Traditional houses in Indonesia vary with unique shapes and characteristics that vary from region to region. This is because the Indonesian population cannot be separated from the culture of the past. One of the unique traditional houses is the Karo traditional house, North Sumatra. Previously, Sahabat 99 had to know that the variety of traditional houses was due to the vast territory of Indonesia, which stretched from Sabang to Merauke.
The variety of traditional houses cannot be separated from the many ethnic groups, environmental conditions and customs. This diversity is a characteristic as well as an advantage of the Indonesian nation that should be maintained because it may not be owned by any nation. There are also many traditional houses in each region. For example, in North Sumatra, which has many traditional houses, one of which is the Karo or Siwaluh Jabu traditional house.
The types of Siwaluh Jabu are also divided into two types, namely the shape of the roof and walls.
Based on the roof:
- Sianjung-pavilion’s house
- Mecu’s house
- Based on the wall:
- Sangka Manuk’s House
- Joint House
To add insight into the Karo traditional house, Indonesiar.com will explain the summarized facts about the Karo traditional house. Anything?
1. Unique Building Engineering
Quoted from the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), the traditional karo house is famous for its unique building techniques and socio-cultural values. This traditional house has a construction that does not require connection. All building components such as poles, beams, pools, floor bearers, consoles, and others remain intact as they are without any receding or processing.
The meeting between the components is carried out by translating or tied crosswise with fibers to keep snakes away. The foot of the house, supported by a stone foundation planted with a depth of half a meter, is covered with several pieces of betel and similar iron objects. This traditional house is in the form of a stage about 2 meters with sloping walls and a palm fiber roof.
It lies 10-20 m long from east to west with the doors in both cardinal directions. The position of the traditional karo house building usually follows the flow of the river around the village. On the front porch a kind of arranged bamboo terrace called a ture.
2. Building Structure Concept
The structure of the traditional karo house is divided into three parts: the roof of the upper part of the world, the body of the house as the middle world and the feet as the underworld. The anatomical division of the traditional karo house describes the world above, namely a sanctified place. Then, the world is a place of worldliness.
While the underworld is a place of crime so it is worthy of a place for pets. The form of the traditional karo house is also very magnificent with a horn. The traditional Batak Karo house is usually 17 x 12 m² in size and 12 m² high.
3. Rely on Natural Materials
The material part of this traditional house on average uses natural materials. The building is symmetrical on both axles, so the entrance on both sides looks the same. It is difficult to tell which is the main entrance. This traditional house was built with sixteen pillars that rested on large stones from mountains or rivers. Eight of these pillars support the floor and roof, while the other eight are only supports for the floor.
The walls also provide support for the roof of the two entrances and the eight windows are mounted on the sloping wall above the circular beam. The door is about 1.5 meters high, so people who enter have to bow their head and the window is smaller. The door has a single shutter.
4. Maximizing Functions
The exteriors of window and door frames are generally engraved in intricate versions of the bow and arrow arrangement. The roof is woven with black fibers and tied to a framework of woven bamboo that covers the lower part of the skeleton of a palm or bamboo tree. The roof ridge is made of straw which is 15 to 20 cm thick.
The lowest part of the first roof at the base is planted with plants that spread over all the walls and act as a rain barrier. The end of the protruding roof wall is covered with a very beautiful bamboo mat. The main function of this protruding end of the roof is to allow smoke to escape from the furnace in the house.
At the front and back of the house is a large platform called a simple ture construction made of circular bamboo pieces with a diameter of 6 cm. The stage is used for washing, preparing food, as a disposal area for animal waste and as the main entrance. The entrance to the ture is a bamboo or wooden ladder.
5. Karo traditional house occupied by 8-10 families
This traditional karo house or Siwaluh Jabu is usually inhabited by 8 to 10 families. Each family has its own role in the house. Inside there is a large room and has no rooms. The placement of the family in this traditional house is determined by Karo custom
In the house there is no partition of a separate room. However, the division of the room still exists, that is, it is limited by strong lines of tradition, even though the lines are not visible. Each room has a name and who should occupy the room, also determined by custom.
6. Determination of Karo Traditional House Construction
Before building, Karo people usually hold consultations with friends of the house about size, place and other things. The time for cleaning and leveling the soil is determined by the teacher or shaman to have a good day. This can be seen from the determination of the site / land, the selection of wood in the forest, the good day for the construction of the house, the installation of the roof until entering the house.
Everything is done through ritual ceremonies with buffalo as victims. These ceremonies demonstrate the Karo people’s great belief in power that exceeds that of humans. The existence of this traditional house must always be maintained. Hopefully this article from kmi can add insight to your knowledge.