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Dairi Stories Originally Written on Bamboo in Van Der Tuuk's Collection of Batak Manuscripts

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Chapter Summary

In the preface to his catalogue of Batak manuscripts in Leiden University Library, Voorhoeve writes that this collection is unique because it contains 'a treasure of folk-stories that were transmitted orally'. Voorhoeve suggested that the texts collected by Van der Tuuk must be investigated in order to research the style of Batak stories, and that it is best to focus on the literature of one Batak dialect, as there are pronounced differences in language, style, and the stereotype elements of the stories. This chapter focuses on Dairi stories, particularly on those collected in Or 3406, number IX of the bound volumes. The transcriptions and the note are in Van der Tuuk's own handwriting, so there is no reason to doubt the validity of this remark. As these stories must have been written on bamboo before Van der Tuuk transcribed them, they may be assumed to represent an 'original Batak style'.

Keywords: Batak manuscripts; Dairi stories; Van der Tuuk; Voorhoeve



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