In the past, the Batak ancestor dwelled in Batak land in peace and harmony. They believe in and praise the Ompu Mula Jadi Nabolon, the Almighty God. Before the influence of Islam and Christianity, Batak people praise Ompu Mula Jadi Nabolon by performing sacrification and prayer ritual accompanied with music and dance.
In order to maintain peace and harmony in their society, Batak ancestors introduced and passed on Dalihan Na Tolu (the tree pillars priciples) to their descendants as philosophy and way of life to practice in their daily life. Dalihan na tolu or the three pillars are:
1. Somba marhula-hula (respect your wife giver clan);
2. Manat mardongan tubu (be careful with your own clan); and
3. Elek marboru (be considerate to clan who marry your clan daughter)
Gondang, one of Batak most valuable traditional arts has long been regarded as one of the most genuine world ethnic heritage. Its rich repertoires perfectly meet what it takes to make any Batak ceremonies such as religious observance, customary activity as well as entertainment a solemn and wonderful performance.
PROBLEM AND CHALLENGE THAT IS FACING BATAK GONDANG
But modern life has been the most adversarial challenge to the existence of Batak gondang. Nowdays most of us can only find gondang in its modified version. The original gondang repertoires have almost disappeared from public performance.
Pargonsi, Batak language for the gondang player, especially the young ones, are no longer paying much attention and seeking to master the original repertoires of gondang. Why? Because most of Batak people nowadays are fancier to modern music songs and dangdut, the Malay music genre which rooted from Indian music.
Nowadays, even the old pargonsi in Toba are very seldom playing this original gondang as most of the people do not recognize them anymore.
EXPLORATION AND DOCUMENTATION
Nowadays, very few pargonsi can still recognize and play the true gondang well. Most of them are getting old and some of them are even surviving from old age sickness. But loosing these people will only mean the gondang reaching its extinction history. It is therefore critical that the Bataks should take this opportunity to save gondang so that we can pass them down to the next generation.
Exploration of original gondang and its documentation is the first step in the preservation of this most valuable Batak cultural asset.
The next important step would be the preparation of a tutorial video on how to learn and play gondang.
The following are the course of activities being planned.
Phase 1: Documentation
I. Preparation of the list of Batak gondang as well as the old pargonsi of Toba Batak ethnic;
II. Exploration and fine tuning the old gondangs by doing audition with the old pargonsi;
III. Recording of the gondang into CD and mastering;
IV. Publication of the gondang in CD’s form;
Phase 2: Video Making of Tutorial on How To Play Gondang
1. Video Shooting
The shooting of tutorial video on how to play gondang will be using own equipment and additional recording accessories. The type of recording equipment available on hand is Handy Recording ZOOM H4 Stereo Track.
Old pargonsi that can still play Batak gondang well and take place in this project are, among others:
1. Maringan Sitorus;
2. Barani Gultom;
3. Maningar Sitorus; and
4. Sobo Gultom;
Support from all Batak descendants and community from all over the world in the form of fund or kind are greatly expected.
This project is schedule to take place from June to September 2008.
Monang Naipospos (Toba Samosir: email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Petrus M. Sitohang (Tanjungpinang: email email@example.com)
Rianthy Sianturi (Medan: email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sahat Nainggolan (Kuala Lumpur, email email@example.com)
Charlie M. Sianipar (Jakarta: email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Suhunan Situmorang (Jakarta: emai email@example.com)
Viky Sianipar (Jakarta: email firstname.lastname@example.org)
SOURCE OF FUND
Voluntary donations from all parties who concern with this project are greatly expected.
WHAT HAVE BEEN DONE THUS FAR?
1. Preliminary recording for 20 titles of original gondang;
2. Preparation of description of each gondang;
BELOW ARE THE TITLES OF GONDANG THAT HAVE UNDERGONE THE AUDITION AND RECORDED THUS FAR (WILL UNDERGO FINE TUNING AND FINAL RECORDING)
1. MULA MULA
2. MULA MULA II
4. SIDABU PETEK
5. SIBUNGKA PINGKIRAN
6. HOTANG MULAKULAK
8. BINTANG SIPARIAMA
9. BINTANG NAPURASA
10. HATA SO PISIK
11. ALING-ALING SAHALA
12. RAMBU PINUNGU
13. BINDU MATOGA
14. SIDOLI NATIHAL
15. TANDUK NI HORBO PAUNG
16. LILIT TU METER
17. TUKTUK HOLING
19. SAPADANG NAUSE
20. SEKKIAN TALI MERAH
Further information on this project or how to support this project please contact any of the organizers listed above.