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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Batak Simalungun People (English Version)


By: Wendy Hutahaean

The Simalungun people are an ethnic group in North Sumatra, considered one of the Batak peoples. Simalungun people live mostly inSimalungun Regency and the surrounding areas, including the city of Pematang Siantar, an autonomous city, but previously part of Simalungun Regency. The Simalungun live in the 'Eastern Batak' lands, bordering the lands of the Batak Toba to the south and west, and the Batak Karo to the north. The Simalungun are considered to have more in common with their Karo than Toba neighbours, both groups having migrated from Toba and Pakpak in order to participate in trade.

Moslem Clothes of Simalungun People

 A. The Land of Simalungun People

Far before Dutch colonialism established in East Sumatera, the peoples called Batak Timoer who said as like as their country from. Like Sin Raya ( Raya's Peoples ), Sin Silou ( Silou's peoples) Sin Bandar (Bandar's peoples), etc. Since The Dutch colonialism establish in Malay, Deli. By "De Vide et impera" Dutch political colonialism, Batak Timoer people who ruled by raja (kings), considered to be living gods. One by one their kingdom established to Dutch. Then Dutch colonials gave a name to their colony areas, Simeloengoen, still now. The Simalungun language is spoke by many Simalungun people, in addition to Indonesian.

Kabupaten Simalungun

In Kabupaten Simalungun:

1. Kec. Dolok Panribuan
2. Kec. Dolok Pardamean
3. Kec. Dolok Silau
4. Kec. Girsang Sipangan Bolon
5. Kec. Haranggaol Horison
6. Kec. Jorlang Hataran
7. Kec. Panei
8. Kec. Panombeian Panei
9. Kec. Pematang Sidamanik
10. Kec. Pematang Silima Huta
11. Kec. Purba
12. Kec. Raya
13. Kec. Raya Kahean
14. Kec. Silimakuta
15. Kec. Sidamanik
16. Kec. Silau Kahean
17. Kec. Tapian Dolok 
18. Kec. Hatonduhan
19. Kec. Tanah Jawa
20. Kec. Hutabayu Raja
21. Kec. Jawa Maraja Bah Jambi
22. Kec. Bosar Maligas
23. Kec. Ujung Padang
24. Kec. Bandar Marsilam
25. Kec. Bandar
26. Kec. Pamatang Bandar
27. Kec. Bandar Huluan
28. Kec. Dolok Batunanggar
29. Kec. Gunung Maligas
30. Kec. Gunung Malela
31. Kec. Siantar

The Simalungun people were ruled by raja (kings), considered to be living gods.3 G.L. Tichelman (1893–1962), a Dutch researcher described Simalungun villages as consisting of houses built parallel to rivers, of wooden poles and palm leaves. Houses could accommodate a single family (rumah parsatanggaan), or up to as many as twelve,(rumah parrumahopattanggaan) with a designated area for each family within. The head of the village lived in the 'Rumah Bolon', the village's largest, most ornate house. The Head of Village are established and loyal to The King. The main village of Kingdoms called 'Pamatang.' Villagers drove out spirits from the village by holding 'Robu Tabu', days on which the village would be decorated and outsiders excluded from the village.

Traditional House of Batak Simalungun

Villages would bathe in a communal 'tapian', with water piped through bamboo tubes for bathing. The Simalungun also used bamboo tubes for carrying water back to the village. Religious ceremonies would often be held near the Tapian. 'Parsihili' were statues used to take an illness away from a person, while 'Pasiarhon' were statues used for communing with the dead. Although villagers would support victims of house fires, it was considered unlucky to offer them shelter for fear of further fires, and instead a new house would be constructed communally as soon as possible.

It was considered inappropriate to bargain with family members, so an intermediary would be used when purchasing items from family. Courtship was arranged in the marketplace using betel nut. Girls wishing to avoid attention would give the nut to an old man, who would look after her during market day, or would wear a Hiou, to suggest unavailability.

The pounding of rice was an important activity, and the communal 'Losung', or riceblock was used for this activity, with a hole allocated for each family to use. A new losung would be cut from a tree trunk, and on an auspicious day decorated with flowers and transported into the village accompanied by music. A boy and girl dressed in ceremonial clothes would invest the new riceblock by throwing rice over it, and the villagers would sing songs.

