Sunday, September 13, 2015

Road to Istana Selindung Bulan, Pagaruyung

Journey home.

I have listen numerous times of Istana Basa Pagaruyung, on it being burnt down to the ground, being the root of Minangkabau and the birth of my heritage. Obviously the need to discover my root and heritage grows by day if not hours while I was there… but one would not expect that the road trip was as interesting as the ‘istana’ or palace itself. A road trip that I am glad to have embarked it with my darling neighbours *wink*. We were feasted with a spread of paddy field as far as our eyes behold, enveloped by Mount Sago and Bungsu and waved by rumah gadang along the way, not to mentioned curious locals giving us warm welcoming smile to their charming little village. How to know fall in love with us Minang. 

Every few kilometres we would ohh and ahh which resulted to Imam asking whether would we like a pit stop to take some shots, we kept saying ‘Ngak apa-apa Imam, halalkan aja’ (It’s ok Imam, let it go, we are go) while giving this picturesque view a puppy face look, hoping and longing for a revisit, in sha Allah. But once we reached the paddy field, it is hard to just ‘let it go’; we just can’t. We suggested a quick few minutes stop which ended up with a 20 minutes photo shoots; with me instructing Ed Junaidi to walk here, look there, act this way on the paddy trail, Farah searching for scenic shots and Ed, well Ed is just happy being my model *ahaks*. And as we thought we were done with photo shoots, we were invited by beautiful homes along the way, not knowing who the owner is. And to our surprise, the locals (perhaps the owners) gave us a nod, a blessing for us to take a few photos of their beautiful home. 

I can’t help feeling I should take home a rumah gadang, well in this case, a rumah ketek (small) heheehehee… It’s like my very own live size doll house. Comei ya amats. I have the urge to ask permission to walk inside but time is of an essence, else I would have make myself at home here and probably request them to couch surf *wink*.


At last, we found our Istana Selindung Bulan, it is very well maintained. There are approximately 200 Minangkabau carving motifs on this palace, and each carving represent their adat, consisting floral designs such as kaluak paku ('fern tendrils'), saluak laka ('interwoven rattan'), pucuak rabuang ('bamboo shoots') etc, fauna; tupai tatagun ('startled squirrel'), itiak pulang patang ('ducks going home in the afternoon) which symbolizes co-operation and homecoming wanderers, and kumbang janti (golden bumblebee) amongst others, as well as humans for example rajo tigo (three kings of the realm), kambang manih (sweet flower, used to describe an amiable girl) and jalo takambang (casting a net). 

Generally, the carvings were dominated with the color red, yellow, brown, black, silver and gold. 

Two rice barns (rangkiang) are accompanying a rumah gadang; it is located in front of the house, rangkiang sitinjau lauik contains rice for the family for adat (customary) ceremonies. The rangkiang sitangka lapa contains rice for donation to the poor or during time of need, where else rangkiang sibayau-bayau contains rice for the daily needs of the family. There are a few type of rankiang, I find this interesting and it portrays that the Minangkabaus are a very independent and well prepared clan, food reserves are not only for family current use, but also for future, for ceremonies and for those less fortunate.

We were unable to go inside as they were close for public, determine to see the inside of a Rumah Gadang, we adjourn and proceed to our destination, Istana Basa Pagaruyung or Grand Palace of Pagaruyung.

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