The hus in Rote is a ritual tradition from pre-Christian times, formerly held to ask the deities for rain, a good harvest or other bounty.
Originally the hus was performed by horsemen in traditional tilangga hat and ikat cloth circling a large tree which was believed to hold hidden powers. Horsemen representing their different clans would approach the festival site from the North, South, East or West - each direction having a specific power and circle the tree at a fast pace.
While riding very fast they whipped their horses and themselves with the thorny new shoots of the lontar palm until blood was drawn.
The first man to draw blood was reckoned to have the most auspicious hus.
Gong music plays an important role in inciting the riders and horses to greater speed and bravery.
Today the Rotinese hold the hus wherever they choose and the horses are judged in competitions for speed while maintaining a specific gait, outright speed, best decorated horse and best head and tail of horse.
(Copied directly of Libby House and Bapak Simon Ballu).