Rumah Gadang of West Sumatera

Rumah Gadang

The characteristics of typical Minangkabau architectural buildings are easy to recognize. This makes it the identity of the people of West Sumatra, even those who are overseas. That’s why, if somewhere a roof is found that looks to adapt the shape of a buffalo horn, it is almost certain that there is an ‘urang awak’ in that area. Here are some information about Rumah Gadang.

Rumah Gadang or Rumah Bagonjong

Minangkabau traditional houses are often called Rumah Gadang, but in his hometown it is called ‘Rumah Bagonjong’. The shape of the roof that is curved and pointed upwards is called gonjong.  Because of the shape of the roof, the gadang house is also called the bagonjong house. Rumah Bagonjong according to the original rules have some special characteristics or provisions. 

The characteristics include the function of the house. The number of rooms determined by the number of women who inhabit the house.In addition, older children and women have rooms that are closer to the kitchen. Meanwhile, teenage girls were placed in one room at opposite ends.  

The room in the house is divided into lanjar and space, with the number of rooms in one house being odd between three and eleven. Rumah Gadang or Bagonjong are usually built on land belonging to the parent family in a tribe or clan.  

The house is passed down between generations based on the female lineage, according to the matrilineal principle adopted by the Minangkabau community.

Rumah Gadang

The Appearance if Rumah Gadang

This house has very distinctive and beautiful characteristics, namely the shape of the roof is curved like a buffalo horn and the middle is like the hull of a ship. In the courtyard or yard of the house, there are a pair of buildings that function as barns, called rangkiang.

In addition, not far from the house there is usually a surau.  Besides functioning as a place of worship, the surau is also a place for unmarried adult men to live.

One of the characteristics of the rumah bagonjong is the exterior decoration of the building. This ornament is in the form of wood carvings that fill squares and circles on the outer surface of the building.  Commonly found carving motifs include vines, flowers, and fruit.

In addition, geometric motifs of triangles, rectangles, and parallelograms (rhombus) are also common. These motifs fill the walls, shutters, pillars, and doors.

The Origin of Rumah Gadang

The origin of the rumah gadang is also often connected with the story of the journey of the aUrang Minang or people of Minang ancestors. It is said that the story is that the shape of the body of the Minangkabau gadang house which resembles the body of a ship imitates the shape of the boats of their ancestors in the past. This ancestral boat is known as Lancang

After arriving at an area, the passengers and crew boarded the ship. This presumptuous is also pulled ashore so that it is not weathered by river water.  Lancang then supported with wood to stand firmly. Then, Lancang is given a roof by hanging the sail on a rope that is attached to the sassy pole. 

Then because the sails hang so heavily, the ropes form an arc that resembles a gonjong.  Furthermore, the boat passengers make a house that resembles the presumptuous residence. After the ancestors of the Minangkabau people spread, the sassy shape of the Rumah Bagonjong lr Rumah Gadang continued to be used as a characteristic of the shape of their house.

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