| 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

This fine ulos sadum measuring 68 x 204 cm was woven by Tianur br.Hutabarat when she was living in Huta Sisunggulon, a village in the Silindung valley near Tarutung, North Tapanuli, North Sumatra. She would have been around 14-18 years of age in a period of her life before marriage known by the Batak as namarbaju. (She married in 1942.) According to a younger sister, Tianur wove because she enjoyed weaving and was good at it as she was good at most things that she set her hand to. Her skill is demonstrated by this fine supplementary weft textile. At the time of her namarbaju she was the eldest daughter of a wealthy man. Later, however, her father spent all his money and was bankrupt. At least one of her younger sisters had to weave from the age of 10 not for pleasure but to help to support the family.

Woven into the sadum are the words:
Damema Dihita Saluhutna (May peace be with us all)
Sahatma Tuhita Parulianni (May blessings be upon us)
Aut Unang Ho Djambarhu Ale Jesus Ende 198 (If you are not my refuge, Oh Jesus, Psalm 198 ).
Jahowa Si Pormahan Au Ende 188 (The Lord is my Shepherd, Psalm 188)

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 20 March, 2014