IJSSH 2015 Vol.5(1): 44-49 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.419

Rumah Gadang as a Symbolic Representation of Minangkabau Ethnic Identity

Elda Franzia, Yasraf Amir Piliang, and Acep Iwan Saidi
Abstract—Minangkabau is one of the ethnic groups in Indonesia. This ethnic group is usually known by rumah makan padang or traditional food stall with spicy and delicious food in it, or by the people’s specific choice of earning their living such as being a seller or entrepreneurs. On the other hand, every ethnic group has a symbol or other visual identity use for their identification. Rumah Gadang, the traditional house of Minangkabau, is one of the symbolic representations of Minangkabau’s self identity. The unique visual form of Rumah Gadang can be seen in many visual identities of Minangkabau’s people in daily basis, such as for rumah makan padang’s logo, stall’s identity, corporate identity, or as a virtual identity and a profile picture in social network site such as Facebook. This phenomenon is becoming the visual language in Indonesia’s culture. With this paper, I intend to analyze the visual form of Rumah Gadang as the symbolic representation of Minangkabau’s ethnic identity. Focused on Rumah Gadang as a visual object, the analysis is using semiotic method. Based on Pierce’s theory of semiotics, Rumah Gadang is becoming the icon of Minangkabau’s ethnic group and becoming their ethnic identity. The result is the classification of Rumah Gadang as a symbolic representation of ethnic identity.

Index Terms—Identity, Minangkabau, representation, Rumah Gadang.

Elda Franzia, Yasraf Amir Piliang, and Acep Iwan Saidi are with the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Trisakti, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bandung 40132, Indonesia (e-mail: eldafranzia@ gmail.com, ya_piliang@yahoo.com, acepiwansaidi@fsrd.itb.ac.id).

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Cite: Elda Franzia, Yasraf Amir Piliang, and Acep Iwan Saidi, " Rumah Gadang as a Symbolic Representation of Minangkabau Ethnic Identity," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 44-49, 2015.

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