island in Danau (lake) Toba, Sumatera Utara propinsi (North Sumatra province), Sumatra, Indonesia. Approximately 200 sq mi (520 sq km) in area, the island occupies nearly half the lake and is joined to its western shore by an isthmus, at which point is the island's principal town, Pangururan. In the east, the island rises to 5,350 ft (1,630 m), but the level of the surrounding water is 2,989 ft. The mountain Dolok Pusubukit on the isthmus joining Samosir to the mainland is believed to have been the home of the first Batak, the mythical first ancestor of the Batak people, who inhabit much of Sumatera Utara. The Samosir Batak grow rice, raise cattle, fish in the lake, and raise shallots and garlic for sale. They are mainly Christian, with ancestor worship still important. The island contains many ancient megaliths; tourism is increasingly important to the eastern side of the island.

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Universalium. 2010.

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