BATAK ANCESTER TRADES LINK TO THE REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL.Batak was smart and united communities before christianity came and destroyed batak cultures.batak You lost the heritages and unity among your own people.dont talk just study more…please click the photos to inlarge

The trans-Sumatra trade and the ethnicization of the Batak


In: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 158 (2002), no: 3, Leiden, 367-409
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The Trans-Sumatra Trade and the
Ethnicization of the ‘Batak’
Considerations of historiography and ethnicity1
Early visitors to Southeast Asia were fascinated by rumours of a cannibal tribe
called the Batak in the interior of Sumatra. When John Anderson travelled
along the east coast and its interior areas in the early part of the nineteenth
century, he met a Batak who told him of having eaten human flesh seven
times, even mentioning his preference for particular parts of the body. Two
other Batak confirmed having also participated in this practice and ‘expressed
their anxiety to enjoy a similar feast upon some of the enemy, pointing to
the other side of the river. This they said was their principal inducement
for engaging in the service of the sultan.’2 Such reports simply reinforced
myths and partial truths which had circulated about these people since
Marco Polo’s oft-quoted story of a Sumatran people (presumably the Batak)
who consumed their ill (Latham 1978:255). European perceptions were also
influenced by stories commonly told in east coast Sumatra by ‘downstream’
(hilir) people that those ‘upstream’ {hulu), that is, in the interior, were hostile
and grotesque. A Portuguese chronicler even repeated downriver stories of
an inland group possessing tails ‘like unto sheep’ (B. Andaya 1995:542).
It has been suggested that lurid details of cannibalistic practices may
have been provided by the Batak themselves in an effort to prevent outsiders
from penetrating into their lands. From early times, therefore, cannibalism
became associated with Batak identity and had the desired effect of limiting
the intrusion of Europeans until the nineteenth century. But perhaps a more
1 My thanks to Barbara Watson Andaya, John Miksic, and Uli Kozok for reading earlier drafts
of this essay and for their most useful comments. I would also like to express my gratitude to Bob
Blust and Sander Adelaar for their helpful advice regarding linguistic evidence.
2 J. Anderson 1971:34. The ‘sultan’ was the Malayu ruler of Deli, who claimed many of Deli’s
hinterland Batak as his subjects.
LEONARD Y. ANDAYA obtained his PhD at Cornell University and is Professor of History at
the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A specialist in the history of Southeast Asia, in particular
Malaysia and Indonesia, he has published, among other titles, The heritage of Arung Palakka; A
history of South Sulawesi (Celebes) in the seventeenth century, The Hague: Nijhoff, 1982, and The
world of Maluku; Eastern Indonesia in the early modern period, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press,
1993. Professor Andaya may be contacted at the Department of History, University of Hawaii at
Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA 96822. E-mail address:
368 Leonard Y. Andaya
important reason for the late entry of Europeans in Batak lands was the fact
that, from the beginning of sustained European involvement in the area in
the sixteenth century until the establishment of plantation and other export
industries in the nineteenth century, European orientation was toward the
sea and the coastal polities. With hindsight it is easy for historians to see that
the Batak were fortunate in avoiding the Europeans in these early centuries.
Yet European involvement often resulted in the keeping of records and the
accumulation of written materials which have been crucial in the reconstruction
of the history of many Southeast Asian societies.3 The lack of a European
presence in the Batak lands until the nineteenth century has meant that historians
have had very limited or no access to any contemporary European
accounts of the Batak in the pre-modern period.
The ethnonym ‘Batak’ is very likely an ancient name, but no one has been
able to give a satisfactory meaning of the term.4 Perhaps the very first time
that the name appears in written sources is in the Zhufan zhi, written by Zhao
Rugua, Inspector of Foreign Trade in Fujian, sometime in the mid-thirteenth
century. It mentions a dependency of San-fo-tsi (Srivijaya) called Ba-ta, which
