A Batak traditional show in Samosir …

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Welcome signage

The signage to the Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo

In Samosir island, there’s a place where we could watch a Batak traditional show, with its dance and music, but in this one, we got to see a dancing puppet. My friend said that in the past, the puppet were dancing by its own, meaning there’s a ‘magic’ involved (believe it or not), so how about this time?

The traditional show was held in Museum Huta Bolon in Simanindo village, located in Samosir island.

There are 2 shows daily but my friends and I didn’t manage to catch the first show. Apparently, the first show is longer than the second show, but that gave us some time to see things outside the show venue, such as the museum, the Bontean – the royal boat house, and the tombs. I realize that some people still build the tombs outside of their houses, which is quite similar with some people in Sumba – East Nusa Tenggara.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Tomb

The tombs

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Royal Boat

The Royal Boat

The venue Β of the dancing area is like a replica of a Batak traditional village, with some houses on the left, and some houses on the right side. In the middle, there’s a pole with some tree branches attached to it on an empty field. This pole (called Borotan) is a symbol of the holy tree (banyan tree), where the people slaughter a buffalo in a traditional ceremony called Mangalahat Horbo.

The show that we watched is called Mangalahat Horbo, and it was divided into several scenes. Hopefully I attached the photos in the right scene below, if not, please do let me know πŸ˜‰

1. Gondang Lae-lae
A pray to the god so the buffalo won’t act weird or bad when they bring it and tie it to the pole (Borotan). The buffalo behaviour is a sign of good or bad to the host of the feast.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Lae-lae

Gondang Lae-lae – Tying up the buffalo to the centre pole (to be slaughtered – but not in this show! πŸ™‚ )

Here’s a short video of Gondang Lae-lae:

2. Gondang Mula-mula
A pray to the creator of the universe, so the creator will bless the host with children, wealthiness, keep them away from danger, and heal all the illness.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Shata Mangaliat

Gondang Shata Mangaliat – A pray to the creator of the universe …

3. Gondang Mula Jadi
A dance as a sign that the god has answered their prayers.

4. Gondang Shata Mangaliat
People dance circling the Borotan, the place where they are going to slaughter the buffalo. The meat from the slaughtered buffalo will be given to the people who are in the feast and to those who have the right to receive it (of course there was no ‘slaughtering the buffalo’ in this show! haha).

5. Gondang Marsiolop-olopan
The people in the feast are congratulating each others.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Marsiolop-olopan

Gondang Marsiolop-olopan – The people in the feast congratulates each others

6. Gondang Siboru
Dance for the guys. While they’re dancing, girls will come where each of them are hoping that someone will propose her.

7. Gondang Sidoli
Dance for the girls. While they’re dancing, a guy will come to a girl that he loves.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Siboru

Gondang Sidoli – Dance for the girls

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Sidoli (1)

Gondang Sidoli – Happy couple!

8. Gondang Pangurason
The spirit of the ancestor will come and possess one of the dancers.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Pangurason

Gondang Pangurason – A shaman dance

9. Tari Bersama (Dance together)
All the guests are invited to dance with the host. The guests here means ‘us’ the visitors of the museum πŸ˜‰

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Tari Bersama-2

Dance together with the guests – Me and friends (Lidya and Kania) πŸ™‚

10. Tortor Tunggal Panaluan
A dance that will be performed by a shaman that can communicate with a god, asking for blessing, rain, offspring in life.

11. Gondang Sigale-gale
Dancing wooden puppets (Sigale-gale) that look like humans.Β There was a time, where a king has the only son. Then one day, the son was ill and died. The king was very sad, so then a wooden puppet that looks like his son was made. When the king missed his son, he would asked the people to perform the Sigale-gale Dance.

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Mangalahat Horbo - Gondang Sigale-gale

Gondang Sigale-gale – Wooden puppet dance

Here’s a short video of Gondang Sigale-gale:

At this show, the wooden puppets were moved by people behind it, so no magic involved here πŸ™‚

When we went inside one of the traditional houses in the dance venue, which is apparently a souvenir shop; the lady inside told us that we could see a performance where the dancer will crush an egg with a stick. Unfortunately we didn’t see this in the second show. Perhaps this part is shown in the first show?

The traditional houses of Batak really amazed me with its carvings, its so detailed with the dominant colours of: black-white-red, just like this one:

Indonesia - Medan - Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo - Traditional House - Carving (2)

The carvings at one of the traditional houses

Actually there are a few more photos from this show, but it will too much for one post haha! You can see those photos in my Flickr Β in North Sumatra set >> Flickr – North Sumatra

4 Comments

  1. Kania December 23, 2013
    • timothywp December 23, 2013
  2. Bobby Ertanto December 24, 2013
    • timothywp December 24, 2013

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