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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:27 am 
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I thought that forum members might be interested in some advance information on what sounds an excellent new book on Batak textiles which is due to be published in mid 2007.

I believe that the title is likely to be: 'THE ANCIENT ART OF BATAK TEXTILES: THE LAKE TOBA TRADITION' (which may have changed from some earlier information at a link below). The book is authored by Dr. Sandra Niessen and will be published by the Lontar Foundation. Some advance information says: "The changes in the weaving practices in the vicinity of Lake Toba (Sumatra) represents a considerable loss to Batak and Indonesian culture, and also to scholarship. This four-part volume of astonishing magnitude and thoroughness promises to become a classic in the field of Indonesian textile studies, the importance of which will only increase as the Batak textile arts continue to transform and decline. It presents, in detail, 1) an analysis of the design features of the textiles, 2) a descriptive summary of the six style regions found around the lake, 3) a catalogue raisonnée of extant textile design types, from ancient to modern, found in European museums and in North Sumatran closets 4) a documentation of Batak textile construction techniques. Lavishly illustrated, the book is compelling for aficionados, collectors and textile scholars alike."

I have been fortunate to see some advance info on the book including the contents section which would certainly seem to justify the comment 'astonishing magnitude and thoroughness promises to become a classic in the field of Indonesian textile studies'. I look forward eagerly to the publication. Sandra Niessen has spent 25 years of collection and study, including fieldwork, and archival and museum research on which the book is based.

Batak enthusiasts will no doubt be aware of her earlier 1993 book 'Batak Cloth and Clothing: A Dynamic Indonesian Tradition' published in Kuala Lumpur by the Oxford University Press. You may not be aware of her 1985 book based on her PhD thesis and which I have recently tracked down: 'Motifs of Life in Toba Batak Texts and Textiles' published by Foris Publications in the Verhandelingen Series of the KITLV No. 110.

For a biography of Sandra Niessen see: ... iessen.htm

See another topic on this forum on a Batak textile exhibit running from Feb-Jul 2006 at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam which has been guest curated by Sandra Niessen ... =1811#1811

on-line tribal textiles resource

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