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Leaves of the Same TreeTrade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka$
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Leonard Y. Andaya

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831899

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831899.001.0001

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The Batak Malayu

The Batak Malayu

Chapter:
(p.146) Chapter 5 The Batak Malayu
Source:
Leaves of the Same Tree
Author(s):

Leonard Y. Andaya

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831899.003.0006

This chapter chronicles the story of the ethnicization of the Batak. As with the Minangkabau and the Acehnese, the Batak were formerly a part of the fourteenth-century Javanese depiction of the bhumi Malayu. Contrary to widely held opinion, the Batak were never isolated from the outside world as they were the principal suppliers of camphor and benzoin. These two resins grow abundantly in the Batak country surrounding Lake Toba and were in great demand in the international marketplace. In the fifteenth century, the introduction of pepper cultivation in Sumatra provided yet another opportunity for the Batak to become involved in international trade. The spread of the Batak into different areas led to separate developments of Batak cultural ideas and the formation of various Batak subethnic communities known today as Karo, Simalungun, Pakpak-Dairi, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing.

Keywords:   Batak, Malayu, Karo, Simalungun, Pakpak-Dairi, Toba, Angkola, Mandailing

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