97.7 x 189.0 cm
The textiles woven by the Batak people were never pictorial nor did they include recognisable figures but consisted primarily of warp 'ikat' designs and simple geometric shapes. Specific combinations of colours and stripes serve different talismanic or healing functions. This example consists of a striking arrowhead pattern in dark stripes set against a rich maroon background and decorated with a supplementary weft weave in a metallic yarn. Used as a carrying cloth, it would have been presented by the maternal grandparent on the birth of their daughter's first child.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000
Mattiebelle Gittinger, Splendid symbols: textiles and tradition in Indonesia, Singapore, 1990.
Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, Textile traditions of Indonesia, Los Angeles, 1977.
Robyn Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia : tradition, trade and transformation, Canberra, 1990.