Ethnobotany of the Toba Batak Ethnic Community in Samosir District, North Sumatra, Indonesia




Abstract. Sitanggang NDH, Zuhud EAM, Masy’ud B, Soekmadi. 2022. Ethnobotany of the Toba Batak Ethnic Community in Samosir District, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 23: 6114-6118. The Toba Batak ethnic community is one of the ethnic groups in Indonesia that is believed to have unique characteristics in terms of ethnobotanical aspects. The objectives of this study were to identify the diversity of plant species that were used and collected by the Toba Batak ethnic community, analyze their Cultural Significance Index and determine the economic potential of plant species of high cultural value. The survey was conducted in four villages near Samosir Botanical Gardens and Aek Natonang Lake. We collected data through field observations and interviews with key respondents of chiefs, healers, homemakers and youth as users. We analyzed the data to determine the number of plant species collected and used by the Toba Batak ethnic community, to calculate the cultural importance of the plant species, and to determine the economic potential of the plant species. The result showed that the community collected and used 146 plant species from 53 families. We distinguished it into three categories, food (66 species), medicine (67 species) and traditional rituals (13 species). Twenty plant species had the highest cultural value (ICS > 30). Nine species had the highest cultural value, i.e., ginger (Zingiber officinale) (54), rice (Oryza sativa) (50), garlic (Allium sativum) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) 48), mango (Mangifera indica) and sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) (40), and lime (Citrus aurantifolia), kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) (39). Six of the nine plant species with high cultural value were considered potential and priority economic commodities. These species were ginger, rice, garlic, turmeric, mango and sweet potato.


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