Mbaru Niang In Waerebo Village
Waerebo is the only adat village in Manggarai that still maintains the traditional Mbaru Niang house of Mangarai. “Mbaru” mean house and “niang” means tall and round. Mbaru Niang has conical shape and if the house structure is laid down, you would see circular sectors like the ones found in the lingko crop lands. The shape of the houses symbolizes the unity among the people of Waerebo. The circular floor plan is symbol of harmony and jutice among the people and families within the house.
Mbaru Niang is Traditional adat house of the waerebo that has been meticulously maintained by the locals since their elders built in the 1920. There are seven Mbaru Niang houses in the village, all in a good condition now, although three of them had been in tatters. It is said that the seven houses reflect the ancestral belief to respect the seven peaks around the village, considered as the protectors for the welfare of the village. The seven Mbaru niang stand on a plain circling a stone altar called the “compang” at the center. Compang is seen as the most sacred point in the area and serves as the place to worship God and the ancestors.
Each of the seven Mbaru Niang house has own it name;
1 Niang Gendang
2 Niang Gena Mandok
3 Niang Gena Jekong
4 Niang Gena Ndorom
5 Niang Gena Keto
6 Niangn Gena Jintam
7 Niang Gena Maro
Inside the Mbaru Niang, family activities mostly take place on the ground floor “tenda”. The ground floor of the main adat house, the niang Gendang, has the diameter of the around 14 metres, while the ground floors of the remaining six niang Gena Houses each has a diameter of around eleven metres. This different size is influenced by the number of families residing in the each of the houses. The main Niang Gendang houses eight families, while the other six, six families.
The house entrance is located on the ground floor, whose floor plan is divided into two areas- the motang and lutur. Motang is private zone where the heart is located, and where the families cook and eat. It also houses the bed chambers for six to eight families. The residing families are allocated rooms in the house according to the age of the respective head of family. Similar to the arrangement of the seven Mbaru Niang that is centered on the compang altar, the most sacred part of this floor is at the bongkok pole at the centre. During community meetings, the tua gendang village leader will sit in the front of the pole.