Around the area to Lake Linouw in Tomohon district, there are unique houses made of wood with almost uniform shapes and motifs. The brown houses and stilts do not appear to be inhabited by humans, although from the outside they look like new homes. Apparently the house on stilts was not for occupation but for sale.

The area, which is called Woloan Village in West Tomohon Subdistrict, is known for its people as craftsmen of Minahasa stilt houses. The roar of chainsaws coupled with the knocking of chisels and hammerheads has become a daily life in this village. Likewise, the view of hundreds of logs of various sizes spread out on each vacant lot not far from the houses on stilts that were being worked on. Wood is the main raw material for making houses on stilts.

The house on stilts is smaller than the long house in Kalimantan. Given that this house is only inhabited by one family. In the book History and Culture of the Minahasa written by Jessy Wenas, it is told that in the past, Minahasa traditional house buildings were made using the binding technique, which is attached to a tall tree. This is done to avoid flooding and wild animal disturbance.

Then, in 1850 a researcher from the Netherlands named WR Van Hoevell noted that there were changes that had occurred in the traditional houses used by the Minahasa tribe. From the beginning it was attached to a tree, then it turned into a house on stilts that has survived until now. In the local language, this house on stilts is called a wale meito’tol or a house with wooden pillars. There is also a house with stone pillars or what is called wale weiwangin. Both types of houses on stilts are traditional houses of the Minahasa tribe.

The wood used for the manufacture of houses on stilts is iron wood (Instia bijuga). Iron wood is used as the main material for the structure or frame of the house, while chrysolite wood (Elmerrillia ovalis) and nyatoh wood (Palaquium spp) are used to cover the interior or interior of the house. Iron wood was chosen because it is resistant to termites and has strong properties. In addition, this wood is also durable because it can support a house for hundreds of years. Iron wood is generally supplied from forests in the Bolaang Mongondow area, North Sulawesi.

This house on stilts is made with a knock-down system. This means that each house model can be assembled after it is finished. There are various types of houses on stilts made by craftsmen, ranging in size from 36 square meters to 200 square meters they can work on. Craftsmen can also work on stilts in the shape and size of the buyer. The selling price of each house on stilts is different, ranging from tens of millions to even billions of rupiah.

The house on stilts has several parts. The open front room without walls is called a loloan (fores). Going deeper, you will find several rooms, such as the living room and bedroom. There is also an attic that is used to store crops or is also used as a place for drying clothes. At the back there is a kitchen room (rarampoan). The kitchen is made separate from the main house to prevent fire.

The Minahasa stilt house has two stairs, namely on the left and right. The main pillar of the house is called ari’i, which has an entrance at the top. On the body of the house, there is a window (tetemboan) carved with decorations in the form of flowers or plants. The construction of a transverse beam ride on a longitudinal beam is called a kalawit. While the X-shaped construction is called sumpeleng. These constructions are interconnected and form a solid foundation for the house. What is unique is that even though the construction parts are glued together without using a single nail, when an earthquake occurs, the Minahasa traditional house will only move without experiencing any damage to the parts.

The uniqueness of its shape and pattern makes this house on stilts attractive to many people. Not only receiving orders from around Tomohon, these stilt houses are also in great demand by buyers from around Sulawesi. It has even spread throughout the archipelago. Not only ordered by individual buyers, resort or villa managers are also interested in buying original products from this cool area of ​​Tomohon. The delivery of the dismantled house is also accompanied by the carpenters who will re-assemble the house at the final location.

According to data from the North Sulawesi Province Industry and Trade Office, this unique house has been spread across more than 30 countries. Buyers come from Southeast Asia, East Asia, Europe and the United States. Exports were also carried out to Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Argentina and Mexico. “The Woloan stilt house is in demand by the export market because it has different characteristics and characteristics. Moreover, the material comes from tropical wood which is known to be good and strong, ”said Head of North Sulawesi Industry and Trade Office Edwin Kindangen, as quoted by Antara.

The massive demand for houses on stilts threatens the sustainability of the raw materials for iron, real, and chrysanthemums. The production of house on stilts from Woloan has been tried with coconut wood as raw material, but it is difficult to market it because it is less attractive to consumers. Therefore, it is necessary to have other types of wood that can replace (substitute) the three types of wood above. Of course, so that the knock-down stage home industry in Woloan Village continues without experiencing difficulty in supplying wood raw materials.

Of course, this type of substitution wood must have relatively the same properties as the previous three types of wood, especially its physical and mechanical properties and still be in demand by consumers. According to forestry researchers from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Sentot Adi Sasmuko, research on the physical and mechanical properties of several types of wood substitutes for raw materials for Woloan stilt houses was conducted by the Manado Forestry Research Center and the Bogor Forest Products Research and Development Center. The types of wood studied included aliwowos, rorum, bugis, binuang, bolangitang, and walnuts from forests in Bolaang Mongondow Utara.

The results of the research conducted show that aliwowos wood is classified as the heaviest followed by rorum, bugis, walnut, binuang, and the lightest wood is bolangitang. In addition, the six types of wood are classified as having relatively small or stable shrinkage. Meanwhile, based on the density value, the maximum static flexural strength, parallel compressive strength of the fibers and shear strength, aliwowos wood is classified as strong class I. Meanwhile rorum and bugis wood are classified as strong class II. Walnut wood is strong class III and binuang and bolangitang are strong class IV.

Based on their properties, the six types of wood can be used as raw material for substituting stilt houses from Woloan to replace the types of wood that have been used so far. So that the wooden house industry typical of Tomohon and North Sulawesi remains sustainable and provides welfare for its people. Come on, visit Indonesia and get interesting information from Indonesiar.com.

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