Traditional House Nias with Earthquake Resistant

Nias is an island located on the west side of Indonesia and included in the North Sumatra Province, separated by the Mentawai Strait. The island covers an area of 4,771 km²; The population of the island is 639,675 people including Malay, Batak, Chinese and the indigenous inhabitants "Ono Niha". 
Nias is a unique place because Nias is one of seven places in the world who are still awake megalith culture preservation, "The megaliths Living Culture". And that reason; UNESCO will follow Nias as "World Heritage", the world heritage of Indonesia. 

Stories of Traditional House Nias
Ancestral intelligence to create and develop housing that is suitable in areas prone to earthquakes is a great wisdom. We must strive to maintain and preserve it. Based on the concept of building a high-security and convenience, rather than usual residence. He reflects the existence of civilization the people of Nias 'Ono Niha' and be the means of customs practices, delivery media inspiration, creativity and artistry.

Nias Island has many traditional villages with the arrangement of the architecture, landscaping and buildings that are arranged neatly. Where in the past, each village is headed by a King and the location of the villages in difficult to reach areas such as steep hills or valleys on the back. The goal is to fortify itself from attack another village because of the war between the villages are frequent and regular raids were accompanied by abduction of the population that will be made slaves. So that the structure of past societies Nias consists of "King, Nobles, Commoners and Slaves". Settlement patterns were formed from the structure of society, for example;  
  • The residence of King called "Omo Sebua" which means a large house located in the shaft-shaped pattern perpendicular to the street, right in satay skewers.
  • Traditional houses of other smaller so-called "Omo Hada", its location flanking the King home. 

Traditional Nias House base on Structure of Society

OMO SEBUA, or chief's houses, are situated in the centre of the village and are built on massive ironwood piles and have towering roofs. The piles rest on large stone slabs and diagonal beams of the similar dimension and material providing longitudinal and lateral bracing, enhancing flexibility and stability in earthquakes. The warring culture built them to intimidate with size and the houses are virtually impregnable to attack with only a small trap door above a narrow staircase for access. The steeply pitched roofs reach heights of 16 metres (50 feet); gables project dramatically at both the front and rear, providing both shade and shelter from tropical rains, and giving the building a hooded, towering appearance. With structural members slotted together rather than nailed or bound, the structures have a proven earthquake resistance.

    OMO HADA, like the omo sebua, commoners' homes are rectangular in plan. As a defensive measure, interconnecting doors link each house, allowing villagers to walk the full length of the terrace without setting foot on the street below. Both the commoners' houses and the aristocracy's omo sebua have bowed galleries underneath the large overhanging eaves. Presumed to have been inspired by the bulbous sterns of Dutch Galleons, they provided a defensive vantage point, and in times of peace, a ventilated and comfortable place from which to observe the street below. 

    Traditional Nias House base on Location

    Type MORO: North Nias: this Traditional house has a square floor plan but contain curved lines. North Nias house has more monumental forms with building heights up to 20 meters. North Nias house including one of the sites in the world that gets the attention of the World Monument Fund. Omo sebua gable-shaped stage with the top that perpendicular direction towards the main entrance. The roof is very steep angle and also slightly curved concave shape. Several other houses are not perfect arch and become like a broken line. At the bottom of the roof is an opening that serves as a upper window. Upper window is closed and opened by encouraging and giving support. 
    Type GOMO: South Nias: this Traditional house have oval-shaped floor plan. Omo Hada has only one window and for a bigger house have two windows. High of Floor is 4 meter, propped up by poles of the logs with a diameter up to 60 cm. On the outer side add by pole / large sloping beam forming a letter “V”. Pillars of the foundation rests on the base with a stone and situated on the ground.

    Interior Traditional House of Nias
    The interiors are built from planed and polished hardwood boards - often ebony - that are slotted into each other using tongue and groove joinery. The internal timbers often feature bas-relief carvings of ancestors, jewelry, animals, fish and boats with a balance of male and female elements that is essential for Niassan concepts of cosmic harmony. The more opulent houses are further decorated with freestanding wooden carvings and the internally exposed rafters are adorned with jaw bones from pigs that were sacrificed for the workers' feast at the time of the houses' completion.

    Villages in the island's south are laid out either in a single long cobblestone street or to a cruciform plan with the chief's house at one overlooking the street. They can be large with up to 5,000 residents. Villages were built with defence in mind, strategically sited on high ground and are reached by steep stone stairways and are surrounded by stone walls. Smaller villages, however, would not have been defendable in former slave-trading days. In contrast with houses of northern Nias, which are free-standing, oval in shape and built on piles, southern Nias houses are built in terraces forming long rows.

    The main entrance is located on the stage floor exact in the middle position, and to achieve that goal through underneath the house. The wall on the side shaped upright and tilted downward on the front side. In the front there is a line of windows with a trellis-trellis that has a horizontal direction. Nias linear shaped settlement patterns facing each other to limit the field and road. In the middle of the page is placed piles of rocks for stone jumping ceremony. Its main street is the axis of the village with stone materials. The road is made of large stones whose surface flattened and then given a decorative sculpture. On the roadside there is a water channel with rock material as well.

    In one settlement, the houses were lined with a position that is located almost adjacent. and are connected to each other through the side porch. From the whole range, house of leader have the highest and greatest form. Fineness of construction completion rate is also the most neatly with the curved roof of the most perfect as well. 

    Structural Genius of Traditional House Nias

    The December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami caused (only) coastal damage to Nias, but the March 2005 Nias earthquake had a devastating effect on the island. More than 80% of modern public buildings were destroyed. Traditional homes were more earthquake-resistant and most survived, precisely in the village Hilimondregeraya, inside the Gulf.
    Reconstruction efforts were hampered by the death of many traditional craftsmen, and the fact that NGOs lacked knowledge of Niasian building methods. The cost of repairing damaged traditional homes was estimated to be similar to building new ones, because collapsing support pillars meant that the house had to be dismantled and reconstructed. NGO house designs were typically smaller than traditional ones, and lacked many elements that were fundamental to Nias' culture. 
    Restoration Traditional House of Nias 
    Having a traditional house is a sign of success, prosperity, maturity and social status of its owner. Buildings that are strung together 100 percent of the wood without using nails (iron) that, after someone set up a custom home, then he could set up a stone megalith 'GOWE' affirmation of their social status as a monument. Therefore custom homes and major markers of the megaliths is a traditional village 'banua hada.'

    The reason why home customary / traditional 'Omo Sebua' and 'Omo Hada' which must be maintained as Omo Niha architecture is the result of knowledge / wisdom of the largest ever created by the ancestors of Nias, the evidence of the beginning of knowledge and development on the island of Nias, it is suitable in areas prone to earthquake, environmentally friendly building materials available and can be cultivated / renewable on the island of Nias. Preservation of traditional houses is a "Disaster Risk Reduction".

    Another reason to maintain Houses of Traditional and indigenous villages is a "Tourist Attraction of Nias" and if managed well will be one of the prospective potential of the tourism industry.