Tongkonan: Toraja Traditional House (II)
Tongkonan own the stage house that was built from a combination of sticks and sheets of board. If observed, rectangular diagram to follow the practical form of wood materials. No varnish or lacquer, all from wood uru, a type of local wood from Sulawesi. Quality of wood quite well and many see in the Toraja region.
There are three parts of Tongkonan; under (Sulluk Banua), chart (Kale Banua) and roof (Ratiang Banua). Viewed from the side view, this distribution pattern is clear darn wooden structure. In the space underneath and look at the walls and sealed the seams of the boards with a thickness of about 5-7 cm.
On the roof, the curved shape like buffalo horns. On the west and east side of the building there is a small window, where sunlight and wind flow. Tongkonan have each berkumpu on stone columns. The main column into a buffer structure of the roof edges.
There is no specific provision Tongkonan size wooden structures, all based on the availability of wood raw material in the market uru. At Kale Banua that serves as a residence, the floor consists of sheets of board, reinforced with the stage floor structure.
This section has several other functions as well as the living room dugout in celebration ceremony on the front side and a living room used as a space to place the body at a funeral. On the back side of the building there is sleeping space for family members.
In front there tongkonan rice granary, the so-called ‘grass’. The pillars of these barns are made from the stems of palms (‘Bangah’) are slippery, so the mice can not go up into the barn. At the front of the barn there are a variety of carvings, including a picture of chicken and sun, a symbol to resolve the matter.
In understanding the Toraja, tongkonan regarded as the ‘mother’, while the reed is as the ‘father’. Tongkonan works for residential, social activities, ceremonies, and the fostering of kinship. The interior of the house is divided into three parts, namely the northern, central, and south. The room in the northern part is called ‘tangalok’, serves as a living room, where children sleep, also a place to put offerings. The room middle section called ‘Sali’, serves as a dining room, family gatherings, where lay the dead, also the kitchen. The south room is called ‘sumbung’, is a room for the head of the family. The room next to the south is also considered as a source of disease.
The bodies of the dead are not buried immediately, but stored in tongkonan. Before the funeral, the corpse was regarded as ‘sick’. In order not to foul, the corpse was embalmed with traditional ingredients like formaldehyde, which is made of betel leaves and sap of the banana. If the funeral will be conducted, first corpse is stored in granaries for 3 days. The coffin of traditional Toraja called ‘erong’, shaped for the female pig and buffalo for men. For the nobility, made erong shaped custom home.
There are still many aspects of the architecture of the Toraja land, but it will be written in other articles.