Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kon Tum: Largest house on stilts burned down

Nha rong Kon Klor, the largest house on stilts in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, burned to the ground at 3pm, May 9.

Nha Rong – heart, soul and history of Bana people

The house before the fire.

Firefighting forces sent five fire trucks to rescue the house, but the fire raged for nearly one hour, leaving only reinforced-concrete pillars.  Residents reported that six high-school students, including 4 boys and 2 girls, crossed the fence to get into the house to drink together. They came out of the house when the fire broke out. Two students were held for questioning.
 At 10pm, May 9, Kon Tum family brought their 15-year-old son to the police station to turn himself in as the one who burned the house. The boy confessed that he and four other students of Kon Tum High School entered the communal house to drink from 9am to 3.30pm on May 9. They challenged each other to burn the house and he committed the crime.
And after the fire. 

The Kon Klor house on stilts was built in 2000 and was the largest house on stilts in Kon Tum. This house has hosted many big cultural events and a tourist site. The house was easily felled because it’s roof was made of bamboo and leaves. The fire was so violent that trees 100 meters away from the house also caught fire, including an 100 plus year-old fig tree.

Hundreds of Ba Na people burst into tears upon seeing the house burning.

Nha Rong is a unique architectural form in the Central Highlands, which is the communal house of villagers of Gia Rai, Ba Na and other ethnic groups. Nha Rong is popular in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.

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