The batak is a frame drum used by the Temiar indigeneous people originating in the Cameron Highlands vicinity. The batak frame is made from a hollowed out merbau log while the head is traditionally made from goat or deer skin. Nowdays, it is often made out of a woven sack due to the shortage of such skins. The head is attached to the frame using ropes made from rattan while wood or cork is used as rough tuning pegs.
Training is passed down from parent to child. The drum is used to accompany call and response songs in healing rituals. The drum may not be allowed to use or even touched for between one week to one month after a death occurs in the tribe. After this period, the drum is re-launched by holding a feast or kenduri during which only seasoned drummers may play it to avoid dead spirits taking offense at mistakes.
Batak drummers play while seated cross legged on the floor with the drum positioned on the left knee. Two types of drum strokes are used, a closed tap played by the left hand and an open strokes played by the right hand. Two to three drummers may play simultaneously, together with 3-5 players of paired bamboo stampers or awar.