KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 524–531

1. Introduction

Local wisdom is basic knowledge gained from living in balance with nature. It is related to culture in the community which is accumulated and passed on. This wisdom can be both abstract and concrete, but the important characteristics are that it comes from experiences or truth gained from life. The wisdom from real experiences integrates the body, the spirit and the environment. It emphasizes respect for elders and their life experiences. Moreover, it values moral more than material things. (, 1996 in Roikhwanphut: 176). (Manugeren, 2017: 1) emphasizes that, Local wisdom is a set of ideas or polices based on the values of virtues found in a community and often applied, believed to be the guidance of life, and handed down from time to time. Based on the definitions, that local wisdom can be understood as a human effort by using their mind to act towards something, object, or events that occur in a certain space.

Indonesia is a country of diversity, home to numerous different ethnic groups, languages, cultures and religions. However, a common language and the national motto of `Unity in Diversity' helps to bind the 17.500 islands and their inhabitants together. In Indonesia, every ethnic has its own local wisdom, such as ethnic of Lampung known to be open to accept other ethnics as brother, and so does ethnic Batak. Java is famous with the etiquette and gentle behavior, as well as other ethnics like Minang, Aceh, Sunda, and others. They have their own unique culture and life guidance according to their beliefs to achieve common prosperity.

This research is to reveal the local wisdom through the cultural symbol in Indonesian Traditional House particularly Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo. It is seen that the significant point of local wisdom is the unity. The traditional house in Gayo highland, is Pitu Ruang gayo. Although Gayo has different areas with others but the local wisdom in Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo remains the same.

2. Literature Review

Rumah adat pitu ruang Gayo is a symbol of custom in Gayo highland, as Tengku Abdullah in Syukri, (2006: 153), says that umah pitu ruang gere ilen i bangun, edet urum ukum gere ilen ara” means that in Uumah Edet Pitu Ruang the society can discuss all the problems, both concerning customs, culture, syari'at, and politics of government.


The uniqueness of umah edet pitu ruang Gayo has a philosophy and very deep meaning. According to Hakim in Syukri (2006: 154) there are four deep philosophies in umah edet pitu ruang Gayo, that is: Gergel (grogol) and unte-unte (coupling) a symbol of unity. “Luangi ni puting suyen” means pile holes with pegs, symbolizes blessing from parents to build the traditional house. Bubung urum rongka a symbol of protection means that the King always protects his people. And Benang serta peceng that is the right of ulama; in other words the priest or ulama is obliged to correct the wrong.


According to Melailotoa (1990:378) motif is a shade that becomes the basic of style to create a form of ornament that serves to decorate a space field and object used. In this case, the meaning of motif is the shades or ornament shapes of Umah Edet Pitu Ruang gayo. The motif that adorns the traditional house is a cultural symbol and an aesthetic value.


According to Dewojati (2004: 38) color is the most prominent visual element of other elements. Its presence makes the object seen by the eye. Color can also show the different feature and character. in addition color can also be used symbolically. It can be explained that, color is essentially seen because of the ray of an object.

3. Research Method

The research is descriptive qualitative research. According to Kothari, C.R. (2014) the major purpose of descriptive research is description of state of affairs as it exists at present. Moleong (2007: 6) reveals that qualitative research is intended to understand the phenomenon of what is experienced by the subject of research such as behavior, perception, motivation, and action,, and it is described in the form of words and language on a natural special context by utilizing various natural methods.

To collect the data, the writer used the documentation study, observation, and interviews. The author found Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo, Central Aceh, as one of the place to filter the information in the form of documentation. Then, the result of observation and interviews of the object were in the form of written and records. The research conducted wa a direct observation on gayo traditional House, as Moleong (2007: 186) says that “Interview is the conversation with a certain purpose”.

To analyze the data, the writer used documentation study. The source of the data consists of two types, there are primary and secondary data source. The primary data is essential sources derived from Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo, Central Aceh. The secondary data, is taken from books, journal, and relevant materials to support this research.

4. Result and Discussion

Syimbolic meaning of design Umah Edett Pitu Ruang Gayo

The uniqueness of umah edet pitu ruang Gayo has a very deep philosophy or meaning. According to Hakim in Syukri (2006: 154), there are four philosophies of umah edet pitu ruang Gayo, they are:

  • Gergel (grogol) and unte-unte (coupling) symbolizes unity. This is called hak ni rakyat (the right of societies to work together).

  • “Luangi ni puting suyen” means the pile holes with baji means pegs. This symbolizes “blessing”, the meaning of blessing here is the approval or prayer of parents to build umah edet pitu ruang Gayo.

  • Bubung urum rongka means the rectangles and frames that symbolizes “protection”. reje or the king always protects his societies, this is called “hak ni reje” meaning the king's right to preserve justice in leading the society.

  • Benang serta peceng means yarn, the size, sight or view. In other words, the Imam or priest is obliged to straighten the bent and correct the wrong. So the role of the priest is crucial. It can be seen that the construction of the Traditional house, is an integral relationship between the king and the priest, the elder and society.

Symbolic meaning of motif Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo

There are 13 motifs contained in Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo. Then, after Islam came to Gayo Highland, three motifs were deleted namely “iken” (fish), “nege” (dragon) and kurik (chicken). The first reason was it could be the object of public worship; secondly, the prohibition of Islam drawing Allah's created image including animals; thirdly, these were regarded as a less important motif. The thirteen motifs are:

  • Emun beriring (clouds lined up)“Emun beriring” (clouds lined up) is a form of clouds that march on the sky. So it is visualized as a form of motif. It symbolizes the unity. According to Suwito (Interview result) in Gayo proverb “beluh sara loloten mewen sara tamunen” means that the unity has many meanings, such as never forgetting their own identity as Gayo society who always maintain the value and norm of customs of Gayo.

