Batak House at Samosir Island

There are still some traditional house of Batak exist until today. Not so many left anymore in some areas in North Sumatera. The house has two kinds: Ruma and Sopo. Ruma is a dwelling while Sopo is an establishment without wall which is used as barn or as living room.

The house has 3 major section, the lower, middle and upper. The lower section is the foundation and pillar which support the house and used for livestock. The middle is used as dwelling and the upper to keep weapons.

Ruma and Sopo have steep roof made of grass. The house usually decorated with carving, known as gorga. Gorga is usually made of soft wood which is sunlight and water resistant, such as Ungil wood. The Gorga has three colors: white, red and black. White color is made out of lime stone, red color made out of a red stone and black color is made of plants.

In front of the house there is a stair as entrance. It is a pride for Batak people when the stair is worn out as it is an indication that the house has welcomed many guests and that the owner is friendly.

The door if the house is low, that when one is entering the house must bow which has meaning guest must respect the house owner.