Batak Batik Costume


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Introduct Batak Batik

North Sumatra Province is one of the provinces in Indonesia that is well-known for producing high-quality textile crafts, particularly Ulos woven rugs and mats. Batak traditional weaving, known as ulos, is made up of woven designs that depict the tribes of North Sumatra.

The theme conveys a moral message and meaning, such as the social rank of the community and the customs of the family. In addition to weaving, the people of North Sumatra developed new textile works in the form of batik, which included written and stamped batik.

The Ulos woven pattern is the inspiration for this North Sumatra batik. Batik from the province of North Sumatra. The traditional Batak woven fabric served as the inspiration for the theme ideas developed by the craftsmen. The result was that a plethora of styles of North Sumatra batik emerged in the hands of talented artisans.

Traditional Batak Textiles

The use of textiles is not limited to accessories in Batak culture; they are also important aspects of ceremonial life, and they play an important role in the exchange of gifts and the celebration of life-cycle rites. Clothes are given as gifts on a number of significant occasions, following strict guidelines established by the kinship network.

Each end panel of the Simelungun people's bulang head-cloths, which are given to a bride by her parents and worn by married women, is distinguished by a distinct repeating lozenge design, which can be differentiated as either male or female. In order to weave these designs in supplemental weft, we used a warp substitution method in which a second set of white warp threads was used to replace the red warp thread during the weaving process. It has been suggested that the intricate nature of weaving is used not only to create beautiful fabrics, but also to imbue them with symbolic and ceremonial significance.

In the Batak culture, weaving is generally associated with females, and fabric is ritually transferred from women to men in exchange for metal objects. Although they can be viewed as a whole, Batak textiles are composed of (female) warps and (male) wefts, and a single fabric can contain designs that are representative of both genders.

Batak Textile Designs

It is the division of Batak textiles into three pieces that is the most immediately noticeable design feature; two identical, plain sides surround an alternating patterned center. It is further subdivided into male and female components in the textile industry. A seamless union of male and female components results in a finished textile.

Batak textiles can be viewed as a spiritual endeavor to comprehend the intricacies of life's many facets and complexities. Despite the fact that each component is significant, the overall composition is composed of conventional patterns that have been imbued with a certain amount of individuality. Because they lack any significant meaning, rough textiles, despite the fact that they are made from scraps, are not highly valued.

Historically significant designs that have been passed down through matrilineal lineages since time immemorial are used to create the most valuable textiles. So weaving serves as a connection to one's ancestors, which is especially important to the Batak people.

Types of Batak Textiles

An important ceremonial textile in Toba tribes, the ulos ragi hotang from the Balige area south of Lake Toba was one of the most significant ceremonial textiles, traditionally given by the bride's family to either the groom or his father.

The ragi hotang or rattan pattern — also known as the stippled ikat — is said to symbolize longevity. A woman received the ulos ni tondi (soul cloth) from her parents during her first pregnancy in order to protect her and her family, as well as to grant her long life and fertility.

The indigo-dyed surisuri and the ulos sibolang, both of which are commonly worn as shoulder cloths, are examples of textiles that could have been given for this reason. A traditional method of weaving in which designs are dyed into the warp threads before weaving, is used to embellish both fabrics.

They are well-known for their hand-woven textiles, which are produced by the Toba Batak people, who live in the heart of the region. These outfits are entirely made by women, and they are worn as traditional clothing as well as ceremonial gifts of exchange during religious ceremonies. Beautiful and majestic fabrics, with solemn and dignified patterns and colors, are traditionally created by Batak women, who are skilled weavers.

An important type of fabric, ulos ragidup, has traditionally been used in wedding rituals and is considered sacred by many people. It is this cloth that is handed over by the father of the bride to the mother of the bridegroom on the day of the wedding. As a result of this symbolic act, the two families are reunited and the couple's fertility is guaranteed. As with jewelry and other household items, it is then passed down from one generation to the next as a family heirloom.

Batak weaving and textile traditions are dynamic, evolving in response to and adapting to changing conditions.... One type of ulos godang shoulder cloth, for example, has two weft bands that are inscribed with the romanized Indonesian phrase 'Selamat Pake,' which literally translates as 'blessings to the wearer'.

Though these textiles are made by the Angkola Batak in the Sipirok region, the Toba Batak may choose to wear them in order to gain recognition or to demonstrate their affiliation with Islam. The borders of this fabric, as well as the borders of many other Batak textiles, are completed using a weft twining method known as sirat, a pattern that was used by both men and women; however, outside of textiles, only males were known to write in their native language.

Batak Ulos Textiles

Fabrics known as "ulos," made with meticulous attention to detail, are not only produced to be worn as clothing, but also to serve as major status symbols, priceless heirlooms, or ceremonial gifts at various stages of the human life cycle, ranging from birth, marriage, and death.

With the advent of modernization, the non-mechanized upright loom was developed. Purchased cotton yarn has supplanted the handcrafted variety, and synthetic colorings have supplanted the handcrafted variety. Synthetic colorings are purchased in shops and used to manufacture lower-cost versions of current designer garments or sold to tourists.

In all of the different types of ulos, the ulos sibolang is the most commonly used. This is the blue ulos, which has light blue patterns on it and arrowheads on the ends of its tails. It is referred to as selendang and is used as a sarong or a shoulder shawl in some parts of Indonesia.

