The Legend of Lake Toba Indonesia

shares |

A long time ago, there was a wanderer, named Sibuatan. After wandered over so many places, he finally decided to stay in a single location. It was on the riverbank near the valley.

Sibuatan was pleased staying in this new place. This riverbank has beautiful scenery, fresh air, and the most fertile land. His daily works are cultivating the land, collecting vegetables and firewood. He was also catching fish for his meal.

One afternoon, when Sibuatan went fishing, he caught a big fish with golden scales.

"Hurray! I got a giant fish. I will have a big dinner tonight!" said Sibuatan happily.

Sibuatan walked home quickly to cook the fish. When he arrived at his house, he put the fish on the table in the kitchen. Then he went down to get some firewood underneath the house.
Traditional Court Hall and Traditional House in Toba North Sumatera Indonesia credit Husni

However, when he came back from collecting woods, Sibuatan was so surprised. He finds a beautiful woman in his room instead of the fish.

Sibuatan’s heartbeat gets fast. He knew he fell in love with this cute girl. He soon learned this woman was a transformation of the big fish he had caught that day.

Without a second thought, Sibuatan proposed her to marry him. The woman agreed to marry him with one condition. Sibuatan would not ever mention her origin (she was a fish) to anyone. Sibuatan agreed about it. He was too happy to have such a beautiful wife.

A year past and they had already a son named Sam. Since he was a little, her mother spoiled him. So, when he was big enough, his behavior was bad.
Ulos Batak Colorful Traditional Clothes Market in Lake Toba Indonesia credit
Sam was a lazy boy. He just played around the river and never helped and respected to his parents. This boy was good at swimming and diving. He did it every day. Then Sibuatan asked Sam to help him in the field.

One-day Sam's mother told him to deliver his father's lunch. Unfortunately, Sam ate his father's lunch little by little while he walked. When he arrived at the field, the rest of the food was leftover.

Sibuatan got angry finding this fact. Every day Sam's is only playing, playing, and playing around.  When Sam got his first-time task, he failed. Sam asked to deliver his father's lunch.

Sam did not only arrive late but also had eaten the meal. Sibuatan could not control his anger anymore. He smacked and cursed his son.

"You are the son of a fish! You cannot teach well. All you want to do is playing in the river like fish. Get out of my sight!" he was furious.

The boy ran home and cried. Then Sam told his mother that his father cursed him as a son of a fish. His mother was sad to know that his husband had broken his oath.

Sibuatan told about her origin to their son. The woman then told Sam to climb the hill behind their house as high as he could. Without asking anymore, Sam went away.

When Sam's mother saw his son had climbed high the hill, she walked to the bank of the river. Then, thunder is strike one after the other. The woman jumped into the river. She transformed back into a big fish.

The rain came down hard with thunder rumbled. The river overflowed so fast and kept overflowed. The water fills the big valley circled the hill. Sam climbed this hill and covered by water.

Sam cried when he watched from the top of the hill, what had happened. The overflow from the river became a big lake with an island in the center.

That lake is known as Lake Toba, meanwhile, the hill named as Samosir Island. The name came from the words "the son (Sam) that chased move away (diusir)".

Related Posts


  1. Hungry people easily angry and said word meant to be unsaid. What a sad ending, but Danau Toba is really beautiful...