Gorontalo Wooden Houses
Dulohupa is a traditional house or traditional Indonesian house originating from Limba Village, Kota Selatan District, Gorontalo City, North Sulawesi Province. Gorontalo residents call Dulohupa by the name Yiladia Dulohupa Lo Ulipu Hulondhalo. Dulohupa has the form of a house on stilts with a body made of boards and a roof structure with a Gorontalo nuance. As a symbol of the Gorontalo traditional house, Dulohupa has wooden pillars, while as a symbol of the traditional ladder or what is also known as Tolitihu, Dulohupa has two stairs, each on the right and left of the house. Currently, Dulohupa is equipped with a flower garden, a building for selling souvenirs, and a building that houses a royal carriage called Talanggeda.
Dulohupa traditional house has a model of a house on stilts, each part of which describes the human body. The roof of the house represents the head, the body of the house represents the body, and the wooden pillars that support the house represent the feet. Besides depicting the human body, the model of the house on stilts was chosen to avoid the flooding that often occurs when the construction of this traditional house. Dulohupa traditional house is also referred to as a cultural representation of the Gorontalo people. As one of the many traditional houses that have historical significance, the Dulohupa traditional house represents a community in its era and also describes the progress of a civilization. This can be explored from the parts of the house in detail along with the meanings that contain the principles and culture that underlie them.
The roof of the house is composed of the best thatch and resembles a saddle, which is in the form of a two-tiered triangle depicting the Shari'a and customs of the Gorontalo people. The composition of the top roof depicts religion as the most important thing in the life of the Gorontalo people, namely belief in God Almighty. The composition of the lower roof illustrates the belief of the Gorontalo people in local culture and customs. In the past, at the top of the roof were installed two crossed logs called Talapua which the Gorontalo people believed could ward off evil spirits. However, along with the development of Islamic beliefs, Talapua is no longer installed now.
In the past, the Dulohupa traditional house was used as a place for royal family deliberations. Dulohupa word itself is a Gorontalo regional language which means consensus or agreement. Apart from being a place for deliberation, Dulohupa is also used as a royal courtroom for state traitors conducted in the form of a three-stage government trial, namely Buwatulo Bala (security stage), Buwatulo Syara (Islamic religious law stage) and Buwatulo Adati (customary law stage), and used also to plan regional development activities and solve local population problems.
Currently, the Dulohupa traditional house is used for traditional ceremonies, such as wedding ceremonies and cultural and artistic performances in Gorontalo. Inside this traditional house, equipment for wedding ceremonies is available, such as traditional bridal clothing, jewelery, aisle and other valuable objects. Not separated from events related to adat, in 2012 the Dulohupa traditional house was used as the venue for the declaration of the Gorontalo customary council or Duango adati lo Hulonthalo which has 11 members. One of the functions of the customary council is to straighten out the deviated customs of Gorontalo and it is hoped that with the cooperation between local governments and traditional leaders in Gorontalo, the understanding can be unified and Gorontalo development will run smoothly. Therefore, this declaration was also attended by traditional leaders, religious leaders, community leaders as well as expert staff from the Governor of Gorontalo and regional heads throughout Gorontalo. In 2017, the Dulohupa traditional house became the location for a joint exhibition organized by the Gorontalo Cultural Heritage Conservation Center (BPCB).
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