TWHS: Traditional Settlement at Nagari Sijunjung

So while you’re in central Sumatra visiting Sawahlunto Old Coal Mining Town, just a hop away is today’s Tentative World Heritage Site visit:

Traditional Settlement at Nagari Sijunjung

Traditional Settlement at Nagari Sijunjung (Perkampungan Adat Nagari Sijunjung) located at two villages, Jorong Koto Padang and Tanah Bato, of Sijunjung regency of West Sumatra. The main setting of settlement is in a linier position lies between two large rivers, namely Batang Sukam and Batang Kulampi. The compound of traditional houses is surrounded by hills, forest, paddy fields, and plantation. There are 76 houses in this area inhabited by nine clans and their subordinate clans. The traditional houses symbolize matrilineal-based clans in nagari, customary village of Minangkabau. It consists of paddy fields and plantation, graveyards, mosques and madrasah-Islamic school, market, and balai adat (customs hall).

Traditional Settlement at Nagari Sijunjung represents matrilineal system of the Minangkabau society. Not much settlement in Minangkabau area have a complete components and people living in the houses with its traditional ways. However, the clans of Sijunjung settlement are still lived in their social organization system based on unique of its following traits: system of lineage through female descendants, each clan member is required to espouse other clan members (exogamy), matri-local marriages, and rights and heirlooms are inherited from mamakto kamanakan (a woman’s brother to his nephews)…

This site now, it’s nowhere near as easy for the visitor to find their way around as the coal town — there does not in fact appear to be any museum or central registry of the sites, and the coordinates given in the listing are … the middle of an empty field.

So the driver and I wandered around between those two rivers looking for interesting houses, pretty much. This one was the most attractive definitively marked as a heritage property,

House at Nagari Sijunjung

but this being Sumatra and all, pretty much every other house is an architectural delight. Here’s another pair we found particularly striking,

House at Nagari Sijunjung

and a detail of the inlay work of the one on the left there.

House at Nagari Sijunjung

You know, If I ever build a house, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a Sumatran architect do it. These shots are just a little prettier than most, but darn near every building around central Sumatra looks like this!


About Author


I go places.

Leave a Reply