The Batak script, or surat Batak, is sometimes used to write the Batak
languages, which are spoken in the north of Sumatra in Indonesia.
Traditionally the Batak script was only used by datu (priests),
and they used it to write magical texts and calendars.
Batak is thought to be a descendent of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts,
which ultimately were derived from the Brahmi
script of ancient India. Or it might be a descendent of a hypothetical
Proto-Sumatran script, with Pallava influences.
After Europeans - first German missionaries, then the Dutch - began
visiting Batak-speaking areas from 1878 the Batak script was taught in
schools, along with the Roman alphabet, and teaching and religious material
was published in the script.
Not long after the First World War missionaries decided to stop using the
Batak script in books. Since then the script has been used mainly for
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet - each consonant (aksara) has
an inherent vowel. Other vowels or the absence of vowels can be indicated
using diacritics which appear above, below or after the consonant
Direction of writing: traditionally written from bottom to top in vertical columns
running from left to right on strips of bamboo held together with