may be a reference to ‘Batak’ (Hirth and Rockhill 1966:35,62,66).5 The next definite
identification of Batak comes from Tome Pires’ Suma Oriental, which was
written in Melaka sometime between 1512 and 1515. It mentions the kingdom
of Bata, bordered on one side by the kingdom of Pasai and the other by the
kingdom of Aru (Cortesao 1990, 1:145). From the sixteenth century onward,
references to the Batak as inhabitants of the interior of north Sumatra, and also
3 For the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the official records of the Portuguese and
Spanish overseas enterprise, plus the many accounts found in the collections of the Catholic
Orders in Portugal, Spain, France, and the Vatican, have been valuable for historians. For the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, the archives of the European trading companies have proved
useful. The most valuable are the voluminous records of the Dutch East India Company (VOC)
housed in the National Archives in The Hague. They date from the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries and have been used by historians to reconstruct the early modern history of many parts
of Southeast Asia.
4 In the literature on the Batak, one of the most common explanations for this ethnonym is
that Muslims used it to refer to ‘pig-eaters’. Rita Kipp cites other possible derivations provided
by her informants: from the Sanskrit bhata or bhrta, meaning ‘mercenary, soldier, warrior, hireling,
servant’, because of their functions in the past; and ‘savage’ or ‘bumpkin’ (Kipp 1996:27).
It is tempting to define ‘Batak’ as ‘human beings’, which is a common definition of ethnonyms
of many indigenous groups around the world. The Batek on the Malay Peninsula, for example,
gloss their name as ‘human beings’. Despite the lexical similarity, unfortunately there is no
link between the two terms, because ‘Batek’ is from an Austro-Asiatic language, while ‘Batak’
is Austronesian. There is an Austronesian-speaking group called ‘Batak’ in Palawan in the
Philippines, but no meaning is known for the term.
5 Travellers, including Marco Polo at the end of the thirteenth century, refer to certain groups
who are cannibals in Sumatra without providing the names of such people. One should nevertheless
exercise caution in believing stories of ‘cannibalism’ because of the practice in medieval
Europe for travellers’ tales to depict ‘monstrous races’ in lands beyond their known world.
The Trans-Sumatra Trade and the Ethnicization of the ‘Batak’ 369
of certain kingdoms along the northeast coast, become more frequent.
Today, the Batak groups are listed as the Karo, the Simalungun, the Pakpak-
Dairi, the Toba, and the Angkola-Mandailing. It was the Europeans who first
placed these clusters of communities in and around Lake Toba who spoke a
similar dialect and shared customs under one rubric, the Toba. Following this
usage, I will apply the term ‘Toba’ in this essay to the communities living on
Samosir and the lands surrounding Lake Toba, including those of Silindung.
There is a growing tendency to use the word ‘Batak’ to refer solely to the
Toba, since many of the other groups prefer to be regarded as non-Batak
and as Mandailing, Karo, Simalungun, and so on, in the ongoing process of
redefinition of ethnic groups. In the nineteenth century, however, the term
‘Batak’ appears to have been applied to all these different groups.
In writing this essay, I have been very much aware of the uneven distribution
of source materials. Any systematic study of the Batak began with the
arrival of European missionaries in the nineteenth century. With the penetration
of the area by the Dutch colonial administration later in the century, more
studies were commissioned and travel reports published in governmental
and scholarly journals. The continuing presence of German and Dutch missionaries
and teachers in north Sumatra has assured an ongoing literature on
various aspects of Batak society, particularly its religious beliefs. In addition,
Indonesian government encouragement of local culture in the 1970s and ethnic
chauvinism and pride since the 1990s have fostered Indonesian and local
scholarship on Batak society. For the period before the nineteenth century,
there have been a few archaeological studies, particularly by E. Edwards
McKinnon and John Miksic, which have considerably advanced our understanding
of early settlements in the Batak areas. Nevertheless, much still
needs to be done to gain a more comprehensive understanding of northern
Sumatran communities for the first 1800 years AD.
