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 Enjoy
Judging from the architectural style, the bolon house does not use nails in the process. The floor is high on the ground like a house on stilts, the construction of logs as a support for the crossed floors that characterize the traditional house. the wooden roof is made of palm fiber, and the wood for the building is also typical of very strong forest wood.
If we look at the roof ridge of the house, there are also buffalo horns lined up neatly on the pavilion of the house. They are in addition to the typical Batak ornaments on the pillars such as lizards and circular motifs. In one corner of the house there are bohi-bohi or human statues as guards and exorcists of evil spirits that may disturb the house.
What to Expect
The bolon house at Pematang Purba opens daily from 8 am to 3 pm. Entrance is free, but a voluntary donation is welcome.
What Visitors Say
“Visited this place on the way to Berastagi. It is quite impressive. Palace is well-maintain. It was the home of the Simalungan Batak chiefs until the last one died in 1947. It has a very nice landscape, too.” LeeChin Lim (Source)
“We came here to let our niece learn about her ancestors in Simalungun area.” Besty Bee (Source)
“Traditional purba heritage, house of bolon.” Baba Kebar (Source)
“Simalungun Traditional House has its own characteristics with other Batak traditional houses, for the difference you have to come here, about 2 hours from Pematang Siantar City, or about 4 Hours Travel from Medan City via Berastagi City, you have to come here.” andiksiboro1 (Source)
“The palace which the location is far from the noise gives the impression of adds to the coolness of the heart in the area 1400 meters above sea level. The gentle breeze that blows makes the body feel fresh. Big trees growing around the palace make a cool and comfortable feeling around it.” harangan-sitora (Source)
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