Mangongkal Holi

The “Mangongkal Holi” ritual is one of the many cultural rites that exist in the Toba Batak community and is still practiced today. Basically, this ritual is one of the most sacred and complex procedures for its implementation. Mangongkal holi itself can be interpreted simply as an effort to move one’s bones from one cemetery to a better “pond” (funeral) and specially prepared. In general, the bones that will be removed, at least 10 years old.

One of the purposes of this rite is to reunite the “body” of the deceased person along with the “body” of his relatives / relatives. The relationship can be in the form of a relationship between grandchildren, parents, or one generation (siblings) complete with their respective partners.

The new pond or burial place is usually provided in advance. In a special place too. Usually in a hometown called ‘Bona Pasogi’.

In general, the pond was built in a magnificent and usually multilevel. From top to bottom, the pond contains the bones of older people of his generation. Usually for three generations.

As noted above, the holi procession is a very complex custom-cultural event. Because it involves a lot of people according to their function in the formulation that is regulated in the ‘Dalihan Natolu’ concept.

Therefore, mangongkal holi ceremonies can last for days. During that time, the organizers had to entertain the community, custom kings, village kings and all those involved in the procession. No half-hearted for that need, some buffaloes must be prepared. No wonder the mangosteen holi rite will cost a lot of money.

Actually there are various noble values ​​contained in this ritual. One of them is proof of respect for parents / previous generations.

Batak people believe that the soul of someone who has died will live forever. By placing his bones into a more suitable place (high) means bringing the spirit closer to the Creator.

But the most basic of doing mangrove holi is more aimed at uniting the body of a person with the relatives of the family he loves. Considering that a person may die and be buried in a place far from the land of birth or domicile of his relatives. So that there needs to be unification so that his body is in one place with the bodies of his brothers and sisters. Especially those who are husband and wife. Their bodies must be put together in the same place.

In other words, in addition to meaning religious, mangosteen holi is also part of the effort to document the family tree. By being in one place, the next generation will find it easier to find out who are the ancestors / generations above. That way there is no broken generation chain.

This was conveyed by the writer of Visualgrafis book, “Mangongkal Holi”, Hasiolan Siahaan, to, Monday (10/30/2017).

Mentioned, the mangosteen holi tradition is also part of the biblical tradition of respecting ancestors (ancestors) and parents. In the Israeli tradition there was a habit of collecting the bones of the dead and placing them with their ancestors.


But now the mangongkal holi tradition is now shifting. The aim is no longer as a form of respect, but more often used to show off assets and power.

Because he felt capable, a family built a pond that was so majestic. It costs hundreds of billions. Also hold a party for days. They used that moment to show their success. As a result, jealousy and insecurity emerged from people whose lives were still difficult.

“But there are also those who force. Because of prestige and so on. They built the pond majestically. That is what we often see, graves for the dead are made luxurious, while the house itself is about to collapse, “said Hasioalan.

Not only mangosteen holi. In other traditional and cultural parties, showing off the property also occurs. This is one of the biggest social problems of Toba Batak people today. The desire to show success is often exaggerated. On the contrary, the values ​​inherent in the rite are even forgotten.

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