With the unevenness of the sources in terms of both period and content,
I was confronted with a historiographical problem. Would it be possible to
reconstruct the history of an area on the basis of sources which pre- and
post-date the events themselves? Should a historian undertake such a task
as a legitimate historical enterprise? Both questions I have answered in the
affirmative, but with certain reservations. In the following pages I attempt to
provide a historical overview of economic and political events in the region
of the Straits of Melaka as a basis for suggesting a Batak response to such
events. This reconstruction is based on archaeological findings, as well as
nineteenth- and twentieth-century compilations of origin tales of the various
Batak marga.6 I have also drawn on a knowledge of the better-documented
6 In Batak social organization the marga is one of the basic kinship units and traces descent
to a single male ancestor. Membership of a marga is determined patrilineally, with children of
370 Leonard Y. Andaya
neighbouring communities of the Malayu7 (Malay), Minangkabau, and
Acehnese, as well as groups in the region confronted with similar conditions
as the Batak, in order to discuss the Batak situation. The result is a historical
reconstruction that combines available documentary evidence, historical
imagination, and thirty years’ experience in researching and writing about
societies in the region. I have tried to proceed with caution, and some of
the reconstructed scenarios may eventually prove wrong. Nevertheless, I
believe that this essay has advanced certain ideas that may be worth investigating
further, if new materials come to light, or if historiographical methods
become further refined in the future. In short, I hope that scholars will view
this venture as a genuine attempt to advance the study of a society whose
pre-modern history has been shrouded in mystery for far too long.
One of the analytical tools that I use is ethnicity. There has been a considerable
amount of literature written on ethnicity, principally by sociologists
and anthropologists. The aim of most of these studies has been to determine
the factors which contribute to the formation of ethnic identity. In the past
there were those who argued that each group recognized certain ‘primordial’
elements as the core of their identity, while others claimed that each ethnic
community is the outcome of specific historical circumstances and situations.
More and more, however, studies have taken the middle ground and
acknowledged the importance of ‘primordial’ sentiments, but argue that such
sentiments are in fact constantly undergoing change in response to specific
A factor noted in the formation of ethnic identity is the desire to maximize
the advantages of the group. Many have focused on the economic benefits to
both sexes belonging to the marga of their father. The marga can represent an ancient grouping,
as well as groups that have developed from the original unit. There is evidence that some of the
marga are of mixed origin and have been formed by in-migrants joining with the local population.
Gonda is not totally convinced of Van der Tuuk’s derivation of the term marga from the
Sanskrit varga, meaning ‘company, party, group1. In the Old Malayu inscription at Talang Tuwo in
Palembang from the seventh century, the Sanskrit term marga is used to mean ‘way’ (Gonda 1973:
129-30, 205). This derivation appears to have been retained in later centuries. In the Palembang-
Jambi area the term marga was used for a lineage group. When the Dutch in the early nineteenth
century asked a Palembang man what ‘marga’ meant, he replied: ‘One road, people of one inclination,
one relationship and the same origin1 (B. Andaya 1993:17). It is likely, therefore, that the
Batak marga stems from the Sanskrit term marga, meaning ‘way, road, path’.
7 Throughout this essay I have decided to use the alternative spelling ‘Malayu’, rather than
the current ‘Melayu’, in order to be consistent with archaeologists’ rendering of the name of
the earliest Sumatran kingdom as ‘Malayu’. The people of this kingdom would have thus been
orang Malayu, or the people of Malayu. Even after the demise of Malayu, the people who spoke
the Malayu language and adhered to a culture developed during the Srivijaya/Malayu period
would have been regarded as ‘Malayu’.
8 For a good introduction to the study of ethnicity, see Eriksen 1993. A clear discussion of the
different positions in the debate on ethnicity can be found in Cornell and Hartmann 1998. A useful
