Aceh Traditional House and Its Philosophy

The Aceh traditional house is better known as Rumoh Aceh. In each region, there are various types of traditional houses. In fact, some also have similar characteristics. But for philosophy, names, and especially their meanings must be different from one another. All of that is adapted to the circumstances of society.

The role of the former people in making traditional houses is very important. It is they who formulate the best house for the community that has been adapted to the conditions and circumstances of the surrounding environment. To find out more about traditional houses, see the following article until it’s finished.

Various Aceh Traditional Houses

Acehnese people used to call the house of Aceh as Rumoh Aceh. This Aceh traditional house has several types. On average, like other Sumatran traditional houses, this Aceh rumoh has the concept of a stilt house. Usually the height of the house from the ground level is built with a distance of about 2 to 3 meters. So it’s not too difficult to recognize Aceh rumoh when you visit there.

Then the main characteristic that you can recognize next is the door which is only about 120-150 cm high. Therefore, if you want to pass it, you have to duck first. Rumoh Aceh may rarely be found in urban areas, because people now prefer more modern buildings. However, you can still find traditional houses in Aceh in rural areas. The types of Rumoh Aceh are as follows:

1. Krong Bade House

The first traditional house that you need to recognize is the Krong Bade House. The building concept uses a staged house, which reaches 2 to 3 meters high. Then almost all of the building materials use natural materials, namely various types of wood.

Then for the roof, use a lot of rumbia leaves. Under the stilt house, homeowners usually store food there. Then many community activities, especially the women there, are also carried out under the stilt houses, such as when weaving.

When you want to enter the Aceh house, there will be stairs. As for the number of stairs according to the rules of manufacture, it must be an odd number. After you climb the stairs, later there will be some decorations like paintings mounted on the wall.

The number can be one or more. The number of decorations on the wall shows the social status of the owner of this Krong Bade house. The more ornaments or paintings on display, the higher the class of the owner of Krong Bade. Vice versa.

2. Santeut House

The second Aceh traditional house is the Santeut House. This house is also commonly called Tampong Limong. The shape is quite simple, because many people also use this type of home design. The pillars in the building are also made the same, which is about 1.5 meters.

Then for building materials at Tampong Limong it is also much cheaper than Krong Bade. The roof of the house uses thatch leaves, while for the floor, pieces of bamboo are used which are arranged or arranged in a row.

Aside from being a floor, this piece of bamboo is also used because the air circulation in the room produced by using this material is much better. That way, the floor and room won’t feel damp, but cooler.

This Santeut house is usually not too wide. Therefore, the underside is usually used as a place to hold certain home events or to receive guests.

3. Frame House

The last traditional Aceh house is the Rangkang house. This house is not a residence as before, but a place to rest for the community or is called a shelter. This house is indeed made for people who want to stop by. Like those who want to rest while on a long journey.

The shape of the house is a stage concept house. Because it is only a place to stop, the cost of making it is also quite cheap. The material used is usually ordinary wood plus thatch leaves as the roof. Although simple, this house is very useful for the people of Aceh. Because when they are tired, they can use this place to rest for a while.

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Characteristics of the Development of Aceh Traditional Houses Through Traditional Books

The people of Aceh still adhere to customary provisions, including in terms of building houses. The traditional book of Meukuta Alam serves as a guideline for the community in doing something, including when preparing to build a house.

In the book it is stated, in the construction process, you have to use a little red and white cloth. The cloth will later be tied to the main pillar of the building. The two cloths are symbols or commonly called tameh radja and tameh putroe. Not only houses, but the tameh also applies to the construction of mosques or village halls.

Then, in the customary book it is also stated that the yard and parts of Rumoh Aceh belong to the daughter and her mother. So, the house will belong to the daughter when the head of the family dies.

But if you don’t have a daughter, the house will belong to your wife. According to Acehnese custom, the ownership of the house as well as the yard cannot be replaced.

Aceh Traditional House Development Process

In the process of building a house, the people of Aceh liken it to building a life. Therefore, the process must also be in accordance with community knowledge and customary provisions. In addition, there will be conditions that must be met before starting construction. Here are some things you need to pay attention to when you want to build an Aceh house:

1. Starting with deliberation

When planning to carry out development, there are several things that need to be determined based on customary provisions. Therefore, deliberation is needed to decide it. Deliberations are held in the realm of the family.

The results must be conveyed to the Ulama or Teungku in the surrounding villages. The goal is of course that the house that is being built will feel comfortable and calm when it is occupied.

Other things that are usually discussed during deliberations include the requirements for a good construction date. The time will be determined by Teungku. Then regarding the proper wood used and feast or salvation and others.

2. Procurement of Materials

The materials needed to build a traditional Aceh house are wood, bamboo or trieng, thatch for the roof, and other materials. Then the rules for felling wood, the wood is not entangled with roots and when felling it doesn’t hit other wood. The process of collecting this material is usually carried out together with local residents.

3. Processing building materials

The wood that has been collected is then placed in the shade near the construction site. Shady place chosen so as not exposed to rain. However, if the construction process is still long enough, the wood or bamboo will be soaked first, so that it lasts and is not eaten by termites.

