Saturday, August 18, 2007

Building a Sundanese House

Source: ukirsari

'Naga' means dragon, but there is no folklore here related to these mystical creatures. Instead, it is thought to be a shortened form of 'dina-gawir', which in Sundanese means "in the valley". And there it lies along the Ciluwan River in Java island in Indonesia. The the word for house is 'bumi', which also means Earth. People here continue to live a simple, traditional life.

Many visitors come to see their beautiful village; one of them, Gabriella Mihályi, who wrote this in ArchitectureWeek:

“Before a family begins to build, the male head of the household asks permission from the village spiritual leader, kuncen. The day before construction starts, a village meeting is held along with the first of three sacred ceremonies. For the first ceremony, to safeguard the house, yellow rice prepared by the house owner's wife is shaped in a pyramid form and served to the neighbours.”

Source: R.Demming

“The building process starts with the leveling of the ground, the measuring for the house, and the placement of 40 x 40 centimeter foundation stones. Before the foundation stones are placed, a chicken is sacrificed for the purpose of keeping catastrophes away from the house. Its head, feet, and wings are buried under the foundation stones, the head facing east, surrounded with rice and spices — betel leaves, garlic, tobacco, and lime. The blood of the chicken is spread on the foundation stones. Also a singe coin is placed under every cornerstone.”

Walkway between houses

“Then the main beams and columns are installed. These serve as frames for the woven bamboo walls. The door and window frames are also put up. The roof frames are assembled on the ground and lifted into place after all the columns and beams are erected. The roof is covered with two layers, of palm leaves and of strong black grass.”

“Finishing consists of laying down the floor covering and installing the walls, doors, and windows. Bamboo for the floor covering is slashed and dried and placed in the house as 1.5 to 2 meter long, 15 to 30 centimeter wide plates.”

“At the conclusion of construction, another sacred dinner is held for the whole community to express the house owner's gratitude for the work that has been done collectively.”

The last 4 photos from: Sciroccogirl

More pictures at ArchitectureWeek

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Nice picture..I wish I will make it to Indonesia for a holiday soon.