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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:03 pm 
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My one Simalungun textile is a very nice old bulang (woman's headcloth).


Attachments:
bulang1.jpg
bulang1.jpg [ 69.78 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]
bulang2.jpg
bulang2.jpg [ 16.4 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]
bulang3.jpg
bulang3.jpg [ 14.45 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]
bulang4.jpg
bulang4.jpg [ 15.11 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]
bulang5.jpg
bulang5.jpg [ 12.66 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:40 am 
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lovely colors and texture ... can we see a picture of the whole cloth please!

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 Post subject: Batak twining
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Very nice presentation, Pamela!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:57 pm 
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In response to Chris' request above I post more photos of the Simalungun bulang headcloth. It also leads me to a question for Sandra, something which has been puzzling me ever since I first set eyes on and handled this cloth.

The bulang is a very interesting example of what Sandra refers to as 'warp substitution' i.e. at the ends of the centre red warps, white warps are substituted for the red (and there is detailed weft patterning on these white warps). When I first started my research of Batak textiles in earnest I managed to get hold of a copy of Sandra's article in the Textile Museum Journal of 1988-89: Exchanging Warp in the Batak Ragidup and Bulang. This shows in marvellous detail many photos of the warp substitution in the process of weaving a Simalungun bulang and some excellent diagrams. She refers to this in Legacy but does not have room to devote the same level of detail to the process. Following the article I almost felt I understood it fully (but not, you understand, actually execute it!)

Where the central warps are substituted the red warps are cut off and there are loops of the top of the white warps remaining across this central field.

In the central red warps prior to the substitution of white warps there are three narrow stripes of supplementary warp patterning, or is it 'warp float' (?) as I am not sure technically if the two terms are synonymous or mean different things. There is no doubt that you can see the floating white warp threads in these patterned warp stripes.

My puzzlement in relation to the bulang is which is the front and which is the reverse of the textile? In my bulang I would say that the front of the textile is where you do not see the loops of the warp substitution but do see the long floats of the warp patterned stripes - the textile is slightly faded on this face. I am surprised by this as I would have expected the long warp floats to be on the reverse as the detail of the patterning shows up much better on the other side i.e. I would have thought it would have been woven with both loops and floats on the same face.

I have attached several photos to show what I mean including one of both sides of the end, detailed weft patterning. You will see that, in a similar way to the Toba Batak ragidup and pinunsaan the end fields have slightly different designs.

I have had a look at photos of bulang in Legacy in cloth. Page 271, fig. Cat 7.4b seem to show a similar situation of loops in the central field on the same face as the more detailed warp stripe patterning i.e. the long floats are on the other side. It may be the same in the other bulang on this two-page spread but I cannot be quite certain.

In the TM article, page 51 it might be the opposite with warp floats and loops on the same side.

The bulang is used as a headcloth so it might be that the way it is tied would have the textile twisted so that both faces are displayed. It could be, of course, that the fading on my bulang is due to display fading not wear fading. I know it had been owned by a collector who acquired it in the 1980s and then his widow sold it to a dealer from whom I purchased it in 2007. I have looked at the photos of bulang being worn in Sandra's publications but the whole beautiful textile becomes very scrunched up and most of the glory of the weaving is hidden in the folds!

So, a small puzzle perhaps but one which has given me pause. It is a very nice textile indeed and the rich glow of the madder dye is lovely - as Chris noted!


Attachments:
File comment: bulang - half cloth 74"x13". Thought to be late 19th or early 20th century. Simalungun headcloth
b-hlf-bk.jpg
b-hlf-bk.jpg [ 67.64 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]
File comment: the two warp patterned ends of the bulang on different faces also hints of the central warp pattered stripes
b-ends2.jpg
b-ends2.jpg [ 88.55 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]
File comment: detail of the sides of the two ends with each end showing a different face
b-ends-side.jpg
b-ends-side.jpg [ 92.99 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]
File comment: central warp patterned stripe showing long floats
b-sup-wrp-det.jpg
b-sup-wrp-det.jpg [ 91.2 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]
File comment: central warp patterned stripe
b-sup-wrp-det2.jpg
b-sup-wrp-det2.jpg [ 93.6 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]
File comment: a not very good shot of the whole cloth giving an indication of its balance of length to width.
b-full-length.jpg
b-full-length.jpg [ 82.89 KiB | Viewed 7311 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Laverne has emailed me asking for details of the ragi hotang showing both sides of the twining as, in the earlier images, they appear as if they are warp faced weaving. This I have duly done and attach.


