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    tags: ulos textile tenun batak sandra niessen

  • Dr.Sandra Niessen adalah pakar ulos Batak. Peneliti ulos yang langka. Dr.Sandra merampungkan tesis doktor di Mekkahnya studi Indonesia, Universitas Leiden.  Ayahnya adalah peneliti hortikultura yang pernah bertugas di Indonesia sebelum Perang Dunia II.  Tetapi dia semakin tertarik pada Batak dari seorang profesor di Kanada yang memberinya buku Philip L Tobing "The Toba Batak High God". Kemudian bermaksud meneliti dunia magic, shaman atau datu Batak. Topik ini berubah karena pernah diminta  seorang datu kawin dengan anaknya. Dia canggung dengan dunia laki-laki dan banting setir meneliti tekstil, ulos, dunia perempuan.

    • He looked at me, and asked in a loud voice, “Are you married?” I shook my head. “Would you like to marry my son?” Everyone around us laughed and I felt like anything but a researcher. I had just been very clearly told that I was cut out for other things than studying Batak magic and divination. I found my associations with Batak women easier, and their textiles were more accessible than the magic that had been in sharp decline since the advent of Christianity in the area. By the time my first year of fieldwork ended, I had changed my topic of research to Batak textiles. My dissertation is about texts and textiles; it merges the two themes. Textiles in Batak culture are quintessentially female.

    • During my first year of fieldwork, I joined Sitor Situmorang as he returned to his homeland after a long absence. He was exploring his past and his identity, as is evident from his subsequent writings.

    • In that volume I explore why the Batak stopped wearing their indigenous clothing, and the process by which Western and Malay-style clothing became the daily norm.

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