Antique Pustaha Magic Book of Formulas & Rituals | Toba Batak
Here we have a mysterious antique Pustaha book of magic, full of black magic, formulas, health tips and rituals. Because we get into the subject matter, let's talk about how tactile the item is with the wood covers and bark pages. Then you have the magical gecko at the center of it all. The images will haunt you...don't cross them.
Pustaha is the magic book of the Toba Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia. The book contains magical formulas, divinations, recipes, and laws. The pustaha is written and compiled by a Batak magician-priest (datu).
A pustaha is written and composed by a Toba magician-priest, known as the datu (or sometimes the guru). A datu wrote the pustaha in Batak script using an ancient language style known as the hata poda. The word poda (or pědah in northern dialect) is an everyday Batak word meaning "advise", but in a pustaha, this word means "instruction" or "guide". The hata poda originates from the southern part of the Batak land with some Malay word additions. The pustaha is used by the datu as a reference for him and for his students for all kind of information related to magic, rituals, prescriptions, and divination. The pustaha is one of many magical instruments owned by a datu, the other are staffs that can assure good luck or cause illness, medicine horns, bamboo calendars and datu knives.
The antique mystical relic came out of a high end estate in Madison Wisconsin. I was told the age is likely the early 1900s.
The Batak magic book measures about 6 1/2" tall by 4 3/4" wide by 2 1/2" deep. There is perfect patina from age throughout the entire piece. There is one page with a slice through the bark (see pic). Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
Think about the power and haunting nature of the mythology in this manuscript. Sweet dreams!