Attachments:
File comment: end patterning on the ragi hotang showing both faces side by side
ragi-hotang-T306.jpg
ragi-hotang-T306.jpg [ 95.41 KiB | Viewed 7303 times ]
File comment: detail of both faces of the patterning
ragi-hotang-T306d.jpg
ragi-hotang-T306d.jpg [ 88.91 KiB | Viewed 7303 times ]
File comment: close-up of detail of end border to compare with the next image
ragi-hotang-T308.jpg
ragi-hotang-T308.jpg [ 83.28 KiB | Viewed 7303 times ]
File comment: detail of end border on the other face
ragi-hotang-T309.jpg
ragi-hotang-T309.jpg [ 86.28 KiB | Viewed 7303 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Hi Pamela,

An interesting question -- but the answer does not lie where you are looking for it. The fringe of cut-off yarns fro the warp substitution technique does not appear to figure in the Batak estimation of what is the front and what is the back of this textile. Your first picture of the bulang is the one that depicts the front of the cloth. Why? Because of the rows of supplementary weft that look like dotted lines bordering the motifs in the white end fields. These "boundary" lines are only found on one side of the cloth.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Thank you so much Pamela for all these wonderful images. And thank you for going to the trouble of photographing the back of the textiles. This is so very different to the Rhade and Jarai twining that I have seen where the wefts only encase individual warps. It seems (as far as I can tell from the images) that the Batak sometimes float their wefts over more than one warp and so create not only interesting motifs but also beautiful textures. And I am blown away by the resemblance of some of the motifs to Andean ones! Dare I try to reproduce some of these....

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Sandra

Many thanks for your response. I am glad that there is some other overriding factor which determines the face of the cloth - the only thing is, I am not sure which 'white dots' you mean!

If I understand correctly, the first image I posted above shows the face of the cloth - and thus has the face of the end on the right of the image below is the Simalungun determined face - shown in close-up in the next shot. Are the vertical lines of white at the very edge (left and right) of the weft design (i.e. 'framing it') the ones that determine the face? I can see that they don't show in the end at the left of the image with two ends. I also note that the warp patterns in the centre of the cloth also look as I would expect to see on the face of a fabric and with the floating warp threads on the reverse.

Am I correct or......still struggling!!!

It would suggest that the fading of the textile happened as a result of light when the textile was displayed - and it was displayed with the reverse face of the cloth uppermost fitting with an aesthetic that thinks of the loops as something to be hidden! It makes sense as, if the cloth had been worn and faded in the sun it would not be a smooth, all over fade, but in certain parts only where those parts of the folded cloth were in the sun. There are no fold marks in the textile to suggest that it has been worn as a headcloth.


Attachments:
b-ends2.jpg
b-ends2.jpg [ 88.55 KiB | Viewed 3583 times ]
b-end-face-.jpg
b-end-face-.jpg [ 127.68 KiB | Viewed 3583 times ]

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 Post subject: front side of bulang
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:45 am 
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Hi Pamela,

In the image of the pair of ends of the bulang textiles, directly below your last post, the stippled rows that I am referring to are NOT present. The rows that I am referring to are horizontal not vertical; they are made with supplementary weft. The rows are made using the halved heddle technique (two heddle rods in the main heddles) that I refer to in Legacy on pages 510- 511 with direct reference to the bulang. And on page 511 you see the photograph and diagram explaining the horizontal rows above and below the main pattern rows. The photograph shows that the weaver has used a little more elaborate heddling to make her "boundary" lines. In the Toba textiles, these boundary lines are usually not that complex -- just simple stipples.

Hope this helps a little. If not, fire away and I will try to answer more clearly.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:50 pm 
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OK, I have the book, why didn't I read it in detail? Mea culpa! I have now done so and I post here what, I think, are equivalent photos from my bulang (which I keep putting away in a chest covered with lots of things which have to be removed every time I need to photograph it again...!)

The only thing I can say in any mitigation (very slight) is that I do not 'see' the two lines of supplementary weft as 'dots'.

So, if I have it right:

First photo:
the 'dotted' lines are, I think, the repeated two rows of supplementary weft between the bold patterns. (Similar shot to Fig.Tech 7.20 page 511 Legacy in cloth.)
Second photo:
this shows both faces of one end of the bulang as I have folded over half of the end - note that the 'dotted lines' of supplementary weft only show (clearly) on the left (although perhaps, hinted at on the right).
Third photo:
top of end of bulang showing the loops remaining from warp substitution and the 'dotted' lines of supplementary weft on top of bold patterning.

I seem to be more aware of some dark indigo/black weft threads in the natural/white threads behind the red design on the 'front face' (with dots..) as well as the supplementary warp patterns in the central length of the textile showing up well. The only thing that is counter intuitive to my non-Batak eyes are the loops from the warp substitution. However, as this represents very considerable skill it does, perhaps, deserve to be on the front face of the textile.

Hopefully I have learnt something and it will stick in my failing memory!

Of course, I may not have got it right even now......!


