North Maluku Wooden Houses
Sasadu is the traditional house of the Sahu tribe in West Halmahera, which is also the original and oldest ethnic group in the area. In this house, the Sahu indigenous people usually gather in meetings. In West Halmahera, this house is common in every village. The use of Sasadu as a community meeting location is usually related to holding various events, for example traditional rituals or ceremonies such as harvest celebrations and the election of traditional leaders, and welcoming guests who come. However, Sasadu can also be used just to relax without any special events. Etymologically, Sasadu comes from the word sadu which in the Sahu language does not have any meaning, while in Ternate it means to draw, and sado means complete, even numbers. Sasadu is built in the middle of a village or village with a location not far from the road. This is so that Sasadu can be reached easily so that people from all over the village can come to him to gather.
As a cultural product, Sasadu did not escape changes. How these changes exist, among others, can be seen from the roofs of houses that used to be made of sago leaf roofs, now replaced with zinc material. This change is presumably the impact of the entry of Western nations and Christianity to Halmahera. On the other hand, this change is not unnoticed by the community because there is also a desire to maintain the architecture of Sasadu's house so that his identity as a Sahu person is not lost. Sasadu itself is indeed a part of the flow of Sahu cultural development in the history of its development. Prior to Sasadu, local people lived in "koseba" houses in the forest. The house is built on piles that are embedded in the ground.
Materials derived directly from nature are widely used to build Sasadu. For the frame of the house, wood, bamboo, or coconut tree trunks are used. Then the ceiling is made from the arrangement of sago palm leaves which are tied together using bamboo ropes. There is also a palm strap that is used as a frame fastener which is attached without breaking.
Although many rely on materials directly from nature as building materials, that does not mean that Sasadu also does not use factory-made materials at all. Nowadays, cement is also used, for example, to make floors. The use of cement is based on considerations of cleanliness and easier maintenance. There is no similarity in terms of the size of Sasadu's house because each house has a different size. The largest house size measures 9 by 6 meters.
Sasadu which has a different function from a residential house makes it have different physical characteristics. Sasadu are usually larger than common houses. The Sasadu building plan has a geometric rectangular shape with a living room and side room. The ground floor is made of pile of earth as high as 30 to 40 centimeters which is compacted and then installed a stone structure in the shape of an eight angle to support it.
In the center of the building where the room functions as a place for deliberation, the construction is made without walls and supported by pillars erected on stone bases. Each pillar has its own name such as Ngasu u lamo which is located in the center of the building, Ngusu u d'ud'un along the outer edge, and Ngasu u taba which is between Ngasu u lamo and Ngasu u d'ud'un. The top of a Sasadu usually does not have an attic. The roof consists of seven sheets called ngatumding
Sasadu's house construction structure not only has a functional meaning, but also a philosophical one. In Sasadu, there are indeed various aspects that reflect the meaning, customs and culture of the local community in addition to their philosophical values. The philosophical point of Sasadu, for example, can be seen from the shape of the building made of coconut wood and bamboo. Then on the roof, there are balls which are hung from wooden slats at the ends. It is a symbol of the foot which means stability. The direction is also made to be bent so that it appears in the opposite direction to the part of the roof that is sticking up. It has the meaning of humility even though one is at the top. In terms of building shape, Sasadu is made short. This design makes everyone who will enter it is required to bow first. This means that everyone is reminded to always respect and obey customs without exception.
For the people of Sahu, Sasadu is the house that is likened to the battleship of the Ternate kingdom called Kagunga. Sasadu is considered the Kagunga Tego-tego, the battleship docked at the shore. This philosophy is the reason why Sasadu is always built longitudinally towards the land and mountains and placed in the middle of the village.
Another philosophical side is the presence of two red and white fabrics attached to the connection of the house frame. This two-colored cloth is a symbol of Christians and Muslims. From this, it is reflected on how religious people can live side by side in harmony on a daily basis in Halmahera.
There are a number of entrances that Sasadu has in every corner of the building and each door has a philosophy that reflects the hierarchical structure of the Sahu people. The door that is in the corner of the house and under the triangular roof is the door used by people from all walks of life. Meanwhile, the door in the middle is the one used by local officials.
Sasadu is commonly used as a place for holding rituals or traditional ceremonies. One of these rituals is Sibere Wanat which is an expression of gratitude for the harvest that the community has obtained from their agricultural activities. In the local language, Sibere means to rise and Wanat means roof. This ritual contains an event to raise the roof to the top of the house. Sibere Wanat was opened with a prayer reading led by a traditional leader. After that, then Wanat is raised up using a rope. Apart from using a rope, three men can also carry Wanat to the top of the house by walking on a bamboo stick. Once raised, Wanat is then installed. Furthermore, the ritual is continued by dancing Legu Salai together. Dancers wearing traditional Sahu clothes perform their dances along with music performed with tifa and gong instruments.
Eating together in the house is the closing part of this event. This group meal program is still accompanied by music and has special rules. Everyone who enters the house to eat is required to wear a head covering. In addition, inside the house there is a special place in the form of a bamboo chair which can only be occupied by certain people, namely a father and first child. For food, usually Sahu's signature dish is Nasi Kembar, which is rice cooked with wide leaves that are rolled into two holes where the rice is placed which is then put back into the bamboo blade and then grilled and eaten with side dishes. In ancient times, Sibere Wanat was held for 9 days and 9 nights without a break. If you want it to be shorter, the duration of the day must be odd. However, today there are no more Sahu people who hold it for days like that.
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