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Sigale-gale Carnival shapes identity of Samosir Island

Apriadi Gunawan
Apriadi Gunawan

The Jakarta Post

Samosir, North Sumatra | Thu, June 28, 2018 | 02:30 pm
  • Sigale-gale Carnival features wooden puppets and a number of traditional Batak elements that represent Samosir, an island in the center of Lake Toba.

    Sigale-gale Carnival features wooden puppets and a number of traditional Batak elements that represent Samosir, an island in the center of Lake Toba. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    Sigale-gale Carnival features wooden puppets and a number of traditional Batak elements that represent Samosir, an island in the center of Lake Toba.

  • The carnival features a colorful parade.

    The carnival features a colorful parade. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    The carnival features a colorful parade.

  • Dancers in traditional costumes pose for a photo at the carnival.

    Dancers in traditional costumes pose for a photo at the carnival. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    Dancers in traditional costumes pose for a photo at the carnival.

  • The carnival comprises a wide range of activities, from an 'ulos' (traditional Batak cloth) parade to art performances depicting the story of Manggale.

    The carnival comprises a wide range of activities, from an 'ulos' (traditional Batak cloth) parade to art performances depicting the story of Manggale. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    The carnival comprises a wide range of activities, from anĀ 'ulos' (traditional Batak cloth) parade to art performances depicting the story of Manggale.

  • A traditional outfit is seen at Sigale-gale Carnival.

    A traditional outfit is seen at Sigale-gale Carnival. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    A traditional outfit is seen at Sigale-gale Carnival.

  • A costumed man takes part in a parade at Sigale-gale Carnival.

    A costumed man takes part in a parade at Sigale-gale Carnival. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    A costumed man takes part in a parade at Sigale-gale Carnival.

  • This year's Sigale-gale Carnival is also dedicated to the casualties of the KM Sinar Bangun incident.

    This year's Sigale-gale Carnival is also dedicated to the casualties of the KM Sinar Bangun incident. OF JP/Apriadi Gunawan

    This year's Sigale-gale Carnival is also dedicated to the casualties of the KM Sinar Bangun incident.

OF

Officials of Samosir Island in North Sumatra are looking to promote the recently concluded Sigale-gale Carnival moving forward. Sigale-gale is a traditional wooden effigy featured in dances usually performed at funerals. Like a marionette, it is operated from behind using strings that run through a wooden platform at its base.

Samosir Tourism Agency head Ombang Siboro said the carnival would help shape the identity of Samosir, an island located in the center of Lake Toba. The carnival comprises a wide range of activities, from an ulos (traditional Batak cloth) parade to art performances depicting the story of Manggale.

According to legend, Mangale was a childless woman who on her deathbed instructed her husband to create sigale-gale. Hence, the first sigale-gale was created.

The carnival was held in Pangururan, Samosir regency, as part of the Samosir Arts and Culture Festival earlier in June.

Ombang told The Jakarta Post on June 24 that the event emphasized the region's cultural values, as opposed to focusing more on fashion, as demonstrated by, for instance, East Java’s Jember Fashion Carnival.

He went on to say that his community aimed to further develop the carnival to become on par with the Jember Fashion Carnival and Semarang Night Festival.

Read also: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival celebrates summer this June

Samosir Deputy Regent Juang Sinaga praised the successful Sigale-gale Carnival, while dedicating the event to those lost in the KM Sinar Bangun accident.

“We are mourning, but tourism has to go on and Samosir must rise again,” said Juang.

Lake Toba Authority Board head Arie Prasetyo and Tourism Minister Arief Yahya also praised the event.

“Lake Toba is Indonesia’s priority destination. Cultural attractions of significant value are needed to draw local and foreign travelers,” the minister said. (mut)

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