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Bawomataluo Site

Date of Submission: 06/10/2009
Criteria: (i)(iv)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia
State, Province or Region:
South Nias Regency. District of Teluk Dalam, Bawomataluo Village
Coordinates: N 00 36 59 E 97 46 17
Ref.: 5463
Word File Word File

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The Bawomataluo settlement is located in the Bawomataluo Village, under the District of Teluk Dalam, in the South Nias Regency. The area covers ± 5 Hectares with an altitude of 270 meters above sea level. This kampong is situated on the heights of the hills and is relatively safe from any tsunami threats, despite having a distance of only 4 kilometers from the seashore.  To enter this housing complex, one must go through a concrete stairway that resembles a terraced gravesite with 7 steps in the first section and 70 steps in the second part. The houses face each other with a distance of 4 meters apart and in the middle of the complex, there is a stone arrangement that is placed in an open space used for ceremonial customs and rituals. In between these traditional houses, newly built houses have been erected facing each other in a straight line from the northwest to the northeast. In the middle of the complex, there is a row of houses parallel towards the southeast. Inside the complex, there are 500 houses with a population of 7,000 that consists of 500 household heads. The Chief's or the King's house is located in the South West side and is the largest in the complex.   Based on the genealogy/family tree of the community, it is stated that the designer of the houses was King Laowo as the founder of the Kingdom of this region and are descendants of the Gomo family. Later on, the construction of the house was finalized by Saonigeho (Siliwu Gere) who was also the first generation of the Laowo family. Currently, the house is occupied by the heirs from the fourth generation of the Laowo family. The house is estimated to have been built in 18th century.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

The Bawomataluo settlement has outstanding universal value as its culture and environment have been maintained and reserved for generations. Therefore the Bawomataluo Settlement has the potential to be nominated as a World Heritage in compliance with the criteria as set out in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Word Heritage Convention. The criteria are:

(i) Represents a masterpiece of human creative geniousity

The Bawomataluo Settlement is a settlement that reflects intelligence, deliberation and wisdom of the stakeholders of this culture. This area was chosen as the location for an ideal settlement based on the following factors:

  • It is situated on the heights between valleys and deep gorges that surround the settlement.
  • Not far from the valley, there is a water spring of abundant volume of water.
  • The layout of this settlement apparently had been planned in accordance with the topography.
  • The residential buildings and the facilities for the rituals have also been aligned with condition of land.
  • The stakeholders of the culture of this settlement are not only smart in building the structures but also have the wisdom and the intelligence in selecting the location and addressing the environmental challenges to sustain their livelihoods.
  • The Bawomataluo Settlement reflects a masterpiece of the ability to construct and integrate a settlement with monumental megalithic tradition.

(iv) Be an outstanding example of a type of building architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.

The original traditional Architecture in Bawomataluo is expressed significantly through the organization pattern of the settlement and the shape of the houses/homes (omo hada).

  • Common facilities were built as a complementary and only used occasionally.
  • The distinct shape can be observed from the dimension and scale of the houses and the means of entrance to the house.
  • A certain symbol is used to identify the owner's social status. For example if the house is large with an entrance under the house, this shows that the owner is the si ulu or si ila.

(vi) Be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

The Bawomataluo Settlement and its environment with the megalithic monuments can be found in this area. These monuments have outstanding archaeological value which reflects the livelihood of people in the past that is rich in megalithic tradition and religious rituals.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

• The meaning of Bawomataluo in the local language is the "Hill of the Sun". This site is a traditional settlement that was part of the megalithic traditional rituals of the past that can still be seen from the cultural heritage.

• The Bawomataluo settlement is semi-macro settlement located on the flat peak of the hill aligned from the southeast to the northwest.

• The megalithic monuments of Bawomataluo are divided into horizontal positions known as the daro-daro and those positioned vertically known as the naitaro. These two different types of megalithic monuments represent the male and female gender.  Hundreds of naitaro and daro-daro can be found in the yards of the houses in all social strata.