The Jakarta Post
A view from Samosir Island across Lake Toba. (Shutterstock/-)
Samosir Island in North Sumatra has become the destination of choice among tourist visiting Lake Toba. The island is a great place to see Batak Toba cultural heritage, with at least four locations on the 1,419 square kilometer island that visitors can stop by to learn more about the local culture, Tempo.co has reported.
King Sidabutar’s tomb
Marked by a large rock, the tomb of Samosir’s former ruler is open for visitors. However, visitors must wear an ulos (Sumatran woven fabric). The king, who passed away in 1544, was famous for his supernatural powers. The tomb is located within walking distance of the Tomok pier.
Huta Siallagan, which means Village of the Siallagan Tribe, features several traditional Batak Toba houses, a king’s tomb and a set of stone tables where criminals faced trial in the past. The trial stones are the main attraction of this site. The king sat on the stone with his advisors to discuss what form of punishment a criminal should receive.
The cultural village, located in the Ambarita administrative village in Simanindo district, is surrounded by huge rocks that also served as a fortress in the past.
Huta Bolon Simanindo Museum
Located 20 kilometers from the Tomok pier, in Simanindo, Samosir, is the Huta Bolon Simanindo Museum. Here, visitors can learn about the heritage of Batak Toba culture including traditional clothing, cookware and other items and apparatus commonly used in the past. Several traditional Batak Toba houses can also be seen at this museum.
Visitors can also enjoy daily performances of ancient dances, including the sigale-gale dance that features a wooden doll as well as the tortor dance. The performance starts at 10.30 a.m. and runs until 11.45 p.m. Visitors will be invited to join the dance at the end of the performance.
Ulos-weaving village, Lumban Suhi-Suhi
Those interested in shopping for local crafts and learning about the various meanings of different ulos patterns should visit the Lumban Suhi-suhi village to see local ulos weavers showcase their expertise. (asw)