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Vol. 35. Núm. S2.
The 3rd International Nursing and Health Sciences Students and Health Care Professionals Conference (INHSP)
Páginas S558-S560 (Enero 2021)
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Vol. 35. Núm. S2.
The 3rd International Nursing and Health Sciences Students and Health Care Professionals Conference (INHSP)
Páginas S558-S560 (Enero 2021)
Open Access
The tradition of Mambosuri Toba Batak traditional ceremony for a pregnant woman with seven months gestational age for women's physical and mental health
Immanuel Silabana, Robert Sibaranib,
Autor para correspondencia
a Postgraduate Department in Linguistics, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
b Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
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Table 1. Meanings and components in the Mambosuri Tradition.
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Vol. 35. Núm S2

The 3rd International Nursing and Health Sciences Students and Health Care Professionals Conference (INHSP)

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This study aimed to determine the process and meaning of the mambosuri tradition for the physical and mental health of Toba Batak women who give birth to their first child.


This research was conducted with qualitative methods with interactive models and anthropolinguistic approach.


Mambosuri tradition (7 months) in the Toba Batak tradition is carried out as an initiation, a means used to overcome anxiety in ancient times. In Mambosuri, life was inadequate, causing the death of many women who were pregnant with their first child. The process of mambosuri begins with the welcoming of female family members by male family members. The pregnant women are given their favorite food (sipanganon), a traditional fabric (ulos), rice (boras si pir ni tondi), traditional food (tudu-tudu sipanganon), and inspiring words (hata sigabe-gabe).


The tradition of mambosuri is hope and prayer at the time of mambosuri, thus increasing the physical and mental health of a 7-month-old mother will feel calmer and believe there is nothing to worry about until there is nothing to worry about the birth arrives.

Pregnant women
Toba Batak
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In the Toba Batak community, traditional ceremonies can be classified into three, namely traditional ceremonies, religious ceremonies, and ceremonies related to the environment. The Toba Batak people value each rite by practicing it in various traditional ceremonies, such as life cycle traditional ceremonies, traditional ceremonies related to agricultural fertility and livelihoods.1,2

Traditional ceremonies carried out in the Toba Batak community are closely related to local wisdom, which is rooted and sourced from the teachings and cultural values of the community that have been going on for a long time. Apart from containing the values of the local culture, this local wisdom also contains universal values. Because of the content of these universal values, local wisdom is deemed necessary as a guide in social life.3,4

The traditional ceremony during pregnancy which is still often carried out in the Toba Batak tradition, is the Mambosuri tradition. The term Mambosuri ‘makes full’ is a ritual of giving the wife's parents food to prospective mothers whose womb has entered the age of seven months. Symbolically, this tradition gives meaning to maintaining the health and safety of the mother-to-be and the baby she is carrying, and other family members displayed in various traditional ceremonies. Life cycle ceremonies in anthropology are called crisis rites because the ceremonies leading to the transition and change in status or level of human life are described as full of obstacles and challenges that can endanger human life. Ceremonies are then held to ward off the dangers that will hinder the journey of human life. In the life of the Batak community, this ceremony is called Mambosuri, whose function is to foster hope that the mother and future babies are healthy.5,6

Language as a means of delivering good prayers and hopes occurs to those who receive food. Therefore, in addition to providing traditional food, the Mambosuri tradition is also given words of encouragement and prayers to hope that the pregnant mother will be safe when she gives birth to her first child.7,8


The research method applied in this study was a qualitative paradigm with an interactive model. The interactive model of the qualitative paradigm used four interactive steps: data collection, data condensation, data display, and conclusion drawing/verification (Fig. 1). The anthropolinguistic approach was applied in this study with the analytic parameters interconnection, valuability, and sustainability. When applying three interactive analyses in data condensation, data display, and conclusion drawing or verification, it was used in data analysis.9 As a qualitative research, the researcher built complex and holistic pictures, analyzed words, reporting detailed views of information from informants, processed by purposive sampling. The researcher conducted the study in the natural setting with an emic and inductive perspective. This research was conducted at Tipang Village, Baktiraja District, Humbang Hasundutan Regency, North Sumatera Province, for 6 months in Maret-September 2020.

Fig. 1.

Interactive model of the qualitative standard.

Result and discussion

The results of the study are presented in Table 1 as follows.

Table 1.

