The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Indonesian people living in northern Sumatra and numbering about 2.5 million (1967 estimate).

On the basis of linguistic and ethnographic characteristics, the Bataks can be divided into six groups: the Toba, the Karo, the Timur, the Pakpak, the Ankola, and the Mandai-ling. Their languages are Batak. The Bataks are primarily Muslim, although some of the Toba are Christian and the Karo have preserved their traditional beliefs. Strong tribal elements have survived until the present day. The Bataks are primarily farmers growing rice, corn, sweet potatoes, and other crops, although they also practice the arts of weaving, pottery-making, metalworking, building, and wood carving. Trade and commercial relations have been developing since the beginning of the 20th century, but elements of the natural farm economy have been preserved. From the very beginning of the Dutch colonization of Sumatra (in the 17th century), the Bataks have stubbornly defended their independence.


Narody Iugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(15) See Anthony Reid, "Island of the Dead: Why Do Bataks Erect Tugu?" in The Potent Dead: Ancestors, Saints and Heroes in Contemporary Indonesia, ed.
This was organized by the Marturia (Witness) Department of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP), the largest Protestant church in Indonesia, and brought together about 25 pastors and evangelists from Samosir Island and areas surrounding Lake Toba.
The specific problem that Pakpahan addresses is severe, at least among the Bataks of the Lake Toba area in Sumatra: an ecclesiastical split which, between 1992 and 1998, produced demonstrations resulting in four deaths and grievous moral injury felt by many Batak Christians.
Hard Bargaining in Sumatra: Western Travelers and Toba Bataks in the Marketplace of Souvenirs.
It is not my purpose here to discuss the reasons why Toba Bataks accepted Protestant Christianity with such enthusiasm.
He made his home among the Batak people, who after a time accepted him as one of their own and called him Apostle to the Bataks.
Borneo's wad men, head hunters' village, the ancient Bataks .
Fusayama also has some new details about the role of Japanese deserters fighting on the Republican side, and about Pesindo Pasukan 5, a shadowy fighting organization of Bataks and Malays influenced by Soangkoepon and Nainggolan, but led by the thuggish Sihite.
(17) "Bataks", in Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch-Indie, vol.
The Sipirok area of the southern Batak highlands in Sumatra was a notably school-focused (even, school-obsessed) region by the 1920s.
On the other hand Raffles also had a contradictory view of the Batak pagans (Tylor's term animism was yet to be introduced), who in his understanding were at the bottom of the cultural-civilizational development ladder, but could be civilized through Christian conversion.
Despite the innumerable differences between the early life of Pospos in the Toba Batak homeland of North Tapanuli and that of Radjab in the Minangkabau highlands near Padangpandjang, these two authors share an absorbing attention to the details of daily life.