A wedding tradition in Indonesia is to wrap the ulos ragi hotang (spotted rattan fabric) around the shoulders of both the bride and groom in the hope that the marriage, like the rattan, will be long lasting and characterized by strong conjugal bonds. Also, when a newborn boy is born, the ulos ragi hotang is utilized. A very well-designed wide edge with tassels is often found on this type of ulos, which adds to its overall appearance.

A male's or their widow's ulos ragi hidup (also known as the pattern of life) is a ceremonial garment that is only worn in rare rituals. An ulos with a primary red field (or badan) and two white strips of delicately ornamented pieces at the top and bottom ends consists of a red field and two white strips of delicately ornamented pieces. A large ulos is created by sewing two red side strips to the entire fabric and sewing them together.

Women weaving in front of their homes near Lake Toba are becoming increasingly difficult to spot these days. In Tongging, Paropo, and Silalahi, three villages located on the northwestern shore of Lake Toba's western shore, true traditional ulos fabrics, known as sitelu huta, are still being produced (three villages).

Trade places, on the other hand, can be found in Pematang Siantar and Balige.. Also widely available in Tomok and Tuktuk are tourist shops and artisan markets where Ulos can be purchased by the pound.

Who are the Batak People?

The Batak are a group of ethnic tribes from north-central Sumatra, Indonesia, who speak a language that is distinct from other Asian languages. In most cases, indigenous outsiders invented the word Batak during pre-colonial times and it was later adopted by Europeans.

It has also been used as a self-designation by other tribes such as the Toba, Karo, Simalungun, Pak Pak, Mandailing, and Angkola, though to a lesser degree. Separate languages that are members of the Austronesian language family are spoken by them, and they both use the same writing system. As of the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Batak population numbered around 6.1 million people.

Before 1825, the Batak people lived in relative isolation in the hills surrounding Sumatra's Lake Toba, descended from a powerful Proto-Malayan race that inhabited the area around the lake. It was around the second or third century CE that Indian concepts of administration and literature, as well as religious components, arts and crafts, began to have an impact on the Batak people. But they did not unite to form one state, and are now divided into six cultural groups, as shown in the diagram below.

Marga clans, which are exogamous patrilineal clans, exist among these people. Their version of bridewealth involves the husband's family sending gifts and providing services to the wife's family; once a certain percentage of the agreed-upon gifts has been received, the bride is officially admitted to her husband's group. When it comes to the Toba Batak, a traditional hamlet is made up of a number of clan homes, but in the Karo division, everyone lives in a single longhouse or a number of longhouses.

Batak Spiritual Beliefs

Muslims or Christians make up the vast majority of Bataks in their homeland, as well as the vast majority of Batak migrants to Sumatra and Java. As a result, the Batak are stereotyped as being unusually devout monotheists in Indonesia; both the southern Batak Muslim pilgrim to Mecca and the Toba Batak Protestant pastor are stock characters in the national dramatis personae when people from other ethnic backgrounds think of these Sumatran peoples.

In the same way that Batak culture in general is ethnically diverse, syncretic, and dynamic, so is Batak traditional religion, which is inextricably linked to both village social organizing systems and Indonesia's monotheistic national culture.

It was customary for the old Batak communities to have three storeys, which corresponded to the three levels of their universe: the upper, middle, and lower worlds. The higher world, the domain of the gods, was represented by the soaring ceiling. Because it was elevated above ground on pillars, the dwelling level represented the human world's mid-planet level.

The lower realm, which is said to be the home of a mythical dragon, is represented by the area below the animal's living quarters. A large number of carved animal heads served as the primary decorative elements of communal dwellings. In addition to serving as protective devices, these sculptures were placed at the ends of side beams and were capable of releasing positive energy as well as shielding the residents from illness or bad energy.

Like many religious traditions in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the seasonal cycle of rice production operations, as well as the local kinship structure, are at the heart of ancient Batak myths and rites. In the Batak religions, these two worlds are linked to a greater cosmic order, which is reflected in religious art forms (traditional home design and layout, village spatial arrangement, and wood carving), as well as ceremonial activities (dances, oratory, and gift-giving ceremonies).

Among the most powerful members of a Batak society were the Datu, who were ritual experts. Often, they were members of the village's founding family who were recognized as religious authorities. Their abilities included healing the sick, communicating with spirits after death, and foretelling favorable days for specific events. These professionals, who were all men, had a variety of abilities.

The ceremonial staff of a datu is his most valuable possession, and it is made of a special wood that represents the tree of life. They all have a distinct look and feel, which is due to the fact that each one is designed by an expert. Tungkot malehat ("smooth staff") is the most basic type of ceremonial staff, consisting of a single wooden or metal figure affixed to the top end of the shaft. Tungkot malehat is pronounced "smooth staff."

By infusing the figurines with pupuk, a mystical concoction, the specialists "animate" or activate the power of the figures. Despite the fact that this chemical is extremely potent, it can only be preserved in specific containers such as hollow water buffalo horns, wooden pots, and Chinese trade pottery.

Singing wooden puppets known as si gale gale are made by the Toba Batak people. For affluent men who did not have male heirs to carry out their funeral rites, these puppets were used in their burial ceremonies. The puppets were sculpted in the likeness of the deceased person, dressed in clothing, and outfitted with a complex system of internal strings that was operated by a puppeteer to create the illusion of the deceased. When the puppets were finished dancing among the mourners, they were stripped naked and thrown over the town walls, signaling the end of the festivities.

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