and thoughtful synthesis of the issues raised in the study of ethnicity can be found in Kipp
The Trans-Sumatra Trade and the Ethnicization of the ‘Batak’ 371
be gained from creating a particular ethnic unity. A view with less emphasis
on the material and more on the psychological advantages is Horowitz’s idea
of ‘group entitlement’. According to Horowitz, a group’s enhancement of status
and prestige in the eyes of others serves to bolster the individual’s own
sense of pride and self-worth (Horowitz 1985:185, 226-7). Basic to the notion
of ethnic identity is the fact that ethnic consciousness arises through contact
with others who are different. As Eriksen explains, ‘ethnicity is essentially an
aspect of a relationship, not a property of a group’ (Eriksen 1993:11-2). Once
difference is established, it is necessary to exploit this difference through the
establishment of ethnic markers or boundaries. Barth suggests that one focus
on ‘boundaries’, rather than the ‘cultural elements’ contained within such
boundaries (Barth 1969:11). In other words, how a group defines and continues
to maintain itself against another can be far more revealing of ethnic
identity than obvious outward signs such as dress, food, or even language.9
An ethnic group then creates legitimacy and group loyalty through the process
of ‘inventing traditions’ and ‘imagining communities’.10
While social scientists have been at the forefront of such studies, historians
are still to be convinced of the value of ‘ethnicity’ as a useful or even
valid historical pursuit. They may share the Comaroffs’ concern at the lack
of agreement on whether ethnicity is an analytic object, a conceptual subject,
or both (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992:49). The reluctance of historians to
engage the concept of ethnicity in their studies has resulted in an unreflective
acceptance of ethnic communities as somehow fixed forever in time. Yet
anthropological studies have demonstrated the fluidity and complexity of
ethnic identities, particularly in Southeast Asia. Edmund Leach’s classic 1954
study of the Kachin in Burma reveals the ease with which a Kachin could
become Shan and a Shan Kachin through a preference for one over another
form of social system (Leach 1954). Viewing the ethnic problem from a different
perspective, O’Connor argues that ecological adaptation, language, and
agricultural techniques are significant shifts which can explain the so-called
‘rise’ and ‘fall’ of ethnic groups (O’Connor 1995:987).
Among the insights of particular relevance for this essay are: (1) contact
1996:17-24. As mentioned, the literature on ethnicity is vast and the approaches greatly varied.
Historians have yet to contribute much to this literature, with the one major exception of Smith
1986 and Smith and Hutchinson 1996, both excellent sources for historians interested in ethnicity.
9 Nevertheless, Rita Kipp rightfully points out that the outsider still has the task of determining
which of the ‘differences’ – for example, language, dress, religion, or other – would be the
significant ethnic marker or ‘boundary’ (Kipp 1996:19).
10 The term ‘invention of traditions’ comes from Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983. Equally wellknown
is Benedict Anderson’s term ‘imagined communities’ from his book of the same name (B.
Anderson 1983). These scholars focused on the manner in which new, or even not particularly
new, nations invented traditions or found commonalities in order to emphasize their shared
identity and hence unity.
60 km
Map 1. Location of camphor and benzoin forests (from Perret 1995)
The Trans-Sumatra Trade and the Ethnicization of the ‘Batak’ 373
with another group is essential to ethnic consciousness; (2) the group is created
to promote its advantage; and (3) certain ethnic markers are emphasized,
‘invented’, and ‘imagined’ to provide the primordial sentiments for group
solidarity. These insights are useful in assessing historical inter-group relations
within Sumatra, where borderlands provide the opportunity for individuals to
move in and out of ethnicities. Evidence of ethnic shifts from Batak to Malayu
and vice versa has been noted by both Milner (1982) and Perret (1995); less
well documented but equally revealing have been the historical ethnic shifts
between the Batak and the Minangkabau, and the Batak and the Acehnese.
Before examining these ethnic shifts, a significant question that must be
asked is why there should have been a need for a larger ethnic identity in the
first place (Kahn 1993:15). In an effort to seek an answer, I have attempted to