The birth of a child was an auspicious occasion, and the dukun (midwife/witch doctor) was appointed to drive off spirits, and to cut the umbilical cord with a bamboo knife. The newborn baby would be swaddled and daubed with rice chewed by the dukun prior to the mother commencing breastfeeding. The placenta would be buried under the house and for seven nights a fire would be maintained to drive off spirits.

On the seventh day the child would be brought to the tapian. If the date of birth was an auspicious one, this would be done using by the mother a new Hiou, a Ragi Idup or Ragi Panei, but if the date was a bad one, the baby would be carefully brought by all the women of the village, who would set out to deceive the evil spirits in order to protect the baby. When the child was named, it would be given a black, white and red bracelete for protective purposes.

The concept of a cohesive Simalungun people is derived in part from Dutch colonialism. In 1870 the Dutch established the Residency of East Sumatra, centred on Medan in the Kingdom of Deli. In 1904 the Netherlands East Indies government signed surrender agreements with the seven kingdoms of the 'Simeloengoenlanden', in order to form the administrative of unit Simeloengoen en Karolanden.5 These seven Simalungun kingdoms were the kingdoms of Siantar, Tanoh Jawa, Panei, Dolok Silou, Raya, Purba and Silimahuta. It has been suggested that Tanoh Jawa had more in common with early pagan Asahan than it did with the other Simalungun kingdoms.

The colonial seat was established in 1908 at Pamatang Siantar. The Dutch colonial system encouraged migration, of Javanese. Tobanese labourers working on Dutch plantations, both peoples bringing new influences to the area that caused the origin people of Simalungun intimidated and margined. After World War II, finally in 1946, were happened a Social revolution tragedy at East Sumatera. Peoples (unoriginal East Sumatra Peoples) want to changes monarchy system at Deli, Karo and Simalaugun, and united for one state with Java governments, Republic Of Indonesia that was proclaimed on August, 1945. Many kidnapped and killed, actually from Kingdom's family. So that, the monarchy system disappear from East Sumatra still now.

B. Marga of Simalungun People

Simalungun people belong to one of four marga (clans). Each marga has sub-marga, although individuals may choose to identify primarily by their marga, rather than submarga, in order to emphasise common kinship. The four marga are:

1. Saragih
2. Damanik
3. Purba
4. Sinaga

Traditional Simalungun Dance

C. Religion of Simalungun People

August Theis, a German missionary arrived in Sumatra in 1902. He was subject to Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen, who instructed him to head to the Simalungun region. Theis arrived on 2 September 1903, a day now commemorated by the Simalungun church. Theis opened several schools, and returned to the Netherlands in 1921. The first translation of The Bible into an indigenous Indonesian language was by Wismar Djaulung Saragih Sumbayak, who had been baptised by Theis in 1910. Wismar also authored the first Simalungun dictionary, and successfully campaigned for teaching in schools to be conducted in Simalungun rather than Toba. He also pushed for the use of traditional Simalungun clothes and music in the church. His efforts eventually led to the formation of the distinct Simalungun Protestant Christian Church.


Simalungun Song - Huta Haranggaol

Suku Batak Simalungun, adalah salah satu dari suku Batak yang mendiami wilayah kabupaten Simalungun provinsi Sumatra Utara. Suku Simalungun ini berada di antara dua kebudayaan, yaitu suku Batak Toba dan suku Batak Karo, karena wilayah kediaman suku Batak Simalungun ini berada di antara wilayah kedua suku Batak tersebut tadi. Oleh karena itu bahasa Simalungun berada di antara bahasa Toba dan Karo, bisa dikatakan mirip dengan bahasa Toba, tetapi juga mirip dengan bahasa Karo.

Secara budaya dan adat istiadat, suku Simalungun ini berkerabat dengan suku Batak Toba, tetapi menurut pengakuan beberapa tua-tua adat masyarakat Simalungun, bahwa mereka berbeda dengan suku Batak Toba. Mereka mengatakan bahwa mereka berasal dari bangsa yang berasal dari daerah Assam India yang saat ini bernama Asom, sedangkan menurut mereka orang Batak Toba berasal dari daratan Indochina. Kalau anggapan ini benar berarti suku Simalungun kemungkinan berkerabat dengan trio suku (trio naga) di Asom (Assam) India, yaitu suku Manipur, suku Mizoram dan suku Naga. Memang kalau dilihat sekilas kebudayaan trio suku naga di Asom India ini, terdapat kemiripan dengan budaya suku-suku Batak di Sumatra. Dari segi pakaian, dan rumah adat, hanya saja bahasa jauh berbeda, sedangkan tarian dari trio suku naga ini justru mirip dengan tarian dari suku Dayak dari Kalimantan. Jadi anggapan dari masyarakat suku Simalungun ini masih belum kuat untuk dijadikan patokan bahwa suku Simalungun berasal dari daerah Asom (Assam) India.