4. Establishment of traditional houses

The next process is the establishment of a traditional house. The process begins with making a foundation as a support pole. Then the first wood, called the king’s pillar, was driven in, followed by the other pillars.

If all the pillars have been installed, then the floors and walls begin to be made. After that, then the making of the roof is done. The last part of the process of making a traditional house is adding ornaments and decorations to the house.

The unique thing about making traditional Aceh houses is the way they are tied with rope, without using nails. This very strong rope is made from the bark of rattan, palm fiber, and waru trees. The building will actually be more durable by using rope from this natural material. In addition, the installation with ropes also makes the building safer and more resistant in the event of an earthquake.

Spatial Components in Aceh Traditional Houses

In every district in Aceh, of course, there will be a traditional house. Although in each area the building is different, in general the components in the building are almost the same. The following are the main components of the traditional Aceh house building.

1. Front porch or Seuramoe-ukeu

The first component is the front porch. This place is at the front of the house, and is usually used to receive male guests. In addition, if male guests stay overnight, this is where they will eat and sleep.

2. Terrace (seulasa)

The terrace is also in the front, next to the porch. Its location has never changed since ancient times, because it has been determined.

3. Serambi belakang (follow-up dances)

The third is the back porch, as the name implies, this porch is located at the back of the house. Its function is as a place to receive female guests. Just like the front porch, the back porch is also used for eating and sleeping for female guests.

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4. Inong house or main house

The fourth is the main house. This room is between the front porch and the back porch. Usually the main house will be made with a higher position. Later there will be about 2 rooms there as rooms. The two rooms are separated by a passage that connects the front and back porches.

5. Kitchen or Rumah Dapu

The fifth room is the dapu house. The place is usually next to the back porch. While the position of the land will be made lower than the porch. This is where the owner of the house will cook for the family and to entertain guests who come.

6. Rice barn or kroong padee

Next is the rice barn or known as kroong padee. The majority of Acehnese people have livelihoods as farmers, so there are still many who will keep sacks of rice at home.

This granary is a place used to store rice after the keris is heated. Usually the barn will be made separately in the yard of the house, either next to or behind the main house.

7. Keupaleh

Lastly is keupaleh, which is the main gate at the front of the house. But not all circles have this gate. Only certain community leaders make the front gate. This gate will be built using wood which is made like a booth that has an umbrella on the roof.

The uniqueness and philosophy of Rumoh Aceh

For the people of Aceh, the name of the Acehnese traditional house is not known, but they know it as Rumoh Aceh. On average, every resident has a house design that is almost the same. So, here are some of the uniqueness and philosophy of Rumoh Aceh:

1. The house is made high

Rumoh Aceh is made with the concept of a stilt house, so it has a distance from the land to where you live. Then because the place is high, you need a ladder to get to the stage house. The number of stairs was made odd, in accordance with the beliefs of the local community.

This high place was chosen to reduce humidity in the house. Because with the stage concept, air can enter the house through the underbelly. That way, the food in the house will not spoil quickly.

2. Carvings inside the house show social status

Then every house must have carvings or ornaments. Whether or not this ornament is good or not is a sign of the social status of the community. The higher the position in society, the better and more ornaments and ornaments in the house. That way, when you visit the Acehnese house, you can find out the social status of the owner of the house through the ornaments that are there.

3. The door is made short as a form of respect

If you visit Rumoh Aceh, you will know that the doors there are quite short. Not even as tall as people in general. It turned out that this was intentional, so that when they entered the house, everyone seemed to pay their respects to the owner of the house. Because when passing through the door, everyone must bow. This is applied so that people respect each other regardless of caste.

4. Must go through deliberation before building a house

Before building a house, there must be deliberation first. The deliberations were held in the realm of the family and the domain of traditional leaders. Deliberations in the family need to be held so that they can determine various kinds of needs as preparation for development.

With this deliberation, it is hoped that the development can run smoothly without any problems, because everything, both the material, the date of manufacture and the parties involved have been decided together. After deliberations at the family level, the next is deliberations with the teuku and the clergy. This is clearly a form of requesting a blessing so that the construction of traditional houses can be carried out smoothly.

Traditional houses in Aceh are built with full calculation. The predecessors of society, will always take many things into account before building something. Including the use of an object or place. Acehnese traditional houses are not built like today’s concrete houses. But built with materials derived from nature. With this material, Aceh’s traditional houses are able to stand firmer and stronger.

The Aceh region is one of the areas prone to earthquakes. Therefore, the process of making his house was not done haphazardly. The predecessors had taken into account many things so that traditional houses could withstand earthquakes and shocks.

In addition, the house will also be spared and safe from floods and attacks by wild animals. So it is much more comfortable to live in, especially when there is a disaster. Then, the rooms there are also divided into several rooms with different functions. This shows the existence of ethics and the value of decency in society.

Those were some Acehnese traditional houses that are important to learn about. Indonesia is a country that is rich in culture, that is why it is important for the community to know each of the regional traditional houses.