Newsletter March 2011

Two new books have been published by the museum

Gomo Und Das Traditionelle Haus auf Nias. Baukultur in Indonesien, (Gomo and the traditional houses on Nias, Building culture in Indonesia) by P. Johannes M.  Hämmerle and Erich Lehner (Editors) Includes contributions from Alain Viaro &Arlette Ziegler. The book is an overview of the unique architecture and building techniques on Nias Island. The first edition is in German language and second edition was published in Indonesian language.

Publisher: IVA - ICRA, Vienna, 2010, 162 pages.

Obat Tradisional Nias. Manfaat Teknik dan Penggunaannya. (Traditional Medicinal Plants of Nias). Author: A collaboration between the staff of  Nias Heritage Museum and local Traditional Medicine Practitioners. Contents: Medicinal plants on Nias, their benefits and use.

Publisher: Yayasan Pusaka Nias, Gunungsitoli, 2010, 85 pages.

The TIRTO UTOMO Foundation

The late Mr. Tirto Utomo established the first drinking water-plant in Java, Indonesia. They produce ‘Aqua’, the most popular potable spring water in  plastic bottles in Indonesia. Today there are 23 such factories in  Indonesia. After the Nias earthquake on  28 March 2005, the water of these bottles was extremely helpful for  us.

Ms Lisa Tirto from the Tirto Utomo Foundation has been very commitment to preserve the traditional architecture in Indonesia. Ms Lisa has already sponsored the rehabilitation and building of several traditional houses in  Indonesia:

  • On the island of Sumba in eastern of Indonesia in cooperation with the Redemptorists,
  • On the island of Flores in the village of Wae Rebo, Manggarai, over 1,000 m high,
  • In Sintang in the northwest of Kalimantan (Borneo),

And now also in  the island of Nias in cooperation with Nias Heritage Museum (Museum Pusaka Nias).

Ms. Lisa Tirto visited us on  25 to 28 March 2011 in order to see for themselves  the work done and to hand over to the buildings or projects:

  • The heat insulation (air cell) under the tin roofs of the four pavilions of Museum Pusaka Nias.
  • A newly constructed oval house near the cave Tögindrawa, which was inhabited for  more than 12,000 years. Among the attendants of the handover ceremony were the new elected Vice Mayor of Gunungsitoli municipality and the Head of Culture and Tourism Office.
  • A community meeting hall in traditional style in Hili'amaetaniha village.
  • A large chief house in the village of Hilimondregeraya (still under construction).

The group consisted of 10 persons, staff member of Tirto Utomo Foundation and the director of PT. Han Awal & Partners Architects-Jakarta Mr. Yori  Antar.

A year with high precipitation

2010 was a year with high precipitation. This effects the life on the island;  roads are damaged and in some cases washed away. The rubber farmers cannot harvest in rain which effects the economy of many families on Nias. Traditional houses uses thatched roofs. In dry weather the last long, but if it rains too much the must be changed more often. A thatched roof must be replaced every 4-5 years.

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