Batak among the aceh people in early days .batak seems got record of always clearance the forestry for cultivation.which destroy the mother nature of the lands

The Toba Batak Migration to the Southeastern Part of
the Special Province of Aceh, Indonesia

Akifumi Iwabuchi*

The southern part of the Southeast Aceh Regency of the Special Province of Aceh, Indonesia, is
named Alasland now as in ages past. Before 1904, only the Alas people lived there, but since the
1920s Toba Batak migrants have flowed into Alasland, brought wasteland under cultivation, and built
many villages there. They first settled in the southernmost area, partly because this area was all
uninhabited forest, and partly because in the 1910s, when the political situation in Alasland became
stable, a main road was opened between the forest area and Medan. After World War II, the number
of the migrants grew rapidly. In 1985 there were 164 recognized villages in Alasland. Of these, 73
villages (45%) were occupied by Angkola Batak, Mandailing Batak, Gayo, Singkil, or Javanese
migrants as well as Toba Batak migrants, who together accounted for half of the population of

Because of a great difference between the Alas and the Toba Batak in terms of land rights, the
former have lost a huge area of Alasland while the latter have gained large tracts of land there.
Among the Toba Batak, a special land right called golat, which is the right of disposal, is observed.
The patrilineal descent group owns this land right, and the members exercise the right of possession
only. Normally, therefore, the Toba Batak people are not allowed to sell their land. On the other
hand, the Alas people have the right of land ownership. Because of this right, the Alas have been
able to give or sell immense areas of unoccupied wasteland to Toba Batak migrants since the colonial
era. The increasing population of Toba Batak migrants in Alasland has now caused economic
imbalance and religious antagonism between the Alas and the Toba Batak. In addition, the Alas
traditional pattern of clearing forest to build new hamlets has been destroyed by the disappearance of
uninhabited forest.

4 y K*i/7#OT£>*v h 7MmtUlZli.mi-2>T?-^m\’M (Propinsi Daerah Istimewa
Aceh) Kfi, Tfx (Aceh) M, #3 (Gayo) M, 77* (Alas) M, ì/y*)l< (Singkil) i£&

* ÄBÄIÖ^:^ ; Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine, 2-1-6, Etchujima, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135, Japan


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