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Vera Tobing collection

(A study of a group of Toba Batak textiles most of which were inherited from two Batak women who were born in the last decade of the 19th Century and second decade of the 20th Century in villages around Tarutung, North Tapanuli, in North Sumatra (also known as the Silindung Valley)) - compiled by Pamela A Cross and Maria DRT Ambesa

these images are and may not be reproduced without the express permission of Pamela A Cross and Vera Tobing

click on main photo enlargement to go to Vera Tobing collection photogallery - click on any thumbnails to go to further photo enlargements

Jakobus L Tobing

Pamela, please forgive me for my big mistake about the place of grave of Mrs. Ernestina and her husband ( my memory is not very good, ya! ). They were buried in Pematang Siantar ( Mr. Theodoric on 1971, and Mrs. Ernestina on 1982 ). The bones that we moved - from P.Siantar to Tarutung - on 1980 were Mrs. Ernestina's mother in-law's. Moved to be buried beside her husband Mr.Jakobus L.Tobing ( the son of Raja Amandari Sabungan L. Tobing, and he was the keeper of "Surat Balga" / Great Letter where Raja Amandari and Nommensen become brothers was written ).
*If I could defend my self for this mistake, I would say because of we used to call the elder all the same, only : ompung! :-D

Mrs. Ernestina's mother in law was lived with her family in Siantar since Mr. Jakobus L. Tobing died. 1956, Mrs. Jakobus died, when Mrs. Ernestina's husband was out of town for his duty. HKBP church didn't make service for Mrs. Jakobus death ( my mother haven't told me yet the reason of HKBP ). When Mrs. Ernestina had have found out about it he was very upset and decided to be out from HKBP and became Catholic communion.

The Tobing clan are:
- Ompung Sumurung in Saitnihuta village
- Ompung Sumuttul in Parbubu village

Mr Teodorik's mother's bone were moved to Tarutung to be with her husband, Mr Jakobus (not Mr Elkana). So Mrs Ernestina's parents in law's grave is in Tarutung, rightly in Sirau-rau far from town because it is on the way to Sibolga.

Raja Amandari Sabungan L. Tobing (called Ompung Sumurung) lived in Sahit Ni Huta. He had three sons: Mr Issak, Mr Jakobus, and unknown. Mr Jakobus had two sons: Unknown, and Mr Theodorik. Mrs Oloan remember why the family of Mr Jakobus left Tarutung; might be because of the stress of family because Mr Jakobus died when Mr Teodorik and brothers were small, and Mrs Jakobus worried if she had to marry one of her brother in law. Plus, because the surat Balga; Mr Amandari gave it to Mr Jakobus and it was a cause of a kind of jealousy of Mr Jakobus's brothers.
Mr Teodorik's brother died before he got married.
I am sorry for the lack of information of the names of Mr Jakobus's brothers; my mother said Mr Simon is the one who knows best since he has the family tree of our Tobing. Frankly, this moment I have no willing to make contact with him or his family because of a family's matter that happened recently (I haven't told you about). I hope you understand.
But I promise you when I get more info from other family member I will tell you.

4.I have to search the home of Surat Balga in internet, they said it is in a museum in German. My anunty Mrs Imelda said Mr Simon keeps the original and maybe the museum keeps the original copy. Oh, when will I be friend again to Mr Simon ya?



ulos in the Vera Tobing collection photographed by Mari Pro Foto Studio, Jawa Barat Depok
click on main photo enlargement to go to Vera Tobing collection photogallery - click on any thumbnails to go to further photo enlargements
go to Indonesia country page - go to Indonesia photogalleries and articles
Maria DRT Ambesa is the daughter of Vera Tobing and an architect now living with her husband in Java. She has been the essential intermediary allowing these fine textiles and their story to be shared. She arranged for the family ulos to be photographed and has worked tirelessly, together with her mother, to track down information about the ulos, their weavers and to extract memories and photos of the past from a family who have been amazed that there should be any interest in their history or value placed on it as background to the textiles. Maria's patience, persistence and endless cheerful support plus her excellent English, have made the 'Vera Tobing collection' not only possible but a thoroughly enjoyable study to develop.

Both Pamela and Maria are very grateful indeed for the encouragement and advice which they have received from Sandra Niessen, a leading expert on the Batak and their textiles. See an autobiography and Batak references for more information about Sandra and her publications.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela A Cross. The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only and may not be reproduced in any form without the express permission of Pamela A Cross.
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this page last updated 1 June, 2006