The Minangkabau house is the most popular, and most frequently seen, and most easily recognized traditional house. This Minangkabau name is a familiar name among us, and originates from Indonesia. The art form of this beautiful village house is very easy to recognize from its very unique buffalo horn-like roof shape. In Malaysia, you can see that most of the houses are still in Negeri Sembilan. Some still retain their traditional uniqueness, and some have been combined with modern design. What is the meaning of the roof shaped like a buffalo horn? According to existing stories, it symbolizes the victory of the Minang tribe in the buffalo fighting competition held in ancient times on the island of Java.
Melaka Traditional House
Who is not familiar with the art of designing village houses in Melaka. If Negeri Sembilan's traditional house design is famous for its shape, in Melaka, the traditional house is very famous for its stairs. Not only is it unique in terms of design, but the various colors are also the focus of anyone who sees it. Combining various elements from different races, the most notable is the shape of the roof which has elements of Bugis, Jambi, Riau and Minangkabau architecture. Its tiled stone staircase shows the influence of Chinese architecture. Most traditional Malay houses have long roofs. If you go to Malacca, there are still many houses like this.
Bajau Laut Sea Home
The Bajau or sea gipsy community that resides in the coastal regions around Sabah have existed mostly at the fringes of the sea for centuries. Traditionally, the Bajau are known to live on seaboats known as ‘Lepa’. These days, the Bajau has abandoned their exclusive sea-living so that they can build their home (Bajau homes) on stilts out in the sea and even on land on rare occasions. Some of these houses on stilts are built a little far from the shore and can only be accessed by boats. The Bajau community have been known to be ‘landsick’, preferring to spend most of their time at sea. The layout of Bajau homes varies depending on the usage of the home. Some are built intentionally for the raising of children while others are built to reflect other practical uses such as basic shelter and economic activities. The materials used to build these houses are based on wood materials that can be found in the surrounding area of the village.
Sarawak Long House
If you think the houses in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan are long enough, the next house is much longer. However, it extends to the side, and is called the Long House. You may have seen other longhouses built in the city, but in Sarawak, it is very different. Most Long Houses in Sarawak are inhabited by the Iban, Melanau, Orang Ulu and Bidayuh tribes. It's not just big, this house also has rooms for families ranging from 20 to 80 rooms accommodating between 200 to 800 people. Each long house architecture is unique from the different races found in Sarawak, in fact, the design of the long house is not influenced by the outside community. The main focus is the pole that uses hard wood and does not rot easily than diamond wood. The roof usually uses bamboo, boards or bark. The long house has 3 rooms which are the tanju (porch or open veranda), the ruai (open room) and the room. The part above the room and the ruai is called sadau (peran) as a place to sleep for virgins as well as a place to store grains and utensils.
The Malay Kampung House
Traditional Malay kampung houses or 'rumah kampung' were constructed by the indigenous ethnic Malay people in Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula. In its classic iteration, the Malay house is a structure raised on stilts high above the ground with thatched roofs and wooden walls. The size and sophistication of the home were synonymous with the size and wealth of the family. This tropical house design was constructed this way to protect families from wild animals, floods, and to increase ventilation. The house layout usually has partitioned rooms, stairs at the front of the house and a vernacular roof. The most distinctive feature of the Malay House is the wood carving designs that adorn the home, based on Malay motifs. The design and architectural inspiration of Malay houses can differ between different states here in Malaysia.