  • Emun mutumpuk (Clouds)“Emun mutumpuk” is the collection of clouds on the sky. The clouds symbolize the association of society for discussion. According to Kurnia (Interview result) “awan bertumpuk” is used as a symbol of Gayo traditional house that symbolizes the association of society to solve problems by deliberation, as Gayo proverb says “keramat mufakat behu berdedele”.

  • Emun berkune (Branches cloud)“Emun berkune” is a symbol of guide. According to Mukhlis (Interview result) “Emun berkune” has another meaning, that is to separate to stand alone from other community, in the four of directions of wind, the north, east, south and west.

  • Emun berangkat (moving clouds)According to Suwito and Kurnia (Interview result) “emun berangkat” symbolizes that that society should be united “rempak lagu re, bersusun lagu belo”. Thus, the community always help each other, in terms of culture, education, and government systems.

  • Emun mupesir (spout clouds)“Emun mupesir” symbolizes separation of their ownselves to create a new community. According to Suwito (Interview result) “konot nge benaru” means once the small is now grown up; it is time for independence; the separation is because of marriage or education.

  • Puter tali (double twisted)“Puter tali” symbolizes unity. With unity, we are strong and stand upright, and if we are divided, we fall. According to Suwito (Interview result) “keramat mufakat behu berdedele”. Double twists is not broken, but if one twist it will be very fragile and easily broken.

  • Pucuk rebung “Pucuk rebung” symbolizes to always work together in every element both cultural, custom, education and government. This symbol is very important in society.

  • Cucuk penggong Cucok pengong symbolizes “ratip musara angguk, nyawa musara peluk” means maintaining the cultural values and custom values in gayo society; uch as Mukemel (self-esteem), Tertip (order), Setie (loyalty), Semayang-Gemasih (compassion), Mutentu (hard work), Amanah (honesty), Genap Mufakat (delibration), Alang Tulung (helping each other) and Bersikemelen (competitiveness).

  • Sarak Opat (four elements in one integrated bond)Sarak opat symbolizes the king (reje), the priest (imem), the elder (Petue) and society (rayat)

  • Lelayang (kite)“Lelayang” symbolizes nobility, education values and saving the ethnic custom wherever we stand on. According to Suwito (Interview result), that “Lelayang” symbolizes the enhancement of knowledge both worldly science and hereafter.

  • Nege (dragon)“Nege” symbolizes guard or protector in gayo highlands.

  • Iken (fish)“Iken” symbolizes loyalty and genuine devotion to the king.

  • Kurik (ayam)According to Djalil (imterview result), (kurik) symbolizes natural wealth in gayo highland, which is commonly found in the Gayo forest.

Symbolic meaning of color of Umah Pitu Ruang Gayo Takengon

Gayo society has five colors that are considered having meanings applied in every element of the object, such as umah edet pitu ruang gayo, government agency, and custom clothes.

  • yellow (the king)Yellow symbolizes the color for the king or leader. The king is the highest person in the governance arrangement of Gayo, who is responsible for his entire societies.

  • red (Commander)Red symbolizes bravery. It is called the color of commander because in Gayo highland to keep the security and peace of people is the commander's duty. On the other hand, red also symbolizes the spirit of Gayo community to defend their territory.

  • green (advisory and fertility)

  • Green symbolizes advisor in society; the advisor always acts in fair to solve the problems in society. Besides, the green is also interpreted as a fertility and prosperity. The fertility here is that Gayo highland is famous for its fertility.

  • white (Priest/Holiness)White symbolizes the priest or holiness. In Gayo, the priest is the most respected person in government and in daily life. The priest has an important role in guiding society to the right way.

  • black (Society)The black symbolizes society. The society has the important role in realizing the roles of the leader, as gayo proverb goes “keramat mupakat behu berdedele” meaning responsibilty.

5. Conclusions

From the research result, it is seen that Indonesian Traditional House particularly Umah Edet Pitu Ruang Gayo contains points of local wisdom through the cultural symbols: that is based on design and there are 4 symbols namely Gergel symbolizing “unity”, Luangi ni puting suyen symbolizing "blessing", bubung urum rongka symbolizing “protection”. and Benang serta peceng symbolizing the right of ulama. In other words, the priest or ulama is obliged to correct the wrong. Based on motif, there are 13 symbols namely emun beriring symbolizing never to forget identity as a Gayonese, emun mutumpuk symbolizing to always solve a problem by deliberation, emun berkune symbolizing, the solution of a group to stand alone, emun mupesir, symbolizing separating and standing alone in the region or other countries, emun berangkat symbolizing tidying up the ranks in society to uphold unity, puter tali symbolizing that united we stand, divided we fall. Pucuk rebung symbolizing building all systems both custom, culture, government and education, sarak opat is set of system in society, cucuk penggong is harmony, and lelayang respecngt the custom in our dwelling. Based on color there are 5 symbols, such as the yellow symbolizing the color of power, strength, majesty and symbol of the leader of the State. The green representing natural advisory and fertility. The red symbolizes toughness, self-defense, unity and courage and also symbolizing of the Gayo people's sacrifice for their country. The white has a sacred meaning, and symbols of honesty, and the black symbolizes the community as the implementer and as a driving force in advancing life.



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ISSN: 2518-668X