel

Raptures over the Boti village belong to the tunes of the past.
In a guide book published a decade ago I read :
Boti - fantastic village inhabited by people still living as their ancestors: practicing animism and completely independent from the outside world - free of cash economy.

Our Timorese guide tried to dissuaded our visit in Boti talking that almost nothing traditional is left there. I insisted to go to Boti lured by remote location of the village.

Dirt road to the village looked promising.

The road became impassable for our van and we beat last stretch on foot.

The head of Boti entertained us with a cup on nice tea and cookies.

The boss is called "young chief" unlike his deceased father. But chief in no more young. Soft speaking chief has thousands grey threads in his hair pinned in a bun.
Poor devil pressed between church, local officials and tourists gave up to pretend running traditional community.

No more traditional garb, only old T- shirts left by tourists.
No wooden floors and furniture, only ceramic floors and disgusting plastic chairs living in a place surrounding by forest.

The living room is littered with cheap plastic clocks brought by officials and a portrait of sad Jesus' family.

I understand the desire for more comfortable world and work to make meet ends each month.

There is no reason to wander half day. There are many similar villages like Boti in a radius of several miles from Kupang. Boti has undergone a transformation which ended with connection to an electric grid.

So, what can be called "traditional" here ?

The rest of roof ? until rot.

Weaving ?
They use cotton threads chemically dyed and purchased for cash.

The chief's enclosure is a blend of public office garden with national flags and a tourist resort. Somebody lost his way...

The tourism board in Timor loses its raison d'être. Soon there will be no more tourist here.

No comments:

Post a Comment