Rumah Bolon, a traditional house that is a symbol of Batak culture

 


Have you ever heard of or seen a Bolon house? This house is a typical traditional house of the Batak tribe in North Sumatra. Not only as a place to live, this traditional house is also a symbol of the social status of the people living in Tapanuli, North Sumatra.

You can find two types of Bolon houses, namely houses that have a lot of decoration or called Jabu Batara Siang and houses that are not decorated, called Jabu Ereng. Well, want to know the uniqueness and philosophy contained in this traditional house? Check out the following discussion.

Type of Bolon House

Source: arafuru

The traditional house of the Batak tribe is often called the Gorga House. This house is a symbol of the existence of the Batak people who live in the area. However, this traditional house also has different types according to the existing Batak tribes. The Batak tribe in North Sumatra itself consists of several types, there are Toba Batak, Simalungun, Karo, Mandailing, Pakpak, and Angkola. This is what makes Bolon houses have the characteristics of each according to its type.

Although there are various types, basically the traditional Batak houses have almost the same shape. The hallmark of this house is rectangular, like a house on stilts, and there are many supporting poles as high as 1.75 meters. Because of its high shape, stairs are needed to enter this house. The number of steps made is always odd.

The Meaning of the Bolon House Part

Almost every element in Bolon's house has a philosophical meaning according to the beliefs of the Batak tribe. What does it mean?

Engraving Meaning

Source: Ministry of Education and Culture

If you have the opportunity to visit this house, you can see many typical Batak carvings. Not only that, the paintings, decorations, and parts of the building also have their own meaning. Ornaments in traditional Batak houses are called Gorga. Each Gorga has its own philosophical meaning related to the life of the Batak tribe. Here are some meanings of Gorga:

Gorga is in the form of a lizard: the Batak people are able to survive wherever they are, even though he is wandering in very far away areas. Batak people are also expected to be able to maintain a strong and unbroken sense of brotherhood when they meet their fellow tribesmen, even though they are in another area that is not their native area.

Gorga in the shape of a snake: ancient people believed that a house entered by a snake signified that its inhabitants would receive abundant blessings.

Gorga in the form of a buffalo: a thank you for the hard work of the buffalo that has helped humans in working on agricultural fields.

Meaning of the Roof

Source: polarumah

The roof of this traditional house has a distinctive shape, which is pointed at the front and back. The front of the roof of this house is deliberately made longer than the back. The shape is also believed to be able to fight strong winds from the lake so that it can stand firmly to protect the house building below it. The material used to make the roof is palm fiber because it is easy to obtain.

The Batak people believe that the shape of the roof like this can pray for the descendants of the owner of the house to be more successful and prosperous in the future than today. The roof is also considered sacred so it is often used to store sacred objects or heirlooms.

Home Body Meaning

Source: red and white

The body of the house, of course, is the part of the building located in the middle of the building. In Batak mythology, this section is called the middle world. This middle world is a place for its inhabitants to carry out their daily activities. Starting from cooking, sleeping, receiving guests, joking, and so on. Usually, the body of the house is also equipped with decorations in the form of ipon-ipon to ward off reinforcements.

The Meaning of the Foundation and Walls of the House

Source: beritasimalungun

The foundation of the house used is a ring type foundation, where the stone is the support for the wooden column at the top. The pillars used are about 42-50 cm in diameter and stand on processed stone whose structure is flexible. This foundation makes Batak traditional houses resistant to earthquakes. The pillars of this house usually number 18 and have the meaning of togetherness and sturdiness.

If you pay attention, the walls of this traditional house are slanted. Not without reason, this sloping wall is made so that the wind from outside can easily enter the house. The walls are tied up using ropes made of fibers and rattan with a rope pattern like a lizard that has two heads that are opposite to each other. This pattern has a meaning as a house keeper.


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