Attachments:
File comment: the 'dotted' lines are, I think, the repeated two rows of supplementary weft between the bold patterns. (Similar shot to Fig.Tech 7.20 page 511 Legacy in cloth.)
b-endweft-a.jpg
b-endweft-a.jpg [ 87.44 KiB | Viewed 7237 times ]
File comment: this shows both faces of one end of the bulang as I have folded over half of the end - note that the 'dotted lines' of supplementary weft only show on the left
b-endweft-2faces.jpg
b-endweft-2faces.jpg [ 88.33 KiB | Viewed 7237 times ]
File comment: top of end of bulang showing the loops remaining from warp substitution and the 'dotted' lines of supplementary weft on top of bold patterning
b-endweft-top-a.jpg
b-endweft-top-a.jpg [ 93.16 KiB | Viewed 7237 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: front of Batak bulang
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:13 am 
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Hi Pamela,

This looks right to me. I saw a beautiful sash in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, very old, possibly from the Silindung Valley in the Batak area and displaying the warp extension technique (as is found in the Ragidup textile type). What really sticks out in my mind is the subtlety of the row where the two warps were joined. It was very fine, not at all prominent, and drew no attention to itself whatsoever. I have never seen a modern piece so finely executed. Your bulang is an extremely beautiful example of this type of cloth, but the yarns used in it appear to be quite coarse and the join is (surprisingly to me) very prominent.

By the way, I don't remember every detail in every book in my bookshelves either and can't even profess to have read them all. Besides Legacy is no bedtime reading.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Hi Sandra

Being a terrier continuing to worry this bone......

I have got out my two Toba Batak ragidup which are from my 'Vera Tobing Collection' so I know something of their history. I have found it interesting to look at the area of warp exchange (I think you term it 'extension' for the ragidup). The deep maroon one with central white, black and light blue warp stripes was given as an ulos pansamot (gift from bride's parents to mother of groom) at the wedding on 27 Oct 1942 of their respective offspring http://www.tribaltextiles.info/articles ... l/VT05.htm . The one with the bold ikat stripes in the centre was given as an ulos tondi to the bride of that marriage, by her parents, when she was seven months pregnant with her first-born in August 1943. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/articles ... l/VT06.htm . They were originally Silindung Valley Toba Batak families and the bride's parents lived in Huta Sisunggulon (the bride was br. Hutabarat).

I believe from what you have told me before that the wedding ulos pansamot is the forerunner style of the ragidup and that the newer style - with central ikat - was coming into fashion at about the time these two ragidup were given as ceremonial textile gifts. Looking at the two textiles the older, striped centre ragidup is much finer in weaving both in the warp exchange and in the weft patterning.

What I find interesting is that, in both textiles, contrary to the example of the Simalungun bulang, the remaining loops from the warp exchange is on the reverse face of the textile from the visible 'dotted lines'. You can also see that the sewing on of the side panels is of equal quality on both faces on the ulos pansamot but the sewing is finer on the face with the loops (but very faint, almost non-existent dots) on the ulos tondi.

Just as a 'by the way' the older style ragidup looks and feels as if it has had more use. The newer style, later gift, appears as if it has had no use at all apart from the one ulos tondi gift ceremony. That may well be appropriate for the different generations of the recipients.

I attach some images which I hope illustrate what I am saying. In each case I have doubled over one face of the textile so that both faces can be seen at once side by side. I have then reversed the process so that both faces can be seen against the other side of the textile i.e. it is thus possible to compare the seam where the side panels have been sewn to the central panel on each face. In the bulang all the panels - centre and two borders - are woven as one textile. In the case of the ragidup the textile is woven as three panels, the centre and two separate side panels. The two side panels are usually woven as separate pieces but at the same time on one loom.

[images to follow in next two posts....]

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Last edited by Pamela on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: ragidup - ulos pansamot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Below are photos of the ragidup given as an ulos pansamot to the mother of the groom by the parents of the bride in Oct 1942:

The main colour of the textile is much more wine/maroon than it appears in the photos.


Attachments:
File comment: loops on top of weft on right, 'dots' showing strongly on left. Seam on left side
ragidup-VTup01.jpg
ragidup-VTup01.jpg [ 91.05 KiB | Viewed 7189 times ]
File comment: loops at the top of weft on the left, 'dots' showing strongly on the right. Seam still on left side but on reverse face of textile.
ragidup-VTup04.jpg
ragidup-VTup04.jpg [ 87.09 KiB | Viewed 7189 times ]

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 Post subject: ragidup - ulos tondi
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Ragidup given in Aug 1943 as ulos tondi by her parents to a woman seven months pregnant with her first child.

The warp patterned stripes on the side panels seem to have a clearer detail of pattern on the side where the loops are showing - as with bulang - but the 'dots' hardly show at all on this face.


Attachments:
ragidup-VTut05.jpg
ragidup-VTut05.jpg [ 98.65 KiB | Viewed 7173 times ]
File comment: loops on left and view of seam; strong 'dots' on right
ragidup-VTut02.jpg
ragidup-VTut02.jpg [ 89.33 KiB | Viewed 7173 times ]
File comment: loops on left, strong 'dots' on right. Also note seam on right on the face without the loops showing
ragidup-VTut06.jpg
ragidup-VTut06.jpg [ 85.15 KiB | Viewed 7173 times ]

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 Post subject: ragidup and bulang joins
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Hi Pamela,

Thank you for that interesting exercise in comparison. I had never compared the ragidup and bulang in that way. The extension and substitution techniques reach the same goal but they are performed in different ways. This all sounds like it is arriving at a field question, something to the effect of: what do the weavers think about the join? And then a review of the techniques of warp exchange to see why the two differ.

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