Stone Jumping or Fahombo is a traditional sport of Nias tribe on the Nias island. Nias island is located in Sumatera, Indonesia. This tradition has been recognized internationally, thus becoming one of the attractions and icons of Nias island. Stone Jumping is even on the Indonesian currency: IDR 1.000, issued by the Century Bank in 1992. Nias island is not only known for their Jumping Stone tradition but also as an international surfing destination. One of the most popular surfing area is Sorake Bay.
This Stone Jumping tradition has been carried down for many generations by the tribal youth of Nias. The purpose of this tradition is that every young man who can jump over this stone will be considered as an adult who is now classified as physically mature. He will have the right to marry and participate in wars.
In past history, there have been many intertribal wars. This was primarily triggered by resentments, struggle for territory, and the problem of slavery. Therefore, each village trained for war by jumping over bamboo sticks or stones stacked up as high as 2 meters. This helped train the youth to jump enemy stone defenses. This is how the Stone Jumping started.
The Jumping Stone has a shape like a pyramid but flat at the top. This stone has height of 2 meters, and is 90 centimeters wide and 90 centimeters long. The jumper must wear the combat cloth of the Nias tribe and jump without touching the stone. Every young man who wants to follow this tradition must have a good technique and dexterity. If not, the jumper will get muscle injuries and even break their bones. The jumpers must run in a distance of 1 to 2 meters from the Jumping Stone. Then one of their feet will step on the smaller stone as a stepping stone and jump again to the Jumping Stone. The distance between the stepping stone and Jumping Stone is about 50 centimeters. Before the activity started they had to ask permission from the spirits of ancestors in the stone to be given the ease of jumping and to prevent accidents.
The young man who managed to jump over the stone will also be regarded as the hero of the village. This success will make the family proud of their young man and his family will get a high social status in the society. But a lot of Nias’s people says that not all of young man can do this Jumping Stone because it’s influenced by genetic factor. If their father or grandfather was a jumper, they will not have a trouble when jumping on this stone. Although they only practices one or two times.
Today this tradition is not a necessity that must be done by the youth of Nias. And now it’s only performed as a show for tourist who came to Nias island. Even now, not at all region of Nias island still do this tradition. You can only find it in some places such as in Bawo Mataluo village which also called as Sun Hill. This village is located in southern Nias district.
If and when you are traveling to Nias island or anywhere outside of your country of residence please make sure you have an international medical travel plan. If you do not have one right now you can purchase our general Diplomat International plan with or without sports cover. Another travel insurance plan that is popular with our paying guests is the Patriot International medical travel insurance plan at our corporate site.