WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET TO KNOW WHERE THE OLD BATAK TRADITIONAL HIDDEN?and still exist till to day please no tourist entry..its sacred place..
HISTORY OF BATAK LAND
“ Tano Batak”, (Batak Land ), covers an area of approximately 50.000 square kilometres about the huge “Tao Toba” or Lake Toba as well as a part of the mountainous hinterland of North Sumatera, at an altitude of 900 metres. Lake Toba is one of the largest volcanic lake in the world and certainly the largest in South East Asia. The lake itself covers an area of about 1300 square kilometres has remarkably blue and translucent water, almost twice the size of Lake Leman of Geneva, the largest of the Swiss lakes, in parts it is about 500 metres deep.
The lake is dominated by the volcanic mountain range called “Bukit Barisan” which has a series of peaks up to 2000 metres above sea level. Mount “Pusuk Bukit” is the most famous as the mysthical heartland and “olympus” of the Batak people. According to legends the first Batak village was “Si Anjur Mula-Mula”, situated on the slope of the sacred Mount”Pusik Bukit”.
Batak mythology said that Lake Toba was created in the course of deluge, a visitation of devine wrath destined to destroy the local village as a punishment for breaking their sacred oath.
Several versions of the myth exist but all agree as the first region inhabited by the ancestors of the Batak the “Si Raja Batak” being the island of Samosir, an “island” of 630 square kilometres in the middle of Lake Toba. Actually Samosir is not an island, but a peninsula. At the beginning of the century the Dutch cut a canal through the isthmus near Pangururan so as to allow the passage of boats. Today it’s possible to get to Samosir by car, by the road and the bridge across the canal.
The Batak spread out from this initial settlement as far as the west coast of sumatera between Barus to Sibolga at “ Tapian na Uli”, the beautiful bay ( the origin of Tapanuli). At about the same time a very similar ethnic groups were settling the island of Nias offshore, Sibolga, and developing there a remarkable Megalithic civilization. It is mainly on this littoral of Tapian na Uli and in particular the region of Barus, a harbour for export of the famous camphor from wood and leaves of cinnamon, that the Batak entered into contact very early wirh indian merchants, later on with Arabs and Parsians, who introduced the product to the west where it was used medicinally for centuries, and much later with the Portugese and Dutch and other Europeans. None the less these early contacts did not give rise to the penetration of Batak region by these strangers, despite very activetrading still evident today from the many pieces of Chinese porcelain traditionally used by the Batak. The most striking aspect of the Batak history is the preservation of their isolation which allowed them to remain for a long time almost unknown to the outside world.
By reason of this isolation we may consider that the Batak country as a sort of land-locked “island’, both geographically and historically; his “insularity” has given rise to a culture which merits a place in the forefront of those which are a legitimate reason for pride for all the people of the Indonesian archipelago.
The relative isolation of the Batak country lasted until the middle of the nineteenth century; as late as 1847 the famous geographer Junghun maintained that Lake Toba existed only in legend. It was only 1n 1853 that the lake was discovered by the explorer Van der Tuuk
The centre of the batak region has moved with the passage of time from the slopes of Pusuk Bukit and the island of Samosir to the South-West shore of lake Toba, more precisely, to the Bakkara Valley”. It was at Bakkara that the High-king or, the “Si-Singa Mangaraja” or “Lion King’s whose supremacy was recognized by all other chiefs or Raja of the Batak region, resided. The ancestor of the “Lion King” was according to legend, endowed extra-ordinary powers: that travelling seven months without taking nourishment that of regulating the rains and creating water-springs , that of paralyzing his enemis by gazing into their eyes and that of striking them down simply by putting out his tongue showing a spot with black hair. King, he was also by extension father, or “ompung”, grandfather for the everlasting love, protection and justice he has given and always encouraging unity among his people. He was also a high priest, assuring harmonious relations with different devinities and with the Supreme God in relation to whom he was, at one and the same time, the descendant and the mediator. This religious function explains why he was himself considered divine and the object of the a cult.
Alas the divine powers of the “Dewa Raja” were not enough to stop the Dutch military occupation of the Bakkara Valley on 30 th April 1878 in the course of the famous Batak war for independence against the Dutch colonial regime. Dutch troops burned down Bakkara and several other villages and forced “Si-Singamangaraja and followers to flee. After a few years of guerilla warfare, in 1907 Si-Singamangaraja XII was at last killed as hero in the course of an unsuccessful attack against the Dutch.
If a few missionairs preceded the Dutch colonial troops, as we have seen their pioneer Nomensen of the Rheinsche Missiongesellscaft ( 1881) entered Tano Batak,causing with the advent of Christianity a profound influence and change in the Batak culture in particular in the Toba region, which had remained essentially animist, called “ Sipelebegu” right up to the beginn ing of the twentieth century.
This animistic culture is relatively well know to us since the Batak possessed their own system of writing, “Surat Batak”, the Batak script derived from the Indian script, and have thereby preserved evidence of their social and religious system in their old books called “Pustaka”..