7 Names of Padang Traditional Houses, Their Uniqueness and Characteristics

Having the title as the largest city in West Sumatra, Padang is now growing rapidly as a metropolitan city. But even so, Padang still stores and preserves regional culture, one of which we can find is the Gadang Traditional House.

This Padang traditional house was built in accordance with the provisions and customary rules that have long adhered to the Matrilineal System.

That is, the system here adheres to the flow of offspring that comes from the mother, so that in the Minang realm, it is the woman who holds the highest degree in life.

Get to know the Padang Traditional House

Padang traditional houses are one of the cultural results, characteristics and identity of the Padang people which are still known today.

In the process of building traditional houses, Padang still uses fairly traditional materials such as; wood, bamboo, and coconut ijuk are the most widely used materials.

That’s what makes the traditional houses in Padang seem unique because each architectural design has its own message value, so it’s not surprising that many foreign tourists visit.

In Padang, besides there are Gadang houses, there are also several other traditional houses. For more details, see the following review.

A. Gadang House

The gadang house has a distinctive feature in the form of a roof shape that resembles a buffalo horn. Not made without meaning, the shape of the pointed horn from the roof of the gadang house turns out to have its own historical meaning.

It is said that the shape of the horns of the gadang house became a symbol of the victory of the buffalo fight held with a king in the Java area.

The historical event was later described as the glory of the Minangkabau people at that time.

There is also another philosophical version that says that the shape of the horns on the Gadang house is the result of inspiration from the shape of a ship called Lancang, a ship that crosses the kampar river.

It is said that when the ship arrived at the estuary. The ship was then lifted ashore and given a roof using a sail mast tied with a rope.

But because of its heavy load, the sailpost becomes tilted / curved to resemble a gojong or pointed part on the roof.

Finally, the ship changed its function to become a house called Rumah Gadang which is now widely built by the Minangkabau community.

Rumah Gadang as one of the icons of North Sumatra Province, does have its own charm.

The Saribu Area of Rumah Gadang in South Solok Regency is one of the most appropriate cultural tourist destinations to see the uniqueness of Gadang’s house.

In this area, you can easily find hundreds of Minangkabau traditional houses from various forms as well as tribes.

Of course, each Gadang house has its own uniqueness and is classified again into several types of houses. Here are the types of Gadang houses.

1. Gadang Gajah Maharam House

Rumah Gadang Gajah Maharam is a traditional house that is fairly luxurious. The entire traditional house is built of Juar wood, Surian wood and Ruyung wood / coconut tree with a zinc roof.

This traditional house should be built facing north with walls on the east, west and south sides covered with sasak.

Rumah Gadang Gajah Maharam has 4 rooms on the south side that are lined up towards the west which are decorated with minang carvings on each door of the room.

It stands on 30 support posts. Rumah Gadang Gajah Maharam is one of the traditional houses that is resistant to earthquakes.

This house has 5 gojongs, namely 4 gojong on the roof and 1 gojong in front of the house which serves as a protector.

2. Surambi Papek Gadang House

Rumah Gadang Surambi Papek has unique characteristics that distinguish it from other Gadang houses.

In the past, if people wanted to visit this house, they had to enter through the back door.

Because the traditional house has a termination on the left and right sides called Bapakmokak or papek in padang language, this house is also called Surambi Papek.

However, along with the times, many gadang Surambi Papek houses have been modified so that they have a door in front of the house.

3. Rumah Gadang Batingkek

Rumah Gadang Batingkek or in Indonesian called a multi-storey gadang house is a Padang traditional house which is currently relatively rare and very difficult to find.

The intent of the level is a tiered gojong. In the past, this traditional house was widely spread in the Singkarak area, Solok Regency.

4. Gadang Gonjong Limo House

Rumah Gadang Gonjong Limo is one of the traditional houses that you can find in Payakumbuh City, Padang. As the name suggests, this house has an additional gojong on the left or right side of the building.

B. Gojong House

The next traditional house is the Gojong house. Although the name is not as popular as gadang house, Gojong house has its own characteristics.

This traditional house is also classified into several types based on the shape of the house. Here are the types of Gojong houses.

