Woven Tales of Indonesia : Ulos

By Unit Pengelola Museum Seni

Ulos Mangiring (ca. 20th Century)Unit Pengelola Museum Seni


Pride, love and bonds of people, family and communities in North Sumatra mountains. According to the Batak people, there are three sources of warmth for humans that is Sun, Fire and Ulos. 

Ulos Shoulder Cloth / Selendang Ulos (1901/2000)Unit Pengelola Museum Seni

No rituals without Ulos

There are many kinds and motifs of ulos, which have their own respective meaning in accordance to the characteristic, condition and function. When it is used ,given to whom, and which traditional ceremony like wedding, birth, death and other rituals will never run without Ulos. 

Ulos Ranjat (1901/2000)Unit Pengelola Museum Seni

The ulos would be laid on one's shoulder of a family along with these words : "This ulos will never wore out or wilt in the sun, or rot in the rainy season." 

Ulos Mangiring (ca. 20th Century)Unit Pengelola Museum Seni

Symbol of Batak family ties

The Batak people of North Sumatra continuously reinforce family ties with the ritual presentation with Ulos.

Shoulder Cloth, Ulos Ragidup (1900/2000)Unit Pengelola Museum Seni

The ultimate ulos, woven by four women

The Ulos Ragidup is considered by the Toba Batak to be their ultimate textile. Its importance can be inferred from its name : ragi=pattern,  which mean; idup mean life. 
The cloth can only be woven at certain times established on Batak calendar and must be done within 20 days. 

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