Pematang Purba is a village and a cultural site in the Purba District, Simalungun, where you can visit a restored tribal house that is now a museum and many others built based on similar designs. The village is about 4 hours from Medan. To see it on the map, click here.
Pematang Purba is a place to find many original Simalungun tribal houses. There are different buildings for different purposes, namely the living room (long house), warehouse, discussion, etc. The house is made of solid teak wood and stands on twenty poles. The roof has decorations in white, red, and black colors. White refers to the holy spirit, red indicates the way of life, and black denotes black magic. Simalungun people are traditionally taught to be mindful of the three colors in life.
One of the buildings there is a museum called Simalungun Bolon House. Built around 1515, it is a heritage palace from Pangultop-ultop, the first king of Simalungun. There are some buffalo horns inside the palace. They are believed to be the actual horns used in traditional ceremonies led by the king and his successors. Interestingly, the number of horns in the palace equals the number of kings who had ruled Simalungun. The house was built using wood materials (not using nails), but it is still able to stand firm until now.
What to Expect
The bolon house opens daily from 8 am to 3 pm. Entrance is free, but a voluntary donation is welcome.