The VICE Guide to Travel

Blood Sacrifice in Sumba - Trailer


A Pasola warrior about to throw his spear at a fighter from a rival clan. The spears may be blunt these days, but they do occasionally kill fighters and spectators.

Sumba is an island the size of Jamaica in the Indonesian archipelago that has been cut off from the rest of the world for so long that its ancient animistic traditions survive to this day. It is the setting for ritual battles called Pasola which take place every year in February and March. The Pasola is a fight between rival clans who hurl spears at each other on horseback in order to “fertilize” the soil with spilled human blood.

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