a little about Minangkabau

my fellow blogger

Welcome to Rumah Gadang

Rumah Gadang (big house) or rumah bagonjong (spire roof house) are the
traditional homes of the Minangkabau, Padang West Sumatera.
The architecture,
construction, internal and external decoration, and the functions
of the house
show the culture and values of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang
serves as
a residence, a hall for family meetings, and for ceremonial activities.
With the Minangkabau society being matrilineal, the rumah gadang is owned
by the women of the family who live there – ownership is passed
from mother to daughter.

The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, up swept
gables. Shuttered windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted
floral carvings. The term rumah gadang usually refers to the larger communal
homes, however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural

summary of tripwow.tripadvisor.com

Songket Sumatera Barat

Balapak or bacatua is songket from Pandai Sikek, Minangkabau West Sumatra.
Songket is a luxurious textile that required some amount of real gold leafs
to be made gold threads and hand-woven into exquisite fabrics over a tool
called panta.  

The value of each Balapak is depend of the complexity and number of gold thread
used. Beside Pandai Sikek in Tanah Datar, there is Silungkang which has the
advantage of the motif and one other place called Sawahlunto.

For the people of Minangkabau woven fabric is an inseparable part of
traditional ceremonies and traditions.

Women’s dressed tradition custom of  Minangkabau, Padang West Sumatra with suntiang
on her head. Suntiang are inserted one by one into the hair, to prevent from falling
the hair had to be filled with sliced of the pandan (pandanaceae) leaves.


Saluang is a traditional musical instrument of the Minangkabau
of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is similar to the flute in general and
it is made of thin bamboo or “talang” (Schizostachyum brachycladum)
Kurz, with 4 hole.

Saluang more simple than other kind of flute because it is made
just adding 4 holes and finish. The dimension is 3-4 cm in diameter
and 40-60 cm in length. It is related to the suling of other parts of Indonesia.
Saluang player can play that music instrument without interrupting for taking
breath from start to end of song. They have developed special breath
technique in blowing that instrument without stopping for breathtaking.
Minangkabau people believe that talang which is collected from rack of clothes
dryer or found drifting in the river is a good material for making saluang.
Today, it is not so easy to find classic saluang cassette even in original
place of saluang (Minangkabau).

Style of saluang tune for example : Singgalang, Pariaman, Koto Tuo,
Ratok Solok, Cupak, Salayo and Pauah. Singgalang style is quite difficult
for the beginners. High skilled saluang player can play many styles and
audience can request any style to them.

In the past, Minangkabau people believed that saluang player have pitunang
(mantra) or magic power for hypnotizing the audience. That mantra
called as Pitunang Nabi Daud

summary of Wikipedia

The Legend of Malin Kundang

the stone of Malin Kundang the rebellious child. picture by R A W

There was once a boy who lived with his mother in poverty, his name is
Malin Kundang.
After growing up he asks his mother permission to go wander in sad her
mother finally allowed him to go.
After he became rich, he went home to his hometown. Her mother heard
about his son is coming home she ran to the beaches to wait the ship anchored,
but pity for the mother since Malin did not want to admit her as his mother.
He was ashamed of having a thin, dirty and poor mother.
He even said that her mother is crazy by admitted him as her son.
The mother was upset and asked Malin to apologize, but Malin did not
do it and her mother was really hurt and disappointed. She said,
I gave birth to you with my blood and tears but you do not want
to admit me as your mother, I’d  better have a stone  than a son as you.
The minute his mother pursed her lips then her son’s feet immediately
turn into stone. Malin Kundang shouting on his knees cried for
apologize but cursed had been spoken and he slowly became a stone.


A talempong a small kettle gong which gives its name to an ensemble of four or five
talempong as well as other gongs and drums. The term can refer to the instrument,
the ensemble, or the genre of music.

Talempong is a traditional music of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra,
Indonesia. The talempong produce a static texture consisting of interlocking rhythms.

Talempong was brought into Negri Sembilan, Malay Peninsular by people of
West Sumatra in 14th century. Here, talempong is also known as caklempong.

Talempong can be used to play a wide variety of music, including both
traditional or modern.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope by presenting stories about Indonesia
with its uniqueness you will someday interested to visit our country.
I will keep posting stories of Indonesia and hope my fellow blogger will like it.
See you.

6 thoughts on “a little about Minangkabau

  1. I have travelled through Java extensively over the last 30 + years on business and leisure. Sumatra – only twice and I know there is much more to see and experience. Thank you for this post. I love the music and heard them performed in Jakarta. Well done 🙂

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