THE RICE by PutriAngelica


									                       THE RICE-BARN (ALANG, LUMBUNG)

                                                    The rice-barn is something of a smaller
                                                    edition of an ancestral house
                                                    (tongkonan) with the significant
                                                    difference that the piles on which the
                                                    building rests are round, not square.
                                                    Piles for the rice-barn are fashioned
                                                    from the trunk of the banga palm;
                                                    these trunks are so smooth that mice
                                                    cannot find any foothold to climb them.
                                                    The piles themselves are also called
                                                    banga. As a rule a rice-barn (= alang
                                                    or lumbung) has six piles, sometimes
                                                    more. Beneath the alang an elevated
                                                    floor is laid (sali).

                                                 To a large extent rice-barns are
                                                 decorated like houses. Most of the
                                                 ornaments are the same. Thus the
                                                 pa'tedong motif is common on rice-
                                                 barns, just as the pa'daun bolu motif is.
                                                 The bottom of the sali is often
                                                 decorated with carved geometric
                                                 designs which are colored in with paint.
Even the boards which form an extension as it were of the walls and which jut out under
the sali, are ornamented with woodcarving. Like the tongkonan, the rice-barn is a status
symbol. People see how wealthy a family is by the dimensions of the woodcarving of
these buildings.

The primary function of the alang is the storage of rice, but the barn serves other uses as
well. The sali is a work place; this floor furthermore serves as a place for people to sit or
to sleep during mortuary feasts. When guests sleep there, cloths woven from fibers are
draped around the banga. The sali is also where people sit when meetings of fellow
villagers are convened. The rice-barn is situated invariably opposite the tongkonan so that
during ceremonies the dignitaries sit in the southern part of the barn.

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