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Title

'Ulos' (cloth)

circa 1900


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

Batak textiles were never pictorial nor did they include recognisable figures but consisted primarily of warp 'ikat' designs and simple geometric shapes. This ulos cloth clearly illustrates a coupling of indigenous and Christian signals. The pattering of the main body of the textile remains consistent with Batak design whilst the twined edge which was traditionally the work of men is quite literally intertwined with Christian text. The early mission schools which taught young Batak girls needlework also encouraged them to expand their repertoire of supplementary weft patterns to include the writing of the Latin alphabet. In this example, the text which reads 'slamat pake', can be translated from the Indonesian as meaning “well being to the wearer”. Whilst still providing talismanic properties, the twined edge of the cloth now embodies a new context for textile production and is engendered by Christian rather than animist notions of love and protection.


Details


Other Title

Ulos Sibolang


Place where the work was made

North Sumatra Indonesia


Cultural origin

Batak


Date

circa 1900


Media category

Textile


Materials used

cotton, dyes, gold thread; dark blue


Dimensions

279.0 x 90.2 cm


Credit

Gift of Gillian Green, VisAsia Foundation Member 2006


Location

Not on display


Accession number

197.2006