Introduction / History
The Batak Toba are the indigenous people of the Batak highlands of the west coast of the Indonesian province of North Sumatera.
Where are they located?
Most of the Batak Toba live in their traditional homeland called the Bonapasogit, which consists of the Toba Samosir, Samosir, Humbang Hasundutan and North Tapanuli regencies. Some of them migrate to other areas of North Sumatera, particularly to the cities Medan, Pematangsiantar and Sibolga. Nowadays, many of them leave their traditional homeland to work/study, either within Indonesia or abroad.
What are their lives like?
Most of the Batak Toba who live in their traditional homeland are farmers. Many of those who live outside their traditional homelands are angkot (minibus) drivers, coach drivers, lorry drivers, chauffeurs, loan sharks and even street criminals. Many of the educated Batak Toba who live outside their traditional homelands are teachers, lecturers or lawyers.
What are their beliefs?
Today, most of the Batak Toba are Christians, with a small number of them who already converted to Islam. Christianity in the traditional homeland of the Batak Toba people was spread by European missionaries during the late 19th centuries. Despite being Christian, many Batak people still perform pagan rituals, such as the bona taon (clan gathering).
Text source: Anonymous