Monday, May 28, 2007

Ulos Batak --009

Ulos Ragi Hotang

Material: Cotton
Region: Lake Toba
Dimensions: C. 56 x 78 inches

Ulos Ragi Hotang is the Lake Toba Batak name given to a ceremonial ikat cloth that is worn at the ceremonies that attend the birth of a boy baby and also at wedding ceremonies. At a wedding, the groom’s father drapes the cloth over the shoulders of the bride and groom while wishing them happiness and a large family. This is a spectacular, older ragi hotang, woven on a backstrap loom and featuring the requisite white stippled motif on an indigo dyed ground. Some say that this design motif represents rattan bark, a symbol for toughness and longevity. The end border bands feature multicolor supplementary weft decoration finished nicely with the classic twined fringe. This category of ulos is not as immediately overwhelming as many of the other well known and recognizable Batak weavings, but for the afficianado the ragi hotang is peerless as far as fine, complex craftsmanship is concerned. This cloth is a powerful weaving, only shown and used in traditional Batak life transition ritual and ceremony.

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