Batak Graves

Danau Toba

Amid the fertile rice fields between Simanindo and Pangururan are these large multistorey graves decorated with the distinctive miniature Batak-style house and a simple white cross. Batak graves reflect the animistic attitudes of sheltering the dead (who are dug out 10 to 15 years after their original internment and reburied after the polishing of the bones).

Cigarettes and cakes are offered to the deceased as memorials or as petitions for favours. Typical Christian holidays, such as Christmas, dictate special attention to the graves. Some of the newer graves are particularly showy.