Spiderweb Ricefield in Cancar, Flores

Spiderweb Ricefield in Cancar, Ruteng, Flores
Spiderweb Ricefield in Cancar, Ruteng, Flores

Cancar, Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. It was a time when i visited a small town called Ende, East Nusa Tenggara, suddenly Mount Sangeang erupted. Because of that eruption, all aircraft to Ende cancelled at all for a few days. We decided to go through the a long road trip from Ende to Bali to get a flight to my home. Along the road trip, we visited several cities, including Ruteng, Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara. Suprisingly, it turned out that Ruteng has incredible view of landscape and history, one of which is a rice field shaped like a spider webs  that resemble crop circles!

Ruteng is one of the most fertile place in Nusa Tenggara. Few kilometers from Ruteng, there is a rural called Cancar, which also become an area of rice fields. Unlike common rice fields in Indonesia (and the rest of the world), the rice field in Cancar, Ruteng is very unique. When viewed up close, it is just similar to common rice field. However, when viewed from above, the paddy fields in Cancar look like a spider web. Lucky that Cancar is surrounded by hills, so we got a best place to see the spider web rice fields. It’s not just one there, but many!

This spider web rice field is a customary tradition Manggarai Regency society in terms of the distribution of paddy fields and gardens called Lingko. Lingko is customary land that is owned together by the society, then shared individually and used them together to meet society’s need. Customary land is distributed to members of society in accordance with custom. Lingko was named after the plant species when opening the Lingko land. Or it could also be the name of a river near Lingko when Lingko was opened.

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Spiderweb Ricefield
Spiderweb Ricefield viewed from Google Earth

First of all, the division of lands is done by determining the center point (called the Teno/Lodok). At the center point, they put some on it. From that point, they drag a line away from the center, and then the land is divided to the members of the society. The distribution of the land is determined by the status of a person in the village and the number of families. The higher one’s position and the greater the number of family members, the greater the soil they get. Accidentally, the division of this lands forms a spider web when viewed from above.

Next page, the location of spider web Cancar and getting there