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Pantai Nihiwatu's existence is based on a famous local legend.

Origins of the Marapu people

The people living in the districts of Rua and Lamboya, in West Sumba, believe that long ago, before mankind, some of the original Marapu that descended to earth eventually settled on the beach at Nihiwatu.

On their journey they brought with them Sirih Pinang and Beetle Nut, a potent mix that most Sumbanese still use on a daily basis. Upon arriving they realized that they had forgotten to bring along the mortar that they use for mashing the Sirih Pinang and Beetle Nut before mixing it with the lime powder that is needed to release the alkaloids from the Sirih bean.

The stone of Nghihi Watu

They decided to mix their concoction on a large boulder that was on the beach in front of the forest they settled in. Over time this boulder developed a cylindrical tube in it from the constant pounding of their pestle.

The stone became known as the Nghihi (mortar) Watu (stone) and it still stands in front of the forest where the Marapu are believed to have lived.

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Map of Pantai Nihiwatu

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