A little story in Nagari Tuo, West Sumatra

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Pariangan is located below Mount Marapi, an active volcano located 700 meters above sea level. This makes for cool air and a beautiful panoramic view of the nigari (saltwater expanse). (photo: IO/Pramitha Hendra)

IO – There is a village that has became viral because it was named as one of the most beautiful villages in the world. It’s name is Nagari Pariangan, located in Tanah Datar, West Sumatra. This village is above 500 m above sea level and has been nominated as one of the most beautiful villages based on the Travel Budget magazine, the international tourism magazine from the United States with the title  World’s 16 Most Picturesque Villages.

This predicate has stuck since 2012, at that time the Pariangan Village was amongst one of the 16 most beautiful villages in the entire world.

This village seems to have its own story. Based on stories from local people that their ancestors came from the summit of Mount Marapi, which used to be a land, while other areas are the ocean.

Over time, the sea water began to recede, then they made settlements around the summit and Pariangan became the First Nagari that was opened. That is why Pariangan until now is still called the Nagari Tuo or the Old Country. This also makes the belief that Pariangan is the forerunner of the Minang community.

History
The village is wide about 17.92 km 2 administratively under the Pariangan Subdistrict and is inhabited by around 6,479 people. The position of Pariangan below the slopes of Mount Marapi, an active volcano with an altitude of 700 m above sea level, makes the air in nagari quite cool.

In this village, there is a large and hundred years old mosque known as the Ishlah Mosque. The mosque with the Dongson architectural style in the Tibetan plateau illustrates how advanced the Minangkabau civilization was at that time.

There is also a gadang house building with walls made of woven rattan, wood carvings as the main characteristics of buildings in West Sumatra.

These gadang houses are like the Balairung Sari Tabek or the oldest Gadang House in Minangkabau, Gadang House, Dt. Bandaro I, Rumah Gadang Dt. Rangkayo Sati, Tuo Pariangan Mosque, and Porda Fire Monument.

Nagari Pariangan is an ancient village and as a precursor to the birth of a system of government typical of the Minangkabau people, which is popular with the name nagari.

However, the nagari government system only lasted until 1980 following the birth of a law on changes in the lower-level government system that required nagari to be replaced by a village government system, as developed in the Javanese community. However, in line with the spirit of Regional Autonomy, in 1999 there was an opportunity for the regions to develop themselves independently, so, the people of West Sumatra re-applied the nagari government system.

Baliak ka nagari, this term was popular at that time especially in luhak nan tigo, namely Tanah Datar District, Agam Regency, and Lima Puluh Kota Regency. The village government system also changed with the nagari government system. Pariangan as a region from Minangkabau also changed its name from Pariangan Village to Nagari Pariangan. It is not only known as the origin of nagari, Nagari Tuo Pariangan is also known as the origin of the Minangkabau community.

In the historical records, Tambo Minang shows that the Nagari Pariangan is a nagari from the Minangkabau tribe which is referred to by the local community as the “Minangkabau Nature Reserve”. That is, this nagari is believed to be the first place for life to emerge in Minangkabau Nature hundreds of years ago. In Tambo it is told, that the Minangkabau people are descendants of Alexander the Great. That said, he had three sons, namely Sultan Maharaja Dipang (Sutan Maharajo Dipang), Sultan Maharaja Alif (Sutan Maharjo Alif), and Sultan Maharaja Diraja (Sutan Maharajo Dirajo).

So how was Nagari Pariangan chosen as the most beautiful village in the world? Many variables can determine the choice leading to Pariangan, including the local community and local government being able to maintain their ancestral cultural heritage. Using their local wisdom to earn their capital to develop this history-filled village.

As a result, Nagari Pariangan is not only the mascot of Tanah Datar regency but it has been the pride of West Sumatra and now it is also our pride as Indonesians.
(Pramitha Hendra)