Batak heritage

Beautiful nature  is close to interesting Batak culture. There are many places in the island of Samosir where you could get to know  the traditions of these people. Near Tomok, to where ferry moor, behind the market you could see Sidabutar and Hutaraja kings' tombs.


All Batak is considered to be the kids of Batak King [Si Raja Batak]. Si Raja had two sons Guru Tatea Bulan and Raja Siambaon, their kids were the forefathers of present Batak people - Panjaitan, Silitonga, Siagian and others. Batak people use terms Marga and Boru, which means the last name or the clan name to which each Batak belongs. The difference of use is in the question to women and men  about their surname - for female Batak people use "boru", for male - "marga". Marriage in the same Marga is strictly forbidden by tribal law even between people only distantly related; but it is allowed and often even arranged between cousins of the maternal line (Boru). After marriage, Batak women do not change their family (marga) name, but add "boru" to their birth name . Below is Tarombo Batak  which means family tree. It is possible to see it in most Batak houses because all of Batak people are happy to tell a story about their  relation to Si  Raja. It should be read in a circle: when the surname of Batak is found, need to move to the center in order to find out to which of two King's son this Batak belongs.

Near the Kings' tombs traditional Batak houses could be found. Every year the Festival of puppets SiGale Gale are hold there.


You also could visit Batak museum in the island. There are many unique carved statues which were made many years ago. Don't miss an opportunity to try on the traditional Batak costume.


Small village Ambarita is also a point of interest. Here you could visit traditional Batak town which  consists of one street and couple traditional houses. The town name is  Huta Siallagan.



Skillful foremen carve amazing souvenirs in which the mix of Batak traditions and old complex concepts about the tondi and the begu - "life-soul" and "death-soul" are combined. You could find Batak totem pole, ancient calendar, fanciful horseman and wooden vases for storing letters and medicines. The most popular and favorite souvenir here is, of course, the miniature of Batak house with concave roof. Each foreman has his own type of souvenirs therefore a visit of 2-3 stores will be a pleasure. One more souvenir could be a traditional ulos. Different kinds of ulos have different ceremonial significance. The ulos is normally worn draped over the shoulder or shoulders, or in weddings to ceremonially bind the bride and groom together. Ulos are traditionally hand woven and in the case of higher-quality examples are significant family heirlooms, to be worn at important events, such as funerals and weddings. Horas!

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