, Volume 4, Supplement 7, pp 27–29 | Cite as

A house is a tiny world

  • Aminuddin Ponulele


There are twelve ethnic groups in the Central Sulawesi area. Each has its own local language, social customs and ways of living, and much of this variety is influenced by the natural environment where the groups live. This paper analyses this variety with respect to the building of houses and the traditions associated with this building. Housing materials depend on climatic conditions, availability of resources and cultural norms. The people of Central Sulawesi believe that a house and its occupants become one unit, and thus housing materials are selected that are most suitable for the occupants. It means that a house is like a tiny world for them, and a spiritual relationship is established between the house and the people who live there. Every effort is made to create a unity between man and his environment when building a new house, and in this connection each group follows orderly social customs and traditions obtained from their ancestors. Particular emphasis is given to the selection of suitable building materials to fit local environmental conditions, and wood and fibre are favoured. Homage is paid to the surrounding environment, especially those items that possess spiritual forces. It is concluded that those profitable customs and traditions retained from their ancestors which positively support the advancement of the ethnic groups should be maintained.


Ethnic Group Environmental Management Climatic Condition Natural Environment Nature Conservation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aminuddin Ponulele
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Environmental StudyTadulako UniversityPalu, Central SulawesiIndonesia

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