907 Antique Batak Shaman Guru Pustaha Manuscript 2

A magic book used by the Guru or Datu of theToba Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia.

 Used by the Batak peoples, from north central Sumatra,this is not a calendar but rather an instrument used for divination and the identification of auspicious days.

Traditionally the Batak script was

It is written in Batak script, only used by datu (priests) to write magical texts and calendars. 

It may be derived from the Brahmi script of ancient India and related to other scripts of the archipelago such as Old Kawi. Or it might be a descendent of a hypothetical Proto-Sumatran script, with Pallava influences.

The cover is made of carved tropicalwood and the accordion-style pages are made of bark. The calendar’s size allows for portability and suggests it was intended for daily use by a diviner or community spiritual leader.

A language that is almost extinct – with few living people practicing or transmitting the knowledge of this script, it is mostly found in scriptures stored away in museums.

33 pages

20cm x 20 cm

Museum: Similar example may be seen in the State Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, Netherlands