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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Carved-House of Toraja Mamasa

Publish 12-01-2012 10:50:33 by Admin
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A. Overview

The indigenous Mamasa who live in the area of ​​West Sulawesi is still classified as one family with the indigenous Toraja who lives in the area of South Sulawesi. Administratively, Mamasa district itself is directly located in adjacent to Tana Toraja district although both are located in different provinces. Of these, the cultures between both ethnic groups unsurprisingly have much in common.

The carved-house of Toraja is considered as one of the hallmarks of civilization of the indigenous Mamasa that originating from the indigenous Toraja, which can be found in some villages in Mamasa district up to the present. Besides being used as a shelter by local residents, the traditional carved-house also offers tourism fascination in Mamasa district.

Generally, the traditional house of indigenous Mamasa is similar with the traditional house of indigenous Toraja. The difference only lies on the roof in which the traditional house belong to indigenous Mamasa is made of wood, and one side is made more curved. While the traditional house of indigenous Toraja uses a wooden roof, which both sides have same curvature similar to the letter "U".

Visiting West Sulawesi seems incomplete when visitors did not see the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa up close. The house building’s form, architecture, ornament, historical background, and all the philosophical meanings will absolutely attract the cultural and historical lovers to visit the site.

B. Features

Indeed, as one of the symbols of civilization and culture of indigenous Mamasa, the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa contains various unique and distinctive things of the house. The typical and unique form that has its own value, the ornaments contained in the house will also give a special impression for those who see it directly.

The carved-house of Toraja Mamasa is divided depending on the features into several types, including the house classified as Banua Layuk. This type is also known as the "high house", which is usually built in high and large size, used as a residence for the nobility or the leaders.

The next type of the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa is Banua Sura or also can be interpreted as "carved-house". As the name implies, this type of carved house brings the features of various carvings contain philosophical meanings, and being used as a residence for the nobility. In addition to both types mentioned above, there is also a type called Banua Bolong, which used as a residence for brave and influential men in local society.

As for common people, they usually reside in the carved-house type called Banua Rapa, which is commonly found in Mamasa district or Tana Toraja district being used as a residence for common people. The last type of carved-house is called Banua Longkarrin, the modest house where the floor is directly in contact with the ground, but paved with wood. Similar with Banua Rapa, the type of Banua Longkarrin is also used as a residence for common people.

The shape and pattern of the carved-house of Mamasa Toraja contain unique and high artistic values indeed impress the tourists, both local and foreign. In fact, the production of Toraja house miniature has become an important commodity for local residents and has penetrated into the level of local and international markets, including Britain, Germany, France, Australia, and the United States.

C. Location

The carved-house of Toraja Mamasa equipped with its varieties can still be found in several locations across Mamasa, West Sulawesi, Indonesia. This traditional house can easily be found in several villages in Mamasa district, including Rantekatoan, Rantebuda, Buntukasisi, Orobua, and Tawalian.

D. Access

To reach the location of the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa is quite easy, considering the houses are located in the downtown of Mamasa district. The district is located about 340 km from Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province. On the other hand, the district is located about 190 km from Pare-Pare city in South Sulawesi, and can be reached by private vehicle (car or motorcycle) to take about 6 hours.

E. Ticket Prices

Visitors who want to enter the village, where the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa located, are free of charge. However, when visitor use the service of guide to look around the location, they will be charged for the guide service.

F. Accommodation and Other Facilities

There are no special facilities provided in the village that presents the carved-house of Toraja Mamasa. However, some supporting facilities are available and can be used by visitors, such as public toilets, parking lots, restaurants, tour guides, and others. In addition, visitors may also spend overnight in this traditional house or buy a miniature as souvenir on the site. (Iswara N Raditya)


From Various Sources


Photo source:

• Muhammad Riyan in

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