Sumba is an island in eastern Indonesia. It is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands and belongs to the province of East Nusa Tenggara. The area is about 11,000 square kilometres (4,306 square miles). The largest town on the island is the main port of Waingapu. To the northwest of Sumba is Sumbawa island, please never mistake the two similar islands.
According to tradition, the name of Sumba was derived from the word “Humba”. It’s the name of one of the chiefs among the first tribes who lived in Sumba. He wanted to commemorate the name of his beloved wife by naming the island so. The name Humba was applied up do the colonial era but the Dutch named it in their language; Soemba.
Despite its contact with western cultures, Sumba is one of the few places in the world where megalithic burials are still used as a 'living tradition’. Such tradition was used
in many parts of the world during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but it has survived until today in Sumba. In fact, several very old cultures were still well-practiced in Sumba.
The terrain of Sumba is rather hilly. Geologically, it is a continental fragment broke off from Africa or Australia and floated to the edge of the line of volcanic islands of Indonesia. It consists mainly of coral limestone and a dry landscape similar to savannah. Only about 7% of Sumba is covered with original humid forest.
Sumba has a semi-arid climate. Especially the east of the island is characterized by the hot north-Australian climate. There is a dry season from May to October. From November to April it might rain. The night temperatures are significantly lower than in Bali. The highest temperatures occur before the first rains in October or November.