Kalau diperhatikan adat-istiadat dan budaya serta bahasa suku Simalungun, bisa dikatakan 65 % sama dengan adat-istiadat dan budaya serta bahasa dari suku Batak Toba, juga dengan suku Batak Karo. Ini mengindikasikan bahwa suku Simalungun ini dahulunya memang berasal dari suatu tempat yang sama dengan suku Batak Toba dan suku Batak Karo. Hanya saja karena terpisah secara geografis dan terpisah dalam waktu yang lama, maka secara lambat laun terjadi perubahan dalam adat-istiadat, budaya dan bahasa.

Saat ini sebagian kecil dari masyarakat suku Simalungun, sepertinya enggan bila disebut "batak", tetapi sebagian besar masih tetap mengaku disebut sebagai bangsa batak. Hanya saja, kebiasaan umum selama ini memang istilah "batak" sepertinya mengarah kepada satu suku saja yaitu "Batak Toba". Jadi kalau dibilang "batak" berarti "batak toba". Sebenarnya tidak begitu. Masyarakat luar seperti di pulau Jawa juga banyak yang sudah memahami bahwa batak itu bukan hanya "Toba" saja, tetapi terdiri dari 6 klan, bahkan bila dicermati jumlah klan Batak lebih dari 6 klan, seperti suku Alas, Gayo, Singkil, Kluet, Padang Lawas dan lain-lain, juga dianggap dan termasuk dari kelompok klan Batak.

Suku Simalungun berbicara menggunakan bahasa Simalungun sebagai bahasa sehari-hari. Derasnya pengaruh dari suku-suku di sekitarnya mengakibatkan beberapa bagian bahasa suku Simalungun menyerap bahasa Melayu, Karo, Toba dan sebagainya. Pada masa lalu bahasa Batak Toba pernah digunakan oleh masyarakat suku Batak Simalungun, dikarenakan bahasa Batak Toba sebagai bahasa pengantar oleh penginjil RMG yang menyebarkan agama Kristen pada suku Simalungun ini.

Pada masa lalu suku Simalungun memiliki berbagai kepercayaan yang berhubungan dengan pemakaian mantera-mantera dari "Datu" (dukun) disertai persembahan kepada roh-roh nenek moyang yang selalu didahului panggilan kepada Tiga Dewa yang disebut Naibata, yaitu Naibata di atas (dilambangkan dengan warna Putih),Naibata di tengah (dilambangkan dengan warna Merah), dan Naibata di bawah (dilambangkan dengan warna Hitam). 3 warna yang mewakili Dewa-Dewa tersebut (Putih, Merah dan Hitam) mendominasi berbagai ornamen suku Simalungun dari pakaian sampai hiasan rumahnya.

Orang Simalungun percaya bahwa manusia dikirim ke dunia oleh Naibata dan dilengkapi dengan Sinumbah yang dapat juga menetap di dalam berbagai benda, seperti alat-alat dapur dan sebagainya, sehingga benda-benda tersebut harus disembah. Orang Simalungun menyebut roh orang mati sebagai Simagot. Baik Sinumbah maupun Simagot harus diberikan korban-korban pujaan sehingga mereka akan memperoleh berbagai keuntungan dari kedua sesembahan tersebut.

Ajaran Hindu dan Budha juga pernah mempengaruhi kehidupan di Simalungun, hal ini terbukti dengan peninggalan berbagai patung dan arca yang ditemukan di beberapa tempat di Simalungun yang menggambarkan makna Trimurti (Hindu) dan Sang Buddha yang menunggangi Gajah (Budha). Aksara yang digunakan suku Simalungun disebut aksara Surat Sisapuluhsiah.

Sistem mata pencaharian orang Simalungun yaitu bercocok tanam dengan padi dan jagung. Padi adalah makanan pokok sehari-hari dan jagung adalah makanan tambahan jika hasil padi tidak mencukupi. Pada masa lalu jual-beli diadakan dengan barter.

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