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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:05 pm 
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I am posting, particularly with John in mind, some photos of my Toba Batak ulos ragidup which I know he is keen to see. My apologies for the poor photo of the complete textile but, as I explained on an earlier post, I am not currently set up for photographing large textiles.

The ulos is 210x120 cms and of cotton – hand-spun, I believe, and of a lovely fine and soft quality. The piece is made up of 5 separate sections - two side warp faced indigo bands with some narrow supplementary warp stripes edging the middle panel; the middle panel has a centre of warp ikat very finely tied - see detail - and two separate, natural, supplementary weft blocks. The indigo dye on the centre panel is a different ‘tone’ than the indigo of the warp ikat threads. In the two natural supplementary weft panels the supplementary threads are indigo and a maroonish shade. Sylvia Fraser-Lu in her book ‘Handwoven Textiles of south-east Asia’, page178-180 discusses the woven cloths of the Batak. Fig. 218 on page 178 shows details of a Toba Batak ulos ragidup, illustrating the detailed geometric supplementary weft patterns at the pinar halak (the natural supplementary weft panels I refer to above). Fraser-Lu refers to the cloth being regarded
Quote:
‘as protective and may be given to a woman by her family during the last stages of her pregnancy. The supplementary patterns which vary slightly on the pinar halak, have a ‘male’ and ‘female’ end. These patterns are thought to contain information pertaining to the future and may be interpreted by a knowledgeable elder or shaman, called a dukun.'
The ‘male’ and ‘female’ designs show in the centre of the top-most row of the panels. Based on the Fraser-Lu illustrations I have marked which I believe to be ‘male’ and which ‘female’ in the images below.

Across the two plain side panels at their bottom ends are (different) bands of supplementary weft and across the whole of the ends of the ulos ragidup are bands of quite fine twining before the twisted fringe.

The textile is generally in very good condition except for some staining on the ‘male' pinar halak although this is actually less visible than it appears in the photos where the flash light seems to intensify the stains. The date of the texile may be 1930s.

In ‘Batak Cloth and Clothing: A Dynamic Indonesian Tradition’ by Sandra A. Niessen there is a discussion (page 33) about the geometric designs and ‘spirals, curves and meanders’ rendered in the supplementary weft and warp and the twining of some Batak textiles. These are supposedly
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‘the legacy of the Bronze Age in Indonesia. Conventional archaeological wisdom has it that metal was introduced to Indonesia around 100 BC from Dongson in Tonkin, present-day Vietnam. The impressive kettle drums found in Indonesia from that source are documents, cast in metal, of the repertory of motifs that entered Indonesia with those drums.’
Yes, you have it, we are back to our Dongson motifs!! I have another beautiful Toba Batak textile which includes swirls and scrolls in the exceptionally fine twining at each end.


Attachments:
File comment: 'ulos ragidup', Toba Batak, 210 x 120 cms
batak2_.jpg
batak2_.jpg [ 54.38 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]
File comment: 'male' supplementary 'pinar halak'
batak8_.jpg
batak8_.jpg [ 57.88 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]
File comment: detail of 'male' supplementary weft design in the 'pinar halak'
batak9_.jpg
batak9_.jpg [ 56.14 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]
File comment: 'female' supplementary 'pinar halak'
batak5_.jpg
batak5_.jpg [ 50.16 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]
File comment: detail of 'female' supplementary weft design in the 'pinar halak'
batak6_.jpg
batak6_.jpg [ 55.37 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]
File comment: Detail of warp ikat central panel
batak12_.jpg
batak12_.jpg [ 50.16 KiB | Viewed 5520 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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Last edited by Pamela on Sun Jul 18, 2004 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2004 11:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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I thought that I would post a couple of photos from my trip to the Lake Toba region in the north of Sumatra in March 1997. The photos show some of the traditional Toba Batak houses in a village near to Balige.

The ulos ragidup posted above was not purchased in this village but weaving was still taking place there (undertaken by the older women) although probably not any ulos ragidup of this quality. One, old ulos ragidup - as old or as fine as the one I post above - was produced from one of the houses shown in the photo - however, the son of the weaver (who lived in a modern house at the end of the village) did not want the textile sold away from the family. As well as a general shot of the Toba Batak houses I also show a more detailed shot of the decoration of the front end of a house.

(See my post on page one of http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=174 as well as John's post above mine on that thread)


Attachments:
File comment: Traditional style Toba Batak houses in a village near Balige in the Lake Toba region of Sumatra
9703B08_.jpg
9703B08_.jpg [ 46.06 KiB | Viewed 5505 times ]
File comment: Detail of a traditional style Toba Batak house in a village near Balige in the Lake Toba region of Sumatra
9703A37_.jpg
9703A37_.jpg [ 58.91 KiB | Viewed 5505 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Pamela's ulos
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Wow!

Thanks for the beautiful postings Pamela. These are amazing cloths. If you are like me, you too probably continue to think of the "one that got away" as you posted previously . What a display the pair wouild make side by side.

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 Post subject: ding dongson
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 3:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
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Location: California, USA
Hi Pamela,

What an exquisite textile! And it's always interesting to see the diffusion of very primal and ancient motifs throughout a geographical region. In this example, moreover, the motifs are all there, but the textile illustrates both its structural relationship to a specific cosmology, and the protective power of textiles during pregnancy and birth.

Sandie


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