When a man tells you that he has 14 wives do you shake his hand, walk away because he is a liar or offer him your sympathies? The Toba-Batak king of Simanindo was one such man who for better or worse lived such a life. Let's examine the facts.
All common sense states he was some sort of pimp-warlord who not only killed his enemies, enslaved their women & looted their household, in other words just your typical male. If 14 wives were able to complain about smelly feet, screaming kids & loud snoring how would a man be able to live a normal life in peace? The pains of marriage to just 1 woman is more than enough. You also would not willingly marry ugly women, 14 ugly women is more a life punishment as well as terrible decision making, the chances of having 14 pretty women in the middle of a jungle seems like wishful thinking. Lets not get started about the problems of having 50 kids.
Huta Bolon Simanindo Batak Musem features several traditional Batak houses all featuring thatched roofs including the king's own, the royal barge, his tomb & a museum filled with many artefacts & weapons from their tribe. Being known as extremely warlike peoples, the tribe here at Simanindo are the only ones on Samosir Island to have on display weapons from their culture. The museum complex here is small but authentic for its historical value in local history. The fact that the artefacts are housed in the king's village which has been secured for future prosperity as a living museum is a great sign.
The Toba-Batak people's religion was called Parmalim & was heavily based on animistic values & farm life, people interested in tribal statues will find a fertility carving of a lizard whose symbol is found everywhere on Simosir Island, it suggests a healthy emphasis on spirituality in their everyday life. Apparently, the lizard breed like drunken teenagers & so it is a symbol for a couples hope for a large family not only for protection & to strengthen the tribe but to work the fields. Daily traditional dances can be organised for tourists by local farmers, possibly descendants of the king. The show includes 10 dances from all aspects of village life but the days of festive celebration seem to be long over & replaced by satellite TV, these dances are for tourist pocket change. Entrance to the complex is 5,000 IDR & dances 30,000 IDR. Simanindo is about halfway from Tuk Tuk to the hot springs at Pangururan.
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