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Ulos Ragidup, North Sumatra

Item: Ikat, ulos ragidup, North Sumatra

Size: 54 x 78 in (137 x 198 cm), about 760g

Provenance: Lake Toba, North Sumatra, Indonesia; mid 20th Century

Method: Hand spun cotton, hand woven, vegetable dyes, warp ikat.


Ragidup is woven in three sections, and joined lengthwise on two sides with two other panels. The middle sections are embellished with supplementary weft patterning. This is a decorative technique in which more crosswise threads are added to the textile during weaving. In the ragidup, the end panels are considered "male" and "female," based on the specific patterns used for each. Additional ornamentation in the central panel consists of a number of bold longitudinal stripes.


Ragidup are some of the most important textiles of the Batak people in Northern Sumatra. The name means literally "pattern of life". A Ragidup is generally presented to a woman pregnant with her first child. It is said to have the power to protect a woman and her family. The cloth is described as a protector and 'soul cloth' essential to the rites of passage, birth, marriage and death.


The textile is in good condition with the exception of three patches on the reverse side. See picture below.

Item code txtl1701 - SOLD!