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Traditional Culture(1880-1905)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 27-28
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 27-28
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 19, 22
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 22, 28, 37
God(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 18-58, 24-27
Sibeth (1991), pp. 64

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 31

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 18-58
Sibeth (1991), pp. 69
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Principal determinant of one's afterlife (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 41
Sibeth (1991), pp. 69
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and creationist (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 30
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 18-58
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 18-54, 30-31

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 26

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 53
Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 7-58

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 7-58
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 45
Sibeth (1991), pp. 70
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a local community, no larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 57
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 54-57

Rites

Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 26
Rae (1994), pp. 38
Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 38
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 25-26
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 25-26
Sibeth (1991), pp. 16
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Loeb (1974), pp. 25-26
Rae (1994), pp. 38
Social Environment +
Population 100000 (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 86-87
Singarimbun (1975), pp. 4-5
Population of largest political community 1,000-9,999 (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 39
McKinnon (2006), pp. 28-29
Singarimbun (1975), pp. 4-5
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Singarimbun (1975), pp. 76-96
Importance of Matrilateral descent Low (Source)
Singarimbun (1975), pp. 76-96
Marital residence Neolocal - separate from kin (Source)
Rodgers (1993), pp. 40

Conflict

Conflict within communities High (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 16
Loeb (1974), pp. 37, 40
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 16
Loeb (1974), pp. 30-34
Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 16, 63-64, 72-73
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 67-68
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Sumatra) (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 246.3 (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. Map 4
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 24-25
Islamic influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 22, 64
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 18-58, 27
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32, 34
Rae (1994), pp. 16
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32, 34
Land-based gathering Minor (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32-35, 33
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32, 34

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Absent (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32-35
Rae (1994), pp. 16-17
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32-35
Rae (1994), pp. 16-17
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Absent (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 32-35
Rae (1994), pp. 16-17

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Sibeth (1991), pp. 34
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Sumatra) (2014)

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude 3.1 (Source)
Google Maps (2014)
Rae (1994), pp. Map 4
Sibeth (1991), pp. 8
Longitude 98.5 (Source)
Google Maps (2014)
Rae (1994), pp. Map 4
Sibeth (1991), pp. 8
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf) (2014)
Island Size (km²) 480793.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sumatra) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 3800.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sumatra) (2014)
Post Contact History(1905-1940 )Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Mixed / Neither (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 88-228
Use of force in conversion Medium (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 79-228, 79-87, 169, 185
Kipp (1995), pp. 868
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 88
Adoption of a world religion Present and major (Source)
Kushnick (2013), pp. 269

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Present, and survived to the present day (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 194-195, 295
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 84-86
Immigration Absent (Source)
Kushnick (2010), pp. 64
Language shift Medium (Source)
Kushnick (2010), pp. 64
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 138-140

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Kushnick (2010), pp. 64
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 17, 138

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 84-85
Sibeth (1991), pp. 217
Sea port Present (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 84-85

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 79-87, 82-83, 111-134
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Rae (1994), pp. 84-87
Current Culture(1940 - 2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Kushnick (2013), pp. 269
Kipp (1995), pp. 868
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sumatra). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573120/Sumatra

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573755/Sunda-Shelf

Ethnologue (Map of Sumatra). (2014). Map of Indonesia, Sumatra. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/ID_sm_

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kipp, R. S. (1995). Conversion by Affiliation: The History of the Karo Batak Protestant Church. American Ethnologist, 22 (4), 868-882. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/646390

Kushnick, G. (2010). Resource Competition and Reproduction in Karo Batak Villages. Human Nature, 21, 62-81. DOI: 10.1007/s12110-010-9082-4.

Kushnick, G. (2013). Why Do the Karo Batak Prefer Women with Big Feet? Flexible Mate Preferences and the Notion That One Size Fits All. Human Nature, 24, 268-279. DOI: 10.1007/s12110-013-9171-2

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1972). Eastern Sumbanese in Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Loeb, E. M. (1974). Sumatra: Its History and People. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Oxford University Press. (Originally published 1935).

McKinnon, E. E. (2006). Indian and Indonesian Elements in Early North Sumatra. In Reid, A. (Ed.), Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem. Singapore: NUS Press.

Rae, S. (1994) Breath Becomes the Wind: Old and New in Karo Religion. Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago Press.

Rodgers, S. (1993).Batak’. Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Vol V, pp 38-41). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Sibeth, A. (1991). Living with Ancestors: The Batak Peoples of the Island of Sumatra. London, U.K: Thames and Hudson.

Simon, A. (1984). Functional Changes in Batak Traditional Music and Its Role in Modern Indonesian Society. Asian Music, 15 (2), 58-66. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/834031 .

Singarimbun, M. (1975). Kinship, Descent, and Alliance Among the Karo Batak. London & Los Angeles: University of California Press.