Meanings and components in the Mambosuri Tradition.

No.  The components are given at the mambosuri tradition  Is given by  Meaning 
Dengke simudur-udur  Hula-hula ‘The wife Giver’  The life that is always together and peaceful 
Tudu-tudu sipanganon  Boru ‘The wife Receiver’  In honor of the wife's family who came 
Lampet  The wife receiver  Food custom 
Tuak takkasan  The wife receiver  Drink Custom ‘As a body immune booster’ 
Ulos Tondi  The wife Giver  Symbol of love between parent and child 
Boras si pir ni tondi  Family  a symbol of blessings and strength 
The performance of the mambosuri tradition in the Toba Batak culture

After the parents of the prospective mother (called Parboru) find out that their daughter is already pregnant, seven months old, they share the happy news with their relatives. On the appointed date, they came to the residence of their son-in-law. They came to show their concern for their daughter to be vibrant and healthy throughout her pregnancy.10

The process begins with eating with all close relatives. The food brought by Parboru is traditional Batak Toba food in the form of dengkesimudur-udur “Goldfish Cooked with Batak Spices” then served in front of the daughter and daughter-in-law. However, the first time can eat the dish is the future mother. Usually, the daughter is fed by the mother. After her daughter was full, those present could taste the food, including her husband. After eating together, the parboru family encourages their daughter and relieves anxiety while waiting for the delivery process, then gives messages about how to give birth and when to care for her child later.

In this traditional ceremony, there is also a ritual of giving ulos tondi which is wrapped around the daughter and son-in-law. Usually, this ulos is not only given by the parents of the daughter, but also by the relatives of the wife's parents. This symbolizes mental and physical strength, especially for the mother, to be given strength and enthusiasm in facing giving birth in the future.11

Meaning of Mambosuri tradition for the health of mental and women's physicality

The Mambosuri tradition in the Toba Batak culture is carried out to give enthusiasm, attention, and good prayers from the families of women and men to their daughters who want to give birth to their first child. The meaning of the Mambosuri tradition for maternal and child health is that prospective mothers are healthy and eager to prepare for the day of birth, Praying prayers to God Almighty, so that later at birth, the mother and baby are healthy, the child who is born becomes a devoted child and brings pride to parents and his extended family.12

The traditional food in goldfish Dengke placed on top of rice on a large plate symbolizes life welfare. The woman's parents give this food to her daughter who is pregnant for seven months with the intention that through the provision of food in the form of dengke so that one day she is always healthy in waiting for the birth of her child, and is given a good fortune in their family. The parents of the wife give food to “fish”. The food that is given is meaningful so that the pregnant mother is healthy and eagerly awaits the birth of her baby. The child born is healthy. The child brings happiness. Before giving dengke, it was preceded by pasahat hata ‘the delivery of the word encouragement’, which ended with a ‘poetry containing prayer and hope’.13

Apart from the main food, namely dengke, the parents of the wife also provide food according to their daughter's preferences. The parent accompanies the daughter through the meals provided until she says Nunga bosur is “full”. This means that all good things have been fulfilled, so there will be a new spirit to meet the time of birth.14

The Batak Toba people believe that every food consumed has the power of tondi ‘strength for the soul’, so the eating process must be done in a state of peace and calm. The purpose of organizing feasts and giving food in the mambosuri tradition is to get pasu-pasu ‘blessings’ from God Almighty. The traditional food served is an expression of respect for guests and at the same time an expression of the desire to get a prayer of blessing that is expressed at the time of giving the meal.15

The ritual is continued with the giving of ulos ‘traditional Batak cloth’, which is called ulos mangiring, which is pinned on the shoulders of the daughter and son-in-law. Giving ulos means that it acts as the glue of affection between husband and wife as well as an expression of family affection for them.


The mambosuri tradition is carried out with the hope that through the provision of traditional food and Batak ulos by female parents, the function of which is to foster enthusiasm for the mother and future baby to be healthy. This tradition is good to do to reduce the number of anxiety in pregnant women in facing the day of delivery and stress during pregnancy. For this reason, mambosuri tradition needs to be carried out and preserved so that it becomes a traditional legacy for future generations.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


I would like to acknowledge my supervisor Prof. Dr. Robert Sibarani, M.S (Promotor), DIKTI, PMDSU,and Universitas Sumatera utara.

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