describe the process of ‘ethnicization’ of the Batak. I use this term to indicate
a deliberate decision by the Batak to emphasize their ethnicity for a particular
advantage. On the basis of origin tales and linguistic evidence, I have assumed
that the Batak occupied the area around Lake Toba in the interior of northern
Sumatra in the first millennium AD (Bellwood 1997:122).n International
trade, I argue, was a major catalyst in the movement of Batak from the Toba
highlands towards both coasts, though personal and environmental reasons
also contributed to the out-migration. The interior redistribution centres
and the international marketplaces on the coasts exposed the Batak to new
peoples, new ideas, and new products. In searching for economic advantage
in the highly competitive market environment, they sought support among
their kinfolk, both real and fictive, by ethnicizing their Batak identity. The
last part of the essay then suggests which boundaries were erected by the
ethnicized ‘Batak’ as part of a strategy to maximize economic advantage and
emphasize their unique self-worth.
The camphor and benzoin trade
The camphor (Dryobalanops aromatica Gaetn.f.) and benzoin {Styrax benzoin,
Dryander) trade provided the first, though indirect, evidence of Batak parti-
11 There is no archaeological evidence to reconstruct early habitation of this area, and so I
am basing my assumption on linguistic evidence. According to linguists, much of the spread of
Western Malayo-Polynesian languages occurred after 1500-1000 BC and included the Malayic
speakers. There was an earlier spread of Western Malayo-Polynesian languages which included
those of the Batak and the Gayo of northern Sumatra. Linguists rightfully warn against equating
language with language speakers, since an earlier population could adopt the language of a newcomer.
Unless more conclusive evidence is presented on the ethnicity of the group that occupied
the Toba highlands, I will assume that the inhabitants were ancestors of the group that came to be
identified in later centuries as the Batak. I am grateful to K.A. Adelaar for his informed comments
on this subject.
374 Leonard Y. Andaya
cipation in international commerce. These forest resins were among the products
in greatest demand at the major port-cities in the Straits of Melaka from
the early fifth century, and in Srivijaya between the seventh and eleventh
century. Camphor and benzoin trees grow in the areas of northern Sumatra
now occupied by the Batak (Wolters 1969:111-2,124-5,230-1).12 Camphor was
a highly prized luxury item and so valued in China that it was placed on
a par with gold (Donkin 1999:127).13 Benzoin was regarded as a substitute
for myrrh (Commiphora tnukul Engl.) in southern China by the sixth century,
and later came to replace it as a permanent, valuable commodity in China,
Western Asia, and Europe (Wolters 1969:111). In addition to their muchvaunted
medical qualities as a cure for a host of illnesses and complaints14,
camphor and benzoin were difficult to obtain, which further contributed to
the high prices they could command in the marketplace.
The camphor tree is one of the largest of the dipterocarps in western
Indonesia, reaching a height of between sixty and seventy metres. It grows
at altitudes of 60 to more than 365 metres above sea level on well-drained
soils and often on steep ridges. These conditions are met in the Batak lands
between Singkel and Air Bangis in northwest Sumatra. Benzoin trees grow in
the same areas and under similar conditions. They are found in clumps from
the north of Padang Sidempuan to the area around Tarutung, as well as in
three locations from the mountain valley of the Lai Cinendang, a tributary of
the Singkil River, northward to Sidikalang (see map 1). Camphor crystallizes
in the wood of the tree from an oleoresin present in the tree itself and accumulates
irregularly in the cavities of the trunk. Only after twelve years does the
12 The resin comes from a variety of species. The Styrax paralleloneurum produces a betterquality
benzoin, but the most frequently mentioned in pharmaceutical and botanical literature is
the Styrax benzoin (Katz 1998:243-5).
13 Though no comparative prices are available for this period, a nineteenth-century report
estimates that between a half and 15 kati (280 grams to 8.38 kilograms) could be collected per
tree, and one picul (56 kilograms) of camphor would cost 4000 guilders, a considerable sum in
the nineteenth century (Zeijlstra 1913:826).
