Culture Minahasa





The influence of culture, customs and traditions on Tomohon citizens lays in the way of social grouping, where generally the citizen in Tomohon City  are Minahasan, so the customs and traditions of Minahasa who live by grouping and gathering in a small environment carried and applied in current social life, that is the settlement surroundings become compact and even in real condition has no clear boundaries between homes. The way of group living based on the bonds of family and relative clearly projected on the settlement.

The citizens of Tomohon in common to Minahasan people, generally have a culture, custom and tradition called “Mapalus”. “Mapalus” tradition or working together and help each other has rooted and became tradition in Minahasan people life. The tradition still live and preserved until now, though some activities from “Mapalus” has fade away such as using wind instrument when gathering people to do “Mapalus”. Slowly the originality erodes by modernization.

In Minahasa, every year the villages and surrounding areas holds a ceremonial event called “Syukuran” which connected to religious event. This event centralized in Church of each villages or surrounding areas. The purpose of holding this ceremonial event is to express gratitiude to God for the gift and blessing in Minahasa including Tomohon along the year.

Naik Rumah Baru
Beside “Syukuran”, in Minahasa land there is also known a  ceremonial event called “Naik Rumah Baru”. It holds every time someone or some family is about to inhabit a new house or residence. The name is analogical to the shape of traditional Minahasan house which is a house in stilts that when someone is entering the house, they have to step on the ladders.


Kabasaran War Dance
Tomohon city, for having Minahasan people as the main inhabitants, has a war dance called “Kabasaran”. “Kabasaran” is a dance by group of Minahasan traditional war armored men. It also refered to “Cakalele”, but actually “Cakalele” comes from the wardance of Maluku region. Nowadays, the war dance “Kabasaran” is performed in parades and welcoming events for special guests.


Kolintang is a traditional musical instrument from Minahasa, usually used to accompany a traditional songs singer or just musical instrument. “Kolintang” is usually played in a group of 5 to 6. It is well-known through out Indonesia and even promoted abroad.

Musik Bambu
Musik Bambu is a traditional bamboo musical instrument group from Minahasa consist of 30-40 people or more. Minahasan “Musik Bambu” is also well-knowned through out Indonesia that sometimes events from other province invites a group of “Musik Bambu”.


In daily life, the citizens of Tomohon City while using Bahasa Indonesia as communication language, they also use traditional language of Minahasa. In Minahasa there are eight kind of traditional languages used by eight ethnics such as, Tountemboan, Toulour, Tombulu, etc. The traditonal language that is usally used in Tomohon is Tombulu, which is because of Tomohon  is part of Tombulu region. Other than the languages mentioned above, there is also some of the old citizens of Tomohon that understand and even speak Dutch because of colonization influence and old schools that were using Dutch as speaking language at the time of colonization. Lately, people who are understand and using Dutch is decreased as the old citizens decreased.



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