Monday, May 28, 2007

Ulos Batak --011

Ulos Sitoluntuho

Material: Cotton
Region: Lake Toba
Dimensions: C. 30 X 82 inches

An old, fine condition, indigo dyed ikat ceremonial cloth from the Lake Toba Batak, the ritually important Ulos Sitoluntuho, or surisuri. Deeply saturated colors with very little fading. Some historical mending, very well done. Sandra Niessen, in her BATAK CLOTH AND CLOTHING, states that these sorts of indigo dyed cloths are part of a nucleus of the Batak textile tradition, with more than one hundred other design types within that tradition that are only additions to this elegant blue core. (p36) Ulos sitoluntuho can be worn by poor people at weddings as a substitute for the powerful and ritually charged ulos ragidup and ragi hotsang. Surisuri can also be utilized as an ulos ni tondi, or soul cloth, worn by an individual at religious ritual cermonies. An ulos ni tondi is very peronalized and such a cloth may accompany a person through out her or his life, believed to empower the owner even to the extent of curing illiness and healing injuries.

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