Check out the Uniqueness of Local Knowledge of Minahasa Stilt Houses that are Earthquake Resistant

PUBLISHED,- Traveling to Likupang is fun, enjoying the beauty of the beach while chatting with friends, relatives or loved ones. Eeeeiiitts wait a minute mate, omicron is still soaring, so hold on to the urge.

Speaking of Likupang, remembered the traditional house from Minahasa which turned out to be one of the earthquake-resistant houses.

As we know, the Minahasa region is located on the island of Sulawesi. This island is one of the large islands in Indonesia, which is located at the meeting point of three major plates, namely the Sunda plate, the Australian plate and the Philippine plate. The island of Sulawesi is composed of a complex tectonic setting. The structures identified in Sulawesi are still active and often produce earthquakes. To the north of Sulawesi Island there is north Sulawesi subduction, significant earthquakes in north Sulawesi are associated with subduction along this north Sulawesi trough. In addition, the island of Sulawesi has a complicated fault structure consisting of faults that are still actively moving and no longer moving.

The experience of dealing with earthquakes has made the Minahasa people have local knowledge about earthquake-resistant construction that is applied to their homes. Minahasa traditional houses are in the form of houses on stilts or under houses, both on the water and on the plains. The materials used are generally wood from tree species taken from the forest, namely iron wood, linggua, cempaka utan wood or wasian wood / michelia celebia, nantu wood / palagium obtusifolium, and maumbi wood / artocarpus dayphyla mig. Iron wood is used for the poles, cempaka wood for the walls and floors of the house, nantu wood for the roof frame. For people with low economic strata, usually use petung bamboo/Javanese feathers for poles, roof trusses and nibong for the floor of the house, for the walls, broken bamboo is used.

How to build a traditional Minahasa house is built in a unique way, in its construction following certain rules. Before building a traditional house, it is preceded by a traditional ceremony led by Walian, a community leader in the spiritual field and highly respected.

In the past, traditional houses were built by means of “mapalus” or mutual cooperation. Newly married families will live with their parents. Armed with parental property given at the time of marriage, these new families in a group, usually 20 families, will form a group called the mapalus-wale group with a coordinator called the “mawali-wali”. The family whose house it is their turn to build is called “makawale”. This group will build houses one by one on an arisan basis until all the houses of the group members are built. The building process occurs quickly because it is done by 20 people. There is a story that if someone neglects their duties, they will be punished with a whip is called “marantong”.

In Marwati’s research, 2014 states that the architecture of traditional Minahasa houses can be divided into the period before the 1845 earthquake and the post-earthquake period of 1845-1945. Before 1845 was the Tumani period, before the arrival of western nations in Minahasa, the people had built large houses on large tall pillars, houses inhabited by 10-20 nuclear families.

The construction of traditional Minahasa houses in 1845-1945 has almost the same characteristics as before, namely a gable roof or a combination of a saddle and pyramid shape, as well as the body frame of a house consisting of wood with a pen connection, and under the house consisting of 16- 18 struts. The only difference is that the stanchions are smaller and shorter than in the past, which are 30/30 cm or 40/40 cm, with a height of 1.5-2.5 meters. The characteristics of the space in the 1845-1945 house is different from before, because there are already several rooms, such as the front body of the house which functions as a living room / overhang setup room, the living room / pores are used to receive close relatives, and a bedroom for parents and children. women, the living room behind the rice barn.

The traditional Minahasa house has an earthquake-resistant composition and structure. Minahasa traditional houses can be a reference in the manufacture and development of earthquake-resistant houses in accordance with local wisdom. (LS)


Marwati, M. (2014). Studi Rumah Panggung Tahan Gempa Woloan Di Minahasa Manado. TEKNOSAINS: MEDIA INFORMASI SAINS DAN TEKNOLOGI8(1), 95-108.

Gosal, P. H. (2012). Kearifan lokal masyarakat Minahasa membangun rumah tinggal yang hijau dan nyaman. Media Matrasain9(3), 67-81.

Buku Peta Sumber dan Bahaya Gempa Indonesia Tahun 2017. Pusat Studi Gempa Nasional Kementrian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat