The Vintage 1956 book of Toba Batak Belief In The High God

Cretaed By dr Iwan S based form His Vintage Books and Pictures collections

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Jakarta < @copyright Dr Iwan s 2010

I.Front Cover Of The Vintage 1956 book.

1. The Vintage 1952 Tobing’s Books” The Structure of The Toba-Batak Belief In The High God”


III.  Introduction.

1.The Toba-Batak

2.Our sources

ill pustaha lak-lak

3. Influence from abroad.


1. text and Translations


5. Silaon na Bolon

a,. An aspect of the High God

ill Raga-raga


A. Introductory Remarkas




 ill sketc 3.

3. Part and totality


1. Preliminary rematks

2. Spirits

a. Begu in a resticted sense

b. Sombaon


4. Part and totality


1. Preliminary remarks

2. Perholaan

ill Ori ba tolupu lu dohot bulan na Sampulu dua

illl per-holaon (batak toba bambu calender)

ill  tulisan kuno batak dengan sistem huruf  gambar

3. Desa na ualu

4.Time and space in the high god

5. Pane na Bolon

illustrasi the vintage picture (only for premium member):

(a) The death ceremony

(b) The Parsili-effigies

6. Unity of time and space


A. Introductory Remarks

B. Community

1. Thw system of relationship

2. The village

3. The house

illustration(only for premium mmeber)  :

(a) Toba-Batak Landscapes

(b) Carvings on a Toba house

4. The Village


 1. Preliminary remarks

Pictures illustration (only for premium mmeber) :

(a)The basket is placed on the rice-window

(b) The cock is being killed

(c) the basket is being lifted

3. bius


 1. Preliminary remarks

illustrasi Lower part of the Tunggal panaluan ,design serpent bitting a lizard.s tail

2.Tungal Panaluan

illustration The double squeare

illustration pictures (only for premium member)

(a) The beginning of the ceremony

(b) The altar

(c) The tunggal panaluan in a basket,full of rice

(d) The tunggal panaluan wrapp in the ragidup

(e) The datu acting like a woman in childbirth

(f) Moving the tunggal panaluan up and down

(g) The tunggal panaluan planted on the egg

(h) The lines of the octagon are wiped out.


explanation of some toba -batak words at the picture illustrations.




PS  After look at this ample informations, I hope the Batak-Toba scholers and collectors who want the complete information please contact via comment for premium memebrs registrations.

I think after learn this Thesis, if the NGO or Gouverment from all over the world which want to give me   the fund scolarship  to Study the West Borneo Dayak’s Tuntun (almost same with the Batak-toba tunggal panaluan) which never study by the Indonesian scholar, I will made the study because I have four years experience in that area and have collectings some rare tuntun in order the save the human heritage Ancient Dayak social-art, please contact me via comment. Before some one scholar asked me the information abou the ancient Metawai Mongkey diesign Tobacco Box, but I have told he to be  the premium member,but he never contact me anymore, he dondot know how mush the fund I had spent to get the colections and collections, many scolar only want free charge for study something although they get the special fund and keep only for himself, oh my god please give them the social hearts.

PS.this info still in processing. for more info only for premium member

The End @copyright Dr Iwan S.


If you want the original scannning book ,please join the UCC-unique collection

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UCM:”The Vintage Of Tapian-Nauli Collections”

This story is dedicated to my native Tapiannauli friends,  Mr Heri Hutabarat,Mr Aris Siregar, and my new friend which just  met at the Periplus book store Mal Kelapa Gading Jakarta Mrs Butet. this story is compiled from the 19th century book about Tapanuli and other related  vintage books’The e-book below onle sample not complete.

I have several vintage Tapnuli books, but the best were “The 1893’s Modigliani book of Tapanuli” and The 1956’s DR PH.L.Tobing Boook of Toba Batak Belief in the High God”. all the illustrations of collection from my private collections found at Parapat city and Samosir island during my advanture in 1976 and the zmodigliani and PH.L.Tobing private collections list in their vintage books.

Horas From your friend

Dr Iwan S.




native Battaks Earing

native Battaks Waeving

Native Battaks Textile Fabric 



native Battaks Picture Postcard  late19th century 



 A. INTRO (Dr Iwan Notes)
1. This rare Info and illus.of Tapian-Nauli (now Tapanuli, Tapian means beach and nauli-beutiful) were post special fro my new friend which his homeland at Tapanuli, Mr Horatio Simadjuntak, I hope your comment , Are this is the first time you read and look at the nice and rare illustrations of your homeland? and please tell your native Tapanuli friends to click this info.This story also fr my best friend who have help me much in finding the uniquecollection,thankyou Mr Herry Hutabarat,  mr Aris Siregar.and also my new friend just met at Periplus Book Store Kepala Gading Jakarta this afternoon MRS BUTET. 

2. The informations from two rare vintage 19th century books, two Vintage book 1938, and Dr iwan S.collections related with the Tapian-Nauli. faound during my visit in 1974 ,read the adventure of Dr iwan s from Solok to Tapanuli with My Toyota Corona 1974. 

3. I have ever seen many vintage collections at the Parapat shop in 197, but in 1996 nothing exist anymore, many were bougth by a psychiates from medan ,he made the Museum and write a book,later together with the Franch, I have that book. I also still have the new Battaks Toba statue produced in 1974, but now no best quality anymore, the native older Battaks Samosir island Toba lake I think were passed away and no young generations made the ethnic statue anymore, please the Tapanuli young generations click this info and starting to reproduced for tourism, because many froreigner still collect the new items, in 1985 I have sold many small statue in $10,-per item which I bought only $1.-, i still keep some best statue.- 

(Formed By Dr Elio Modigliani During his Recent Explorations in Tapanuli, Giglioli -vice president of Anhropological Society of Italia, Schmeltz JDE,Leiden,1893) 

1. The Adventure of Dr Modigliani in the Battaks land.
Dr E.Modigliani,who hqd earned for himself so distinguished a place among our foremost scientific travellers by his bold and successful exploration of Battaks, has proved himself not to be one of those who are content to ‘rest on their laurels’.
He had scarcely finished seeing his splendid volume on the result of his first exploration therough the press, when he bagan to long to be on the field again; his glimpse of Sumatra had left an ardent wish to see more of that beautiful and yet partly mysterious land, the legendary Lake Toba and The Battaks tribe who live on its shore, a nation of lettered cannibals, had for him a endeavour to open out a filed as yet untrodden by the Scientist.
After careful preparation, which are so large a part of successs in such undertakings, Dr Modigliani left Florence in August 1890; he had secured the services of Abdul Kerim an alble Persian collector and taxidermist, who had done good services with arquis G.Doria in Persia, Borneo and Tunis, and thus made sure of the Zoological Collections in order to be able to devote more time to geographical and ethnological researches.

Early in October he was at Siboga; there he heard that war was going on in the Toba region, the Singa manga Rajah , head chief and religious primate of the Battaks who had already given so much truble to the Dutch, was again coming to the front, and this time in connection with the Atchinese from the north- an alliance of hereditary foes, for the Battaks have always repulsed the Mohammedan Malays, against the invading Whites. But this did not deter Modigliani from his object; by the middle of October he was at Balige on the shores of Lake Toba and on the edge of the wild and unexplored Battaks country, the Land of his dream.

The Dutch Colonial Authorities were quite willin to give their aid and support to our Treveller, as long as he kept within the bounderies of the subjugated tribes;but beyond, evidently feeling that tey could no longer protect him, they did not wish him t go. This would however have singulary curtailed his explorations, and greatly dimished the importance and interest of his researches; the uknown was beyond those bounderies!Whilst at Balige came in contact with several influential Chief; he was asked who was his chief, and by answering’Rajah Roma’ quite unwittingly he gave himself a powerful lift and grew great in the eyes of the Toba Battaks. For it appears that withthem a Rajah Roma is a great and mystic personage (perhaps Modigliani thinks a derivation of Roma;anyway of Rajah Rom our traveller was able to penetrate into the heart of independent Battak country, where in all probability, no other European wold have been able to go; and many were the things he Had no promise in Rajah Rom name, and many presents and great the aid he got as envoy. But to this Modigliani was obliged to leave his resident secretly , and in this he was greatly helped by the Guru Somalaing a Battak patriot (fig 2)

and a learned man amonst them, who accompanied our traveller in his adventures journey and faithfully protected him, saving him on several occasions from imminent danger,besides letting him into manya secret of Battak folklore.
With Guru Somalaing and a few followers, Modigliani travelled right through the land of the independent Battaks, cutting across Sumatra by a new route , on the way he discovered the wnderful Sumatra Niagara (Sigura-gura ?) , the Native name of which is Martua Sapuran Si-arimo; he reach the east coast of the island at bandar Pulo near Tanjong Balei, and renamed to lake Toba by a different route. He was away on this journey about a month on his retrurn the Dutch Colonial Authorities informed him that they could not allow him to cross again into the independent Battaks country, and that if he attempted to they would have to ask him toleave. This was a sore disappointment, altough Modigliani had indeed made the very best of his time and opportunities; however decided to leave the Toba highlands, and was back to Siboga on the west coast by the middle of March 1891.
I thought it necessary to give this concise introductive account of Dr Modiglianis exploration before my notes on the very important ethnographical collections he has brought back. I must also add that he has quite recently published an a ccount of his travels in the land of the Battaks, splendidly got up and profusely illustrated, these illustrations carefully taken from original photographs or drawn from the specimen collected, gave a special value to Modiglianis important conclusion to our knwledge of the hiertho little known Natives of that prtion of Central Sumatra, I have to thank my friend for the loan of some of them which engance the interest of my paper. The matter contained in Modiglianis recent book formed the subject of two lectures he delivered last year, the first on the 6th of February before H.M.the Queen of Italy, and the Italian Geographical Society at Rome; the second before H.R.H the Duke of Aosta and the Anthrophological Society of Italy on the 13th of March at Florence. 


These notes of mine about The Toba and Independent Battas of Central Sumatra.:
(1) Amongst the Toba Battaks , Modigliani was not successful in obtaining human skull, but with the helpof guru Somalaing, he was able to take with ability and perfection a magnificent series of plaster casts of the face fromlife,both of men and women;the mainly and energitic one of the guru amongst them.
(2) He was able besided to take a splendid collection of photographs illustrating the people and their belonging.
(3) A most extensive and perfect series of actual specimens and carefully constructed models made on the spot of the non moveable , illustrate completely the ethnography of these Battaks.these specimens I shall forthwith comment upon the following order 

(a) Houses and House furnitures
The villages of the Toba Battaks are fortified by a thrown up bank or terre-plein all around,thickly palnted with thrny bambos; near more apertures about 1 meter high and 60 cm wide, are the sle gates .
The house f the pre inhabitants are low huts with mud walls and thatch roofs,they are in the out-of -the way corners; flanking the principal street are the house of the rich and notables(Fig.4)

;there are much larger , built on piles frm 80 cm to 2 m front is a sort of varanda,shut off frm the entrance which is reach by a ladder and which is always beaneath; the floring and walls are of stut planks, the latter ofter elobaretely rnamented with carvings and paintings(fig 7) .The roof of ijuk(Arenga-fibers) , is high and steep, with projecting gables at each end; on the peaked gable in front is the skull of a Buffalo or an imitation of its head in ijuk with real horn attacked. But the characteristic adornment of the gable frnt of the huse s of thebetter kind is mst elobrated concern called giorognom-girognom (fig 5),f which I give here a drawing a more eloquent than the best word descriptions. Besides ,on each side of the facade, is a huge symbolic figure-head , elaborately carved and painted; it has a sort of probscis and a generally elephantine aspect, it is called signa (Fig 6) , and may be a relic of Ganesa, for Battaks show many sign of remote Hindoo influences. The area beneath the house is used as stables, and divided by paftitions. The inside of the house has no divisions, at one end is the hearth , and on the walls around , from the rafters above or in the corners, are arranged and stowed away the husehold utensils;the valuables being secured in near two big boxes with a lid let in grooves.
The house furniture is simple enough;sleeping mats,rolled up in the daytime,neiter bed frames, pillow or chairs beiing used; basket for dry provisions,such as rice and fish; cocnuts,gourds or bamboo-jints for liquids, such as water and palm-wine.These with divers cooking nd eating vessel ,aticles of dress,weapons,and implement of agriculture complete the list in most cases. Beside the ordinary dwelling-houses rich and poor, the Battaks villages always contain one or more Sopo;these are built much like the better kind of houses , but they are open all round; only a sort of loft formed by the chief for his valuables and those belnging to the community. The first floor is used as an assembly room and also for guests, and being pen all round these are kept in sight always. Some sp are of large dimensions. Besides actual specimens of girognom, digns snd vsrious painted housed-boards , Modigliani s cllection contain beautiful reduced models of one of the finer houses and of a sopo, and a complete set of house furniture and mveables. 

(b) Boats
There are of various sizes and called solu; they are dug-outs with boards added on and bound with iron tacks; they are elegant in shape, somewhat of the gondola type, long and narrow. The largest , fr 5o rowers, are about 18 meters in length;there is a slight keel carved fore and aft (fig.8). Themen sit in pairs on crss seats, and row sitting; the paddles have an oval blade and cross handle. On lading, the seats,oars and ornaments are removed;the latter are peculiar; the stern one, giarogia di pudi, consist of three sticks with tufts of horsehair and a row of shrter sticks called rame rame with a bigger one in the middle distinctly phalloid, strung across; no tradition appears to explain this singular ornament. At the prow is a carved and pointed figure symbolising a Buffalo head, with another rame-rame strung in the front with its singular central phallus; then comes a srt of bowspirit with tufts of horsehair at the sides and one of human hair at the end; over it rises an upwright carve post, the torgiok. modigliani has all that original ornaments of one of the bigger solu, and reduced models of entire boats. 

(c) Agriculture implement
Of these Modigliani has collected a cmplete series .Painted poles of hardwod called Accinan are used fr breaking up the ground; various kind of rakes, large and small, are used t smooth it down; they are entirely of wood, the bigger nes, Sisir , used for wet paddy fields, are drawn by Buffaloes, yokes with wooden anga.
The plough (fig 9), ningala is again entirely of wod ;varius kinds f hoes, hhudali and rogo, of wood r else with iron points, and spades f wood or irn are used for rice. The principal cultivatins are : rice,mais, gadong an gourds. 

(d)Textile Fabrics,dress and persnal ornaments. 

(e) Food and stimulants 

(f) Implement and weapons 

(g) Musical Instruments 

(h) Supersitions and Scorcery
This twnwords may be I think appoprietely used t express the manifold and primitive belief f the Battaks,base on that great mover of humanity fear and I might add fear of the Unknwn , of Mysterious. Modigliani has been singulary fortune and careful in collecting a larde series of obiects connected with the supersition of the Toba Battaks and their witchkraft, as practised by the ‘guru’ their wise or medicine-men, vulgo sorcerers.:
(a) Pangulubalang and gana-ganq
(b) parsili and parpagaran
(c)Tunggal Panaluwan
(d)Hatiha Mardalan
(e) attaks medical amulet 

(i) Literature
It is well known that the Battaks have a literatur of their own; their book are naturally all manuscripts; Modigliani was so fortunate as to secure twenty volumes of various sizes, they alllook old, and some are quite venerable tomes. They have much the aspect and shape of our mediaeval books, being bound in wooden boards; the folded leaves are f beaten bark, which has a vellum-like aspect. The writing is very regular,clear and minute. it runs fromleft to right; many figures are intercalated in the text ; manifold hatiha and often insects,scorpions and such like.
These books are sacred, medicinal, include the art of war and are generally f an encyclopaedic nature; they are the work of learned Guru, are very highly valued and naturally not easily given away, especially to a Foreigner, even when a high price be offered.
Their translation will no doubt give much and valuable information on the science and lore of the Battaks.
I shall now leave these interesting people, on whom Modigliani’s future studies and made by my friend in the latter part of his explrations. 

2. The List of collections illustration(Figures)
(1)Bataks village, Bonan Dollok vintage picture
(2) The Guru Sumalaing picture

(3)Nai Muara,a Toba Battaks women (innoccent topless
(4)House of a chief amongst the Toba Battaks


(6) Signa niruma (the front wooden carving at the native house)

(7) Ornamentation of house front
(8) A Solu (native ship) on lake Toba
(9) a Battaks plough
(10) Battaks textile facbric
(a) Raghi Buting
(b) Raghi Hotang
(c) Ulos Bolean
(d) Raghi Dup
(11) A Battak earing
(12) Bracelets
(13) Battaks Salt bag
(14) Wine bottle
(15) Chunam or lime box
(16) Tobacco Boxes
(17) Toba Battaks Pipe
(18) Battaks shield
(19) Bow-sling
(20) Powder horn
(21) Battaks Chief wallets
(22) Doal-doal bulo
(23) Gana-gana of the Toba Battaks
13 magic statue.
(24) Funeral ex-voto
(25) Village parpagaran
(26) magic staff tunggal Pagnaluan,(two types., I have ever seen this original staff at the parapat shop, the owner asked me US $ 2500, very expensive, but after that I came back in 1985 have sold to the foreigner,be careful many repro an dfake staff with low qualities,)
(27) Toba Battak omen on their way to market pictures. 


C. The List Of Vintage Tapanuli collections illustrations 1896(Haeckel.Erns,tranlated by Juynbol,HH.DR, Insulinde, chapter Naar Een BatakKampong , Leiden,AW Sijthoff,1896
1. Batak Hoofd(native chief)
2. Gedrooge Batakhand (magic mummification)
3.Native Batak picture
4.Native Batak wife(vrouw)
5.Native Batak house
6.Reistmesjes (Rice knive) of Toba
7.Rice knife of Moehase
8.Rice knife of Tonkin.Prov.Son-la
9. Rice knife of Borth Siam,Kunfa (Meau) 

E.The List of Vintage Tapanuli Collection bok illustration 1938.
1.Native women in the front of native House at Samosir island Toba lake
2. native Batak Karo house
3.Bull Horn gunfire powder box 

F. The List of Tapanuli Collections founs by Dr Iwan S in 1974 at Samosir Island. Toba Lake Parapat.
1. The Vintage Battaks statue found at the old Battaks House at the Samosir Island
2. The Vintage Small statue of Samosir Island
3. The Vintage Statue of Samosir island ,used as the cap of Magic bottle.


1. The Vintage 1952 Tobing’s Books” The Structure of The Toba-Batak Belief In The High God”

2. The Tobing’s Private collection uillustration in his 1952 Book.



THE END@copyright Dr Iwan S 2010.