| home | site map | bibliographies | country | forum | links | studies | what's new | photogalleries | about us |


powered by FreeFind

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

Toba Batak ulos pinunsaan commissioned by Vera Tobing in 1983 from a weaver in the Porsea area (Huta Banua - world village) on the south-east shore of Lake Toba when she had her business 'Vera's Ulos'. It is 200 cm x 111 cm with fringes of 9 to 10cm. The two ends (ulu/tampahan) of the central panel have intricate supplementary weft. Each end is different, especially the supplementatry motifs of the head/top (pinar halak) of the rows of supplementary weft. One represents the female and the other the male.

Note that a similar textile is woven to the south of Lake Toba in the Tarutung area and is known as an ulos ragidup (although this name is often used for all similar adat textiles from the Toba Batak wherever they have been woven). Niessen (1985) pages 167-8 refers to the ragidup being woven in the Silindung Valley and the pinunsaan in the Uluan region and notes that 'ragidup' has become the western rubric for all Toba Batak cloths with white end fields although it is not the Batak rubric and is, therefore, inaccurate. The two other textiles grouped with this ulos pinunsaan in the Vera Tobing collection photogallery are ulos ragidup and were woven in the Tarutung/Silidung Valley region of North Sumatra.


male end of the ulos pinunsaan

female end of the ulos pinunsaan
click on thumbnail image to go to enlargement
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.
If you have any comments on the tribaltextiles.info website please send them to us. If you have any general tribal textile comments or questions go to the tribaltextiles.info/community forum to share your thoughts and questions with an international community of enthusiasts.

this page last updated 16 April, 2009