1. Gojong Ampek Baanjuang House

Rumah Gojong Ampek Baanjuang is a traditional house established in the Luhan Nan Tigo area as well as a sign for the local community.

This traditional house has 4 gojongs on the roof with the number of rooms can be more than 7 rooms.

2. Gojong Sibak Baju House

Rumah Gojong Sibak Baju can be said to imitate the model of the Gadang Gajah Maharam house because judging from its characteristics, it is not much different from Sibakkan clothes and hemispheres.

The basic materials for making this traditional house are wood and sasak. In this traditional house, there are also carvings with floral motifs and semicircular carvings with crown and flora motifs on the top of the bedroom door.

3. Gojong Anam House

Gojong Anam house has a shape that is almost similar to gadang Gajah Maharam’s house but has been modified with the addition of minang carvings so that it more resembles a stacked building.

Compared to other traditional houses, Gojong Anam house is one of the traditional houses with a more modern design.

The existence of this modification makes people think that this building is the result of a transformation between the berrunjung building and the Gadang Gajah Maharam house.

The Uniqueness of Rumah Gadang

It can be concluded from the explanation above the uniqueness of the Padang traditional house, as follows.

1. Unique Roof of the House

The roof of the traditional house of the Minangkabau people is made of ijuk with a shape that is curved and pointed upwards, people often refer to the word Gonjong.

So it’s no wonder that the natives of Padang usually always call it Bagonjong’s house.

Gonjong’s pointed form is likened to the hope of reaching God.

Meanwhile, the basic materials for the manufacture of the walls of this house are traditionally made from woven bamboo pieces.

2. Has Pillars of Rumah Gadang and Lanjar

The gadang house has colorful pillars. The pillars on the table are arranged in five rows that line the house.

These rows design the interior into four long spaces, otherwise called lanjar.

On the back side is devoted as a bedroom. While other lanjars can be used as a common area or also known as Labuah Gajah, which is used for certain ceremonies.

These pillars are used as a background for prospective couples who are about to get married on Bainai night.

This Bainai night is the last night for the future Minangkabau bride to feel the freedom of being a single woman.

3. Carved Decoration

The front wall of the Padang traditional house has unique carvings and is arranged vertically. While the back is covered with bamboo.

Carving motifs that are often used are leaves, flowers, fruits, and other plants.

The existing carvings are made not because of randomness, but rather based on the custom of Basandi Syarak which has three philosophies, namely:

  • Ukue Jo Term, which means measuring using term.
  • Alue Jo Patuik, which means to pay attention to flow and propriety.
  • Raso Jo Pariso, has the meaning of relying on taste and examining on references to geometric shapes.

4. Anti-Earthquake House

This Gadang house is supported by long and tall columns that rise upwards and withstand shocks.

The foot or pole of the lower building never touches the earth or the ground, because the tread of the pole is ciphered with a cipher stone

This stone serves as a dampener for wave vibrations from the ground so that it does not affect the buildings on it.

5. Sturdy Thanks to the Pillar of the Juha Tree

Sumatran traditional houses have 4 main poles, 40 cm to 60 cm in diameter. The pole comes from the juha tree.

Before being used for house poles, juha trees were soaked in ponds for many years resulting in strong and sturdy poles.

The gadang house does not use nails as fasteners, but in the form of pegs as joints. This is one of the keys to prevent wall damage in the event of an earthquake.

6. Stairs at the Entrance

Regarding the position of the stairs in this gadang house, it is deliberate that there is only one staircase at each front door of the house.

Apparently, this one ladder has the meaning of “believing in God Almighty” which is closely related to the Islamic religion adopted by the Minangkabau people.

7. The Shape of the Gadang House Building

The shape of the Gadang house is not much different from the West Javanese traditional house.

This Minangkabau tribe residence was deliberately built high or had a stage that functioned to avoid wild animals.

8. Room According to the Number of Girls

Another uniqueness of the Gadang house building, which is a room made according to the number of girls in a family.

Especially for married daughters, they will be given a separate room to live in with their husbands.

It’s different for girls who are still girls. They would live together in one room.

Thus the discussion about the Padang traditional house. We should be proud to be Indonesian citizens because we have traditional traditional houses inherited from our ancestors that still exist today.

May it be useful!