Houses in Minangkabau

Houses in Minangkabau measures 10 meters in length by five meters in width and 8.5 meters in height. The floor and walls of the house are made of wood. The roof is covered with sugar-palm leaves (atap rumbia).
The floor of the house is built on wooden supports about four meters above the ground. Animals are kept in the space under the floor. There is a stair from the ground to a door in the floor. The inside of the house consists of one large room.
One house can contain up to eight related families. Each family has its own cooking fire and living space. The head of the family lives at the back of the house. His married daughters and their families live on the left side of the house.
These houses are highly decorated. Usually there is a buffalo head on the top of the roof. There are also animal heads, called singa or gajah dompak, on the front of the house. These carvings help to protect the house from ghosts (hantu).

(Taken from English for Communication SMP 3)