Roofing Wednesday: Tongkonan Traditional House

The Tongkonan is a traditional house of the Toraja, an indigenous people on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Tongkonan, which means "to sit," are usually built facing north-south and the most notable thing about these houses are the roofs.

According to Julie Sartoni: "The curved roof shape is obtained through a series of vertical hanging spars supporting upwardly angled beams. A vertical free-standing pole supports that portion of the ridge pole extending beyond the ridge purlin. Bamboo staves bound with rattan are assembled transversely in layers and tied longitudinally to the rafters forming the roof. The under roofing is of bamboo culm. Wooden boards laid over thick hardwood joists form the floors. Nowadays, zinc roofing sheets and nails are increasingly used."

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