14 Among the Chinese, camphor was used against all types of pain and against typhoid, intestinal
discomfort, nasal polyps, rheumatism, eye disease, and so on (Ptak 1998:138). According to
a ninth-century Nestorian physician to six caliphs, in the Arab lands camphor was regarded as
one of the five basic aromatics. It was also used in medicines for gum and eye infections, as an
astringent, and as a prophylactic against the disease-bearing warm winds’. Among the Persians
it was used as a cure for headaches, colds, and bulimia, and was an important ingredient, with
rosewater and sandalwood, in a solution washed on walls during plagues or epidemics (Stephan
1998:234-9). The Sumatrans and Europeans treated camphor as a medicine, using it for ‘strains,
swellings, and rheumatic pains’ (Marsden 1966:153). Benzoin was used in China as an incense to
expel demons and attract benevolent spirits. There is an extensive description of its value from
the tenth century, where it is prescribed as a remedy for a variety of conditions, from ‘warding off
poisonous cholera’ to preventing involuntary emissions by males’ (Wolters 1969:118-9). In Arabia,
Persia, and parts of India it was used as an incense ‘to expel troublesome insects, and obviate the
pernicious effects of unwholesome air or noxious exhalations […]’ (Marsden 1966:155).
The Trans-Sumatra Trade and the Ethnicization of the ‘Batak’ 375
tree produce the camphor, with the oldest trees supplying the greatest quantity
and others yielding nothing at all (Burkill 1966, 1:876-81). Camphor was
presumably collected by Batak men under a special leader known in later centuries
as pawang, whose spiritual prowess was employed in locating the elusive
commodity. Nevertheless, even with the aid of religious practitioners and
adherence to strict taboos, including the use of a special camphor language,
expeditions were not always successful. Writing in the late eighteenth century,
William Marsden claimed that not even 10% of all trees cut down yielded
any crystallized resin or camphor oil (Marsden 1966:150). Benzoin trees were
tapped for their resin after seven years, but stopped producing after about
ten to twelve years. While it may have been easier to collect, the finest quality
could only be obtained in the first three years of tapping. After that the quality
deteriorated, hence its market value lowered (Marsden 1966:154-5,184).
O.W. Wolters has shown that camphor and benzoin were appearing in
China, India and the Middle East by the early sixth century, though not in any
sizeable quantities. But by the eighth century camphor was being included
in the tribute to the Chinese emperor from non-Indonesian rulers, indicating
the growing value of the product in China. It also implies that there was very
likely an increase in the export of camphor from Indonesia (Wolters 1969:230-
1, 233, 235-7). The export of benzoin to China may have begun as early as the
fifth century, though some believe that it began as late as the eighth or even
the ninth century (Katz 1998:259). The increased demand for camphor and
benzoin was met by Srivijaya, a kingdom founded in the late seventh century
on the Musi River in Palembang (Wolters 1969:246-9; Coedes and Damais
1992). Through a series of campaigns Srivijaya overcame its competitors and
became the dominant entrepot in the area.
A Srivijayan inscription placed at Ligor (Nakhon Si Thammarat) in AD
775 indicates an expansion of Srivijayan power across the Straits of Melaka.
A consequence of, and perhaps even an important motivation for, this expansion
would have been the control of camphor supplies from the Isthmus and
the Malay Peninsula. In the annals of the Liang dynasty, which ruled China
from 502 to 556, there is a reference to camphor coming from both Funan and
Langyaxiu. It is believed that the latter is somewhere on the eastern side of
the Malay Peninsula, while the civilization of Funan was centred in the south
of modern Cambodia. Funan must have imported and redistributed the camphor,
since it did not produce the Dryobalanops aromatica variety brought into
China (Ptak 1998:137). Srivijaya’s incursion into the Malay Peninsula would
have prevented the further export of camphor to ports on the Mekong Delta.
By the latter part of the eighth century, therefore, Srivijaya may have succeeded
in monopolizing the sale of camphor and benzoin in the region.
A major source of Srivijayan camphor and benzoin was the forests in
northwest Sumatra. The supply route from these forests to Srivijaya went
• Tarutun
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  3. toni manalu said,

