Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Film focuses on restoring Batak weaving tradition
Film focuses on restoring Batak weaving tradition
18
Aug '14
Sandra Niessen/c: bataktextiles.com
Sandra Niessen/c: bataktextiles.com
Sandra Niessen, a Netherlands-based anthropologist, has produced a film titled ‘Rangsa ni Tonun’, depicting the in-crisis Batak weaving tradition and the urgency to restore weaving tradition of the vibrant cloth.
 
Batak textiles, one of the oldest forms of indigenous fabrics woven by the Northern Sumatran tribe Batak, are almost on the verge of extinction, mainly due to the growing demand for mill-produced modern day fabrics.
 
Traditionally woven on backstrap looms by the Toba, Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Angkola and Mandailing ethnic groups, the weavings are believed to protect the body and soul and are considered as of high symbolic and ceremonial importance. However, due to a decline in demand the technique is gradually disappearing, and so is the number of Batak weavers.
 
The fabric usually features zig-zag, circular or floral patterns designed from a mix of colourful yarns dyed with local plant extracts like salaon (blue in colour)  and the red ‘bangkudu’ (Morinda citrifolia).
 
The patterns are woven in a supplementary weft using a warp substitution technique in which a second set of white warp threads are used to replace the coloured warp thread for a section of the cloth during the weaving process.
 
The textiles are used for various purposes, including ulos godang, a type of shoulder-cloth which contains two weft bands featuring Romanised Indonesian text ‘Selamat Pake’ (meaning blessings to the wearer) and bulang, a head-cloth worn by married women.
 
In an attempt to bring the Batak textiles back in vogue, a Netherlands-based anthropologist Sandra Niessen has produced a film titled Rangsa ni Tonun, depicting the in-crisis and the urgency to restore weaving tradition of the vibrant cloth. 
 
The movie uses the almost lost Rangsa poetic genre of Batak oral literature as the medium to convey the message. Written by Guru Sinangga ni Adji in 1872, the poem describes the step-by-step process of the weaving technique. 
 
Made between 2010 and 2013, directed and filmed by the Javanese artist MJA Nashir, the film was showed in Batak villages to bring Rangsa ni Tonun back to the Bataklands. The film had an inspiring effect on the local culture and the weaving tradition, which is now in crisis and in danger of becoming extinct.
 
In 1979, Niessen began to study and write about the Batak cultures of North Sumatra, Indonesia, especially their weaving tradition. She has taught in Canadian universities and worked in museums in Europe and Canada. Rangsa ni Tonun (2013) is her first film. Her latest book publication, with the same title, is about the film. Her encyclopaedic volume, Legacy in cloth: Batak textiles of Indonesia (2009) about Batak textile types, including their history and techniques of production, appeared in 2009.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 24th Jan 2017

Textile industry demands relaxation of laws from Budget

The upcoming Union Budget 2017-18 should focus on relaxing certain...

President Donald Trump; Courtesy: White House

Textiles | On 24th Jan 2017

US sets ball rolling for withdrawal from TPP

President Donald Trump has set the ball rolling for withdrawal of the ...

Textiles | On 24th Jan 2017

Indian cotton consumption estimated at 290 lakh bales: CAI

The domestic consumption of cotton during the crop season 2016-17...

Interviews View All

Priyanka
Studio Priyanka Rajiv

‘To reinvent the age-old tradition of embroidery to suit demographics and...

Yash Agarwal
Hitansh Online

Every market region has its own culture and trends

Sunil Rathore
Lacoste India

‘New vendor is welcome if he offers cost, quality and timely delivery’

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Igor Chapurin
Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH
January 2017

January 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


eNEWS
Insights
Subscribe today and get the latest News update in your mail box.
Advanced Search