Traditional Wisdom of Batak Toba Community in Preserving Lake Toba Ecosystem in Samosir District and Dairi District, North Sumatera Province

  • R. Hamdani Harahap, Humaizi, Shofwan Al Faraoqy Hasibuan


This study examined the local wisdom of the Batak Toba community in preserving the environment traditionally. This research was located in Sub District Harian, Samosir District and Silahisabungan Sub District, Dairi District. The method used in this research was a qualitative approach, especially ethnography, involving observation techniques, interviews with snowball techniques. The results show that people in Harian district had not used lake water for their daily needs because it was considered contaminated. However,  the people of Harian subdistrict still used the lake for irrigation, bathing, washing and floating net cage cultivation. They almost forgot about the traditional wisdom that ever existed. Only some of the traditional wisdom was still preserved by the community such as taboo and restrictions on lakes, taboo and restrictions in the forest. The waning of traditional wisdom was mainly due to religious presence and widespread use of ecosystems for income-generating. Whereas the community in Silahisabungan subdistrict stated that Lake Toba was a source of life. That means Lake Toba was a source of sustenance, a source of livelihood such as a place to find fish, a place to put a floating net cage and as an added fortune from tourism activities. All local wisdom was still observed despite different regularity of observations. The waning of traditional wisdom both in Harian and Silahisabungan subdistricts was caused by the presence of religion and the widespread use of ecosystems to increase income. It is necessary to revitalize the traditional wisdom which was gradually left, and maintain the traditional wisdom  they still complied.