Traditional Houses Can Store Food !

Let’s take a look at traditional houses in Indonesia, specifically in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province. The name of the traditional house is Bale Lumbung Traditional House. Only in Indonesia can traditional houses store food. The threat of a food crisis is real. Various problems that are hitting the world today, such as the energy crisis due to war, have also added to concerns about a food crisis in the future.

Climate change also causes a decrease in food production, decreased crop yields, and even crop failure. How does Indonesia overcome the world food crisis? Indonesia is grateful to have traditions from time immemorial. Ancient people in Indonesia had ways to overcome food problems.

The ancient people’s habit of storing agricultural produce in a special place in the traditional house is still there and has survived to this day.

Traditional House

Is that a traditional house? Traditional houses in Indonesia are houses that have been built in the same way from generation to generation and have undergone little or no change. The first President of Indonesia once said, “JASMERAH”. Abbreviation for Never Forget History. Most people still adhere to traditions and preserve historical heritage.

What’s even more extraordinary is the existence of this traditional house, located in a cool tourist area. Visiting this traditional house, you get 2 benefits at once. You learn history and travel. Only in Indonesia, a historical tour!

This traditional house, Bale Lumbung is located in West Nusa Tenggara. Located + 2000 km from the capital city of Jakarta. It takes more than 2 hours by plane. West Nusa Tenggara with all its natural charm has traditional houses. If you visit West Nusa Tenggara, you must visit a typical traditional house. Because it has a unique function, namely being able to store harvests.

Illustration of the Bale Lumbung traditional house (photo: ntbprov)

The Bale Lumbung traditional house reflects two types of traditional houses, namely Bale and Lumbung. The bale (Hall) is where the family lives, while the barn is a place to store the harvest. This harvest is the result of production activities of growing plants such as rice, corn, soybeans, and wheat. These harvests are stored in a place called a barn.

Bale Building Philosophy

The form of the Bale Lumbung traditional house building is a harmonization of the relationship with God and the relationship with humans. The meaning of a house that rises upwards and extends backward reflects the relationship to God. Meanwhile, the roof that slopes forward reflects the relationship with humans. Inside the building is divided into several rooms. These rooms have different functions.

First, Bale Dalem. This room is a place for cooking activities, a bed for unmarried girls, and storage of important objects or heirlooms.

Second, Bale is outside. This room is a place to receive guests and family activities. And between the inner bale and the outer bale, there is a very clear boundary. Interesting right?

House door

The traditional Bale Lumbung house has a rather low door. So to enter the house you have to look down. This means that the host should receive respect from the guests. In today’s modern era, many people do not understand the etiquette of visiting. This traditional house teaches a very beautiful culture. Culture of respect for homeowners.

The entrance is very small, meaning food supplies are only taken as needed. Don’t overdo it in taking food. The principle of not exaggerating in taking food will bring family resilience. Another meaning of the small entrance is that it tells women who are not married. Women who have not yet married are prohibited from entering the barn. This raises a question mark. Why can’t unmarried women enter? The answer is rice fiber which is stored in the barn. If rice fibers enter the female reproductive organs, they can cause infertility. Being infertile means it is potentially difficult to have children.


Stairs in building structures function to make it easier for us to enter higher buildings. We can understand that tall buildings can prevent houses from the threat of flooding. Sources from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy explained that the steps of this traditional Bale house only have three steps. The number of steps is not too many like traditional houses in general, which, the number of steps itself contains a deep meaning. each of the three steps symbolizes God, Mother, and Father. These three symbols must not be forgotten by the people of the Sasak tribe, West Nusa Tenggara.

Barn building philosophy

The word barn means a place to store the harvest. The results of the plant production are stored. If you need food, you can pick it up at the barn.

The characteristic of a barn is that it has supporting poles and does not have direct contact with the ground. Lumbung is a symbol of prosperity for the Sasak tribe, a traditional tribe in West Nusa Tenggara. Why is it shaped so high up so that pests and mice can’t climb up? This barn is owned and used by 5 to 6 families. Readers need to know that building a barn is not easy. That requires quite a lot of money.

The people of NTB, especially the Sasak tribe, are very ready to face the food crisis. People’s gardening habits make them independent. They have a tradition of farming. They have a tradition of storing food in a barn in the middle of the community’s traditional house.

Illustration of the food security of the NTB community (photo: mongabay)


Thus, we describe the uniqueness of the traditional houses of the Sasak tribe in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. You have to see traditional traditional houses which are full of meaning. Of course, the beauty of this traditional Bale Lumbung house complements the beautiful panorama of West Nusa Tenggara Island.

The panorama of West Nusa Tenggara is very beautiful. There are 2 islands in West Nusa Tenggara, namely Lombok Island and Sumbawa Island. Each island has very beautiful volcanic mountains. The highest mountain in Lombok is Mount Rinjani with a height of 3,775 m (Wikipedia). And Mount Tambora on Sumbawa Island with a height of 2,851 m.

Climbing is an extraordinary activity that can trigger adrenaline and endorphin hormones. When you succeed in conquering the steepness of Mount Rinjani, the hormones of happiness will flow abundantly. The satisfaction of conquering a steep mountain. Of course, the view of Rinjani is extraordinarily beautiful because the mountain is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

We highly recommend climbing Rinjani as a priority agenda if you go to West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. After you visit the traditional house.

Climbing Rinjani requires preparation. You have to collect useful information and tips for climbing Rinjani. You can even hire professional services to make this activity unforgettable here.



Reference :

` Lukita, Tulistyamtoro, Kattu. “Studi Semiotik Ruang Hunian Traditional Suku Sasak” Jurnal Dimensi Interior. (Desember 2016) : 72 – 77

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