Karo Batak Houses

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Northern Sumatra, Indonesia

Nobody has been able accurately to count the number of islands that make up Indonesia’s landmass. There are about 18,000 – significantly more if the counting is done at low tide – some 900 of which are inhabited. Around 238 million people live in Indonesia, making it the world’s fourth most populous country. The climate is tropical, with heavy rainfall and vigorous forest growth.

Indonesia’s traditional buildings have timber structures and thatched or shingled roofs. There is tremendous diversity, and in the last few hundred years the styles of house-building have been influenced by the fusion of ...

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