Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WHAT IS ULOS BATAK, TRADITIONAL SCRAFT OF NORTH SUMATRA

Exhibiton at ITB Bandung 2009
ULOS Batak, it sound familiar to our ears is a local scrafts  as a part of Batak cultures. The Ulos was produced by traditional non machinery hard wares, pedal manually, generally done by women in Toba villages around Toba lake, North Sumatera province, Indonesia.  Last September 2009 Insitut Tehnology Bandung (University), West Java, held an special exhibition for Ulos Batak.

Another districts, provinces or islands in Indonesia also produced almost similar designs, colorful, some more expensive, like one of Sumba and Timor productions, Palembang songket and Makassar, nylon sarongs. The differences between other scrafts with Ulos Batak is that Ulos scrafts close related to the traditions and cultures, didn't used in daily life and the others kinds using in daily life.

Ulos Batak used in every occasion in life cycle, from birth, baptized, married until to deaths, to show how the family relationhip, not only in the same clan, but also inter relation among diffrent clans as well. Foto below is my mother in law came thousand of miles away from Jambi city, South Sumatera, the west part of the country travel to the east., Timor island, East Nusateggara. She didn't forget to blessed her beloved  ones, by placed an Ulos Batak onto 4 her grandchildren. The small ceremony occured over a dinner after  small talks and told about how she loved her grandchildren with prayer that God will blessed.


In traditional wedding event,  a parent of bridge groom will placed an special Ulos to the new spouse soon after small speech of blessing and prayer. In the middle of the ritual parents will sing a special song called "Borhat ma dainang" say Good bye my dear girl. Some parents just asked  the singers sing that special song while they placed the Ulos. In that occasion some parents dropped a tears of two in placing its as a symbol of good bye.
Below photo when I'd placed an Ulos on to my daughter and son in law
Every single family, friends come to the wedding took a piece of Ulos for every single family. Before ceremonies ended, all closed families and some extended families, even a friend couple, spend a little while longer forming a long line and every body had the opportunity to placed the Ulos to the couple. The line groups family by family, and would assigned someone as a speaker of the families group. Is that why Batak wedding took a whole day from early in the morning till twilight time. The interesting to see is that some families perform a Batak dance movement before placing the Ulos, while the Band singers sing a special, request songs.

Unbelievable that  some of the guests never met with  the host before the wedding. They are  the families related to our  grandparents from both sides.They they represented  the clan of both sides to honor the hosts and our decent grandparents.  Right photo are dancers from my mother side, Pandiangan clan

The Ulos then expand the usage beyond Bataks culture and  took advantage in social relationship as well, some like a Non Batak came to North Sumatera, awarded Ulos in special ceremony in front of a goup audiences. In my working envinroment too, we ever given an Ulos to our two BRI Branch Manager (old and new manager) in Kebumen, Central Java, as photo below.By accident a group of 25 Bank BRI branch managers including 4 Bataks participants jointed a special training in Manila, the Philippines. We took advantage to presented an Ulos to our Consultant from Germany witnessed by Bank BRI Pres Director, Permadi, photo above.  









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