The Stone Chairs of King Siallagan (locally known as Batu Parsidangan, meaning “Trial Stones”) are a historical and ancient object in the form of stone chairs and tables. It is located right at the center of Huta Siallagan (Siallagan Village) under a hariara tree, which is considered a sacred tree by Batak. The stones are believed to be over 200 years old. To see it on the map, click here.
The Stone Chairs of King Siallagan unfold the cruel practice on Samosir in the past. There are two sets of them. The first one was used to serve as the official meeting place, while the other as the site for executions. The first set of Batu Parsidangan consisted of orderly arranged stone chairs that were specifically intended for the king, the queen, clan elders, neighboring village leaders, invitees, and the datu or spiritual leaders. In case of trials, the king would lead the meetings to decide different types of punishments including executions against the criminals.
The second Batu Parsidangan features a similar arrangement but with the addition of a Long Stone Table, where executions took place. The prosecutors brought the death row inmate with ulos-covered eyes to the table, and then his body was laid face down with the neck in the stone basin while the executioner (Sang Datu) was ready with a very sharp sword. He slashed the neck and at once separated the prisoner’s head from his body. Further, Sang Datu stuck a single Panaluan wood into the person’s heart to remove his heart and liver for a meal. He also collected the blood for a drink. The prosecutors buried the head in a distant place and threw the body into the bush. The king got the meal, and high-ranking officers got the drink.
What to Expect
If you come in a group, you can ask your companies to pretend to do the meeting and ask a local to take a picture for you. If asked, the local would also be happy to roleplay the executioner with one of you as the prisoner on the Long Stone Table. Use this opportunity to take some pictures of this action for your storytelling to friends back home.