Loan Object
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Photo Credit: Christopher Gardner
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Shoulder Cloth (Ulos)

ca. 1900

Cotton; warp ikat

166 × 113 cm (65 3/8 × 44 1/2in.)
Robert J. Holmgren and Anita E. Spertus Collection, Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
ILE2006.4.111

The Batak of northern Sumatra comprise six groups: the Toba, Mandaling, Angkola, Pakpak/Dairi, Simalingun, and Karo. All share a common origin myth and ancestor (Si Raja Batak), have similar kinship and marriage customs, employ a common language and script, and emphasize certain ritual practices. Until the mid-twentieth century, political power was in the hands of chiefs and the council of elders, while spiritual power resided with the priest (datu), who had great influence on Batak life.

Culture: 
Batak
Period: 
19th–20th century
Classification: 
Textiles
Geography: 
Made in Sumatra, Indonesia
Status: 
Not on view
Provenance: 

Ex-collection: Robert J. Holmgren and Anita E. Spertus, New York. First Known Collector Groenhuisen

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.