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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Batak Rokan People (English Version)


By: Wendy Hutahaean

Batak Rokan people or sometimes called Batak Pasir Rokan is a Batak ethnic that live in Kabupaten Rokan Hulu of Riau Province, Indonesia. They live in Northern and Western area of Rokan Hulu hundred years ago. Batak Rokan people has a kinship to Batak Padanglawas in North Sumatera Province. They were influenced by Melayu culture long time ago and has only few historical Bataknese culture to be observed. These people reject to be called as Melayu ethnic but claim that they are Batak ethnics aside from Batak Padanglawas, Batak Rao, Batak Angkola and Batak Mandailing.

Traditional Clothes of Batak Rokan

A. The Land

Long time ago, Rokan Hulu consist of five Kingdoms which is called as Lima Lukah. Each kingdoms are ruled by Kerapatan Ninik Mamak and lead by Penghulu Adat (Traditional Leader) in each villages. Those five kingdoms are:

1. Kerajaan Tambusai (Batak culture)
2. Kerajaan Rambah (Batak culture)
3. Kerajaan Kepenuhan (Batak culture)
4. Kerajaan Rokan IV Koto (Minangkabau culture)
5. Kerajaan Kunto Darussalam (Minangkabau culture)

Kesultanan Melayu in Sumatera Timur

During Dutch colonialization, Rokan Hulu was divided into two areas, which are:

1.  Rokan Kanan area that consist of Kerajaan Tambusai, Kerajaan Rambah and Kerajaan Kepenuhan. This area mostly influenced by Batak Rokan culture.
2.   Rokan Kiri area that consist of Kerajaan Rokan IV Koto, Kerajaan Kunto Darussalam and some villages of Kerajaan Siak (Kewalian Tandun dan kewalian Kobun). This area mostly influenced by Minangkabau and Melayu culture.

Nowadays, the land of Batak Rokan people in Kabupaten Rokan Hulu covered some districts (kecamatan), which are:

1. Kec. Bangun Purba, capital in Tangun
2. Kec. Kepenuhan, capital in Kota Tengah
3. Kec. Rambah, capital in Pasir Pangaraian
4. Kec. Rambah Hilir, capital in Rambah Hilir
5. Kec. Rambah Samo, capital in Rambah Samo
6. Kec. Tambusai, capital in Dalu-dalu
7. Kec. Tambusai Utara, capital in Rantau Kasai
8. Kec. Kepenuhan Hulu, capital inKepenuhan Hulu

Kabpaten Rokan Hulu

However, people of Melayu Rokan live in the eastern and southern part of Kabupaten Rokan Hulu. They have similarity in language and culture to its neighbors in Kabupaten Rokan Hilir and Kabupaten Bengkalis. Those districts are:

1. Kec. Kabun
2. Kec. Tandun
3. Kec. Ujungbatu
4. Kec. Rokan IV Koto
5. Kec. Pendalian IV Koto
6. Kec. Pagaran Tapah Darussalam
7. Kec. Kunto Darussalam
8. Kec. Bonai Darussalam

Delapan kecamatan tersebut akan membentuk kabupaten sendiri yang bernama Kabupaten Rokan Darussalam.

B. Marga

Batak Rokan people basically have "marga" that shows the identity of their original ancestor or family. This familiy name is derived from  father lineage (patrilineal) that will be continued to his male descent continiously. Female descent will follow the family name of her husband after mariage. Nowadays most people of Batak Rokan does not use any marga after their name.

Traditional House of Batak Rokan

The example of "marga" in Batak Rokan that live (marbona pasogit) in Kabupaten Rokan Hulu is Harahap. Tuanku Tambusai Harahap is the most popular Paderi Warrior for Batak Rokan people. Another marga in Batak Rokan such as Dalimunthe, Siregar, Ritonga, Daulay, and Pane. They have a kinship to Batak Padanglawas, Batak Rao, Batak Angkola and Batak Mandailing.

C. Language

Batak Rokan language or sometime called Melayu Rokan language is the language spoken by Batak Rokan people in Kabupaten Rokan Hulu. This language is the assimilation of Batak Padanglawas, Batak Rao, Melayu and Minangkabau Languages in a long process. Even nowadays, there are some similar vocabularies between Batak Rokan language and those languages. Basically, Batak Rokan language has a close relationship to Batak Padanglawas language and Batak Rao language, eventhough it was influenced by Melayu and Minangkabau vocabularies.
Traditional Dance of Batak Rokan

Basically, Batak Rokan people live as rice or crops farmer. They grow vegetables, coffee and other perennials. Some of them raising livestock such as chicken, duck, goose, buffalo and cow. Nowadays, they also work in different types job such as merchandise,  office jobs, in private and public sector. There are a lot of Batak Rokan People who become successful person in foreign country such as having an important position in government and having a successful business.


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