    salom….aq toni manalu pengan kenal semuanya ne. terutama om roy

  4. roysianipar said,

    Horas juga Mat Kenal juga…………..salom utk generasi batak yg muda dan berbakat utk sejarah bangso Batak.

  5. Sihombing said,

    Christianity did not destroy Batak trade links. Dutch and other traders wanted control for economic purposes, not because of Christianity.

    Christianity helped the Batak. The Batak don’t eat each other (or the skin of the palm of people who are really daring) anymore, do they? Christianity taught against ancestor worship and other things that kept people bound to evil spirits. Christianity brought the knowledge of Christ and salvation to the Batak people. Thank God for Christianity!

    • roysianipar said,

      only post.Roy Sianipar Nommensen Berperan Masuknya Belanda ke Tanah Batak

      Medan, 27/6 (ANTARA) – Berdasarkan laporan Zendeling RMG (Rheinische Missiongeselschaft) diketahui Nommensen memiliki peran dalam penaklukan Tanah Batak menjadi wilayah yang dikuasai pemerintah Kolonial Belanda.

      Staf Pengajar Universitas Hawaii Manoa USA, Prof Uli Kozok, di Medan, Jumat, mengatakan, dalam buku laporan tahunan Zending RMG tahun 1907 disebutkan, pada awal tahun 1878 Nommensen berulang kali meminta pemerintah kolonial Belanda agar selekasnya menaklukkan Silindung menjadi bagian dari wilayah Hindia Belanda.

      Pemerintah Belanda akhirnya mengabulkan permintaan Nommensen sehingga terbentuk koalisi Zending. Pemerintah kolonial Belanda sangat sukses, karena kedua belah pihak memiliki musuh yang sama yakni Singamangaraja XII yang dicap sebagai “musuh bebuyutan” pemerintah Belanda dan zending Kristen.

      Bersama-sama mereka berangkat untuk mematahkan perjuangan Singamangaraja. Kolonial Belanda dibekali persenjataan, organisasi dan ilmu pengetahuan peperangan modern, sementara pihak zending dibekali pengetahuan adat-istiadat dan bahasa Batak Toba.

      Berkat pengetahuan bahasa dan budaya, pihak zending sangat sukses meyakinkan ratusan raja di Tanah Batak agar menyerah.

      Perang Batak atau dikenal dengan perang Singamangaraja XII berakhir pada tahun 1907 dengan tewasnya “tokoh spritual” dan untuk selanjutnya penjajahan di tanah Batak dimulai oleh pemerintah kolonial Belanda, jelasnya.

      Sementara menurut sejarawan Universitas Negeri Medan (Unimed), Dr Phil Ichwan Azhari, ada pihak yang melihat kontroversi dalam Perang Toba I yang terjadi tahun 1878, yaitu adanya peran para penginjil dalam menaklukkan Tanah Batak dan hubungan Singamangaraja XII dengan zending.

      Hubungan Singamangaraja XII dengan zending menjadi persoalan peka karena sebagian besar orang Batak memeluk agama Kristen dan menganggap LI Nommensen sebagai apostel atau rasul orang Batak, sedangkan Singamangaraja XII diangkat sebagai Pahlawan Nasional oleh pemerintah pada 9 November 1961, ujarnya.

      “Yang menjadi pertanyaan adalah, bagaimana kalau kedua pahlawan yang dua-duanya dianggap sakral oleh orang Batak itu ternyata saling bermusuhan,” katanya.

      Selanjutnya, pada tahun 1982 Dr WB Sidjabat menulis buku berjudul “Ahu Sisingamangaraja: Arti Historis, Politis, Ekonomis dan Religius” dimana Sisingamangaraja XII berusaha keras meluruskan dilema itu dengan “mendamaikan” kedua tokoh sakral tersebut.

      Dengan sangat jelas ia memperlihatkan sikap pro zending, pro Singamangaraja dan anti Belanda, jelasnya.

      Dalam bukunya itu Sidjabat menggambarkan Belanda sebagai orang yang cerdik, memiliki tangan kotor hendak memanfaatkan Nommensen menggunakan tindakan keganasan, mengadakan kegiatan ganas yang tujuannya didorong oleh keserakahan ekonomi dan militer.

      Terhadap peran Nommensen dan penginjil RMG lainnya, Sidjabat menyebut kehadiran Nommensen bukan dalam rangka penjajahan namun melakukan berbagai usaha untuk MENJAJAH SUKU BATAK DAN MERAIH HARTA DAN UANG NYA MENJADI MILIK PENDIRI GEREJA TESEBUT.

      “Dalam bukunya itu berulang kali disebutkan bahwa Nommensen bersedia menempuh jalan damai dan sangat tidak menyetujui tindakan kekerasan yang digunakan Belanda serta merasa sangat sedih melihat kampung-kampung Batak dibakar Belanda,” katanya.
      about 5 months ago · Delete Post

  6. dufebrian simorangkir said,

    what a bulshit history,, the strory chronologycal means nothing for Raja Hasibuan pedigree, this is untrust site fuckin bastard bald creator…..

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