Jirek Gadang, a Representative of Matrilineal Culture

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Jirek Gadang, or also known as Gadang house is a central of live and manner in Minangkabau society, West Sumatera. The architecture of Jirek Gadang has its uniqueness and beauties that shows in the gonjang roof or a buffalo-horn roof.

Jirek Gadang means a wide-big house that has an important rule as Minangkabau’s tradition house. Functionally, Jirek Gadang has two rules, as a place for traditional ceremony and forum, and also as a house.

The matrilineal system of Minangkabau society is reacted to the construction of Jirek Gadang. Inside the house, there is a big room that usually use for many receptions, such as Batagak Panghulu (Penghulu initiate) ceremony and Baralek Gadang (the wedding ceremony). Thus, there are two bedrooms or more, depends on the number of woman who live in there. Jirek Gadang is also built above the woman’s land, which in the end will be inherited hereditarily to the girls. This is how the Jirek Gadang represents the matrilineal in that union.

However, the Jirek Gadang can be divided into two types, Jirek Gadang in Darek (rural) and in coast. The significant peculiar can be seen in the roof and terrace.  Jirek Gadang in darek commonly has a bagonjong roof-construction and no terrace. On the other hand, Jirek Gadang in coast has a tungkuih nasi (rice’s wrap) roof and terrace in front of the house. (Wanti Hidayah).

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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