A Honai House, Inspired by Bird’s Nest

goodmorningpapua.com – A Honai traditional house is one of the local architecture that still survives today. Honai houses get easy to find, especially in the valleys and mountains at an altitude of 1,600-1,700 meters above sea level. The Dani tribe is the main tribe using the Honai as a place to live.

Refersing from Indonesia.go.id, the honai house is the residence of the Dani tribe which is located in the Baliem valley, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua. Linguistically, “Honai” or “Onai” means a house. One of the characteristics of Rumah Honai is its unique shape resembling a mushroom and dark brown in color.

The basic form of the Honai house is a circle with walls made of woven and a conical roof made of thatch. The Honai houses are mostly made using renewable natural materials. At first glance, the honai house is also similar to a bird’s nest.

In the Book of the Round House it is explained that the origin of the honai house came from the idea of ​​a bird’s nest. Before the honai house was created, the Dani tribe first observed the process when birds made their nests which were round in shape to protect and warm the bird’s eggs. After observing, the Dani began to learn to build houses to protect them from hot, cold, and rainy weather. Finally, the Honai house that is known as it is today was created.

The Honai house was first discovered by Richard Archbold in 1938 during an expedition, known as the Grand Valley. The Honai house has a height of 2.5 meters. When viewed from the air, the honai houses that line each other along the valley look like mushrooms.

The Honai house has a unique and functional design. Considered from the shape of the roof that hangs down, it aims to protect the surface of the wall from being exposed to rain. In addition, this roof also functions as a giver of warmth in the house. The honai house does not have windows because the weather in its original place in the Baliem Valley, Papua reaches 10-15 degrees Celsius at night. Accessing to inside and outside of the Honai house uses a one-door system equipped with small ventilation to prevent wild animals from entering.

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