Stone Chair of King Siallagan, Samosir Island, North Sumatra

Huta Siallagan (“huta” means a village) is located in the Ambarita village in the eastern part of the Samosir island. The area of ​​Siallagan is estimated at 2,400 square meters, with an entrance gate from the southwest and an exit from the east. The village is surrounded by a stone wall 1.5 – 2 meters high. In the past, this wall 1-2 meters wide was planted with bamboo to protect it from animals and enemies. At the entrance there is a large stone statue, which is believed to be a guardian and expels evil spirits who want to enter the village, this statue is called Pangulubalang.

There are 8 traditional Batak houses in the village. Usually in one house lives from one to four families. The traditional houses are still in their original form and are estimated to be hundreds of years old, but some parts of the houses, such as walls, poles and roofs, have been replaced since the original traditional houses are built of wood and without nails, and the roof is made of palm fiber.

Houses stand on strong pillars, so the lower part of the house is used as a corral for animals. In the middle part of the house there are no rooms, but there is one common space that is used according to certain rules. The upper part does not have a ceiling, only a room called “Parapara” is located in front and behind from above.

Parapara is usually used to store traditional objects, traditional musical instruments, and also a place to observe the conditions that arise outside the house in the village. The walls are used as a place to store kitchen utensils and food. The roof of the Batak house is a cone with a rear end higher than the front end.

Seen from the outside, the facade of a traditional Batak house is decorated with a typical batak carving called gorga, which consists of 3 colors (white, red and black), which have their own meanings. There are also various ornaments called Gaya Dompak, Lions, Pan Nabolon and Dila Paung. It is believed that these decorations are designed to protect against evil spirits who want to enter the house.

In addition, there are also symbols of the breasts of women, which symbolize fertility and wealth and usually adorn the house of Raja or the house of a generous person who love to help those in need.

In the center of the village grows the tree Hau Habonaran (“hau” is means a tree) (tree of truth, tree of justice), which was originally called Hau Hangoluan (tree of life). The tree got its name because it was planted before the village was built. Then the community elders prayed (Martonggo) that the planted tree would flourish, which would mean that there was life in this place that would become a huta / village. Previously, on certain days, the Raja and elders made offerings under the tree as a blessing.

The first stone group of chairs is located under the tree of Habonaran, which was used as a meeting place for the king and elders to discuss various life events of the residents of Siallagan and surrounding areas, as well as a courtroom. According to the law, imprisonment is established for those who commit petty crimes, such as theft, fights, slander; while death penalty (beheading) is a punishment for those who commit serious crimes, such as murder, rape, betrayal.

The second stone group of chairs, located outside Huta Siallagan, but still close to the fence of the village, is intended to bring about the execution of the punishment of criminals. It is said that the execution of the sentence the hearts of the criminals were usually eaten to increase the power of Raja.

In the northern part of Huta Siallagan, namely in Parhapuran, there are also stone chairs that were used to meet with other clans of the Samosir Island.

Description of Siallangan village stone court chairs: 1 – Chair of Siallagan Raja; 2 – Chair of Village Elder; 3 – Chair of Shaman; 4 – Committee Chair; 5 – Defendant’s Chair.

Description of execution place stone chairs: 1 – Stone Chair of Siallagan Raja; 2 – Stone Chair of Village Elder; 3 – Stone Chair of Neighboring Village Raja; 4 – Stone Chair of Shaman; 5 – Torture Table; 6 – Table of offerings.

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