Sumatra Batak Ceremonial Warp Ikat Shoulder Cloth (Ulos Ragi Hotang)
Fine hand spun cotton, natural dyes
North Sumatra - Batak Toba
230 x 95 cm
19th to very early 20th century
Collected North Sumatra 1984
Outstanding for age, no damage or staining
Parallel rows of ikated stipples, or gatip, is the characteristic pattern for Ulos Ragi Hotang. This example, in natural maroon dye,s is a classic example of the form. A single woven panel, it carries supplementary warp patterns along the center and complex woven supplementary weft patterns at either end, one with male symbolism, one with female designs. The warp fringes are strongly twisted and bound with a narrow complex ikat selvedge.
Ulos Ragi Hotang are one of the highest ranking of Batak shawls, this one of a large size confirming its age and importance. The textiles of the past tended to be much larger than the more recent ones. Worn at major ceremonies and at weddings Ragi Hotang would be presented by a bride's clan to the groom.