The word 'balai' for the Minangkabau people have more than one meaning, the first meaning "market"; and the second meaning "traditional buildings". Balairung Sari is a "customs hall" located in Nagari Tabek in District Pariangan, Tanah Datar, West Sumatra province.
As the customs hall, Balairung Sari is a special building has a roof without walls or windows as the meeting place of the traditional leaders. The existence of Balairung Sari is inseparable from the origin of the Minangkabau as detailed in the tambo.
In Minangkabau tambo is told, that the origin of of the Minangkabau people of the descendants of King Alexander the Great. This king had three sons, namely Maharaja Alif, Maharaja Dipang and Maharaja Diraja who became king at the Golden Island after a trip to Mount Marapi. In traditional proverb says: "Dari mano titiak palito dibaliek telong nan batali dari mano asal niniek kito dari puncak gunuang marapi". When they arrived at Mount Marapi, a Maharaja Diraja settled at a place called Lagundi Nan Baselo.
|Balairung Sari in Nagari Tabek, Pariangan|
Some long settled in Lagundi nan Baselo, Maharaja Diraja group began to fall and build a village on the slopes of Mount Marapi, which became known as Pariangan. Pariangan is the first village in the Minangkabau and in this Pariangan is what is called the Balairung Sari. Now precisely in Nagari Tabek which was formerly an integral part of Nagari Pariangan.
Sari Balairung built by Tan Tejo Gerhano a famous local architect at the time, he was also known as the first to make "Rumah Gadang" in Minangkabau. Although Balairung Sari in Tabek Pariangan adopt sistem Bodi Caniago, but the people there do not adhere Bodi Caniago system or Koto Piliang.
Architecture Balairung Sari generally almost like a form of "rumah gadang". Built on top of the pole and bergonjong, but no walls, windows and doors. As only the "Rumah Gadang", a "balairung" in two kelarasan in Minangkabau have differences. Balairung in "kelarasan" Koto Piliang have "anjuang" at both ends with a higher floor. The higher floors are used as a place for the king. While the "balarung" in kelarasan Bodi Caniago storey flat from end to end.
|Balairung Sari in Nagari Tabek with a flat floor|
Balairung Sari in Nagari Tabek Pariangan is the oldest hall in Minangkabau with six "gonjong" that resemble buffalo horns. Ladder to climb to the top of the building is made of wood with an odd number and usually 5 or 7 and poles totaling 36 pieces. At the top there is room long stretches from north to south. At the rear there is a large Balairung Sari that were once only used as a place to wash the feet.
Building materials of Balairung Sari as stated in Minangkabau proverb says: "Balai-balai balerong panjang. Batonggak tareh jilatang.Baparan baaka lundang Bakasau manulang ikan Batabuak puluik-puluik Bagandang saliguri Balapiak salai hilalang." This will all be visible from any existing building construction.
Until now, Balairung Sari milestone of wood "Jilatang" is still preserved despite hundreds of years old (summarized by Boy Yendra Tamin).