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Völkerkundemuseum der Archiv- und Museumsstiftung der VEM Sigale Gale Figuren

Sigale Gale Figuren

Sigale Gale Figuren sind marionettenartige Puppen der Batak. Man kann sie tanzen lassen, indem sie von einem Spieler, hinter der Figur durch Holz verdeckt, bedient wird.

"The story behind Sigale Gale is that King Sidabutar of the Toba Bataks had one son named Sigale. He loved his son very much and was kind to him, but one day, Sigale died and the king became very sad. So that he would never forget his son, he carved a replica of him from wood who’s face was meant to resemble Sigale’s, and dressed it in traditional batak clothing. Whenever he missed his son he would go to see the doll. Seeing it made the king more happy and he always kept the doll, but he wanted to see it dance like Sigale so he ordered one of the villagers to make the doll dance. The villager attached the string system and set up the drums so that the doll could dance properly. Many of the people in the village watched the doll dance like Sigale until they named it ’Sigale-Gale’.

This concept also plays an important part in the Papurpur Sepata ritual where the belief is, that if an only son dies without having any desendants, the lonely and unsettled spirit (Begu) would roam the middle world. In the ritual, the Begu of the deceased was made to be permanently satisfied and neutralised. A Sigale Gale would be used to represent the deceased, with the ’corpse’ being destoyed at the end of the ceremony. A version of this ritual, though stightly inacurate, is held at the Simalungun Village Museum which at least keeps the memory alive of this unusual tradition." [Wikipedia]

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