Fashion is the Universal Language for Everybody, ULOS BATAK

Fashion is a part of human being, is a way of life for somebody. Since we were born, we always be in touch with fashion. Although the first time we barely naked while cried, but after that the nurse and doctor will have us covered with a warm cloth. In every stage, important one of human life, there would be a special, different one fashion to celebrate it.

No matter what kind of culture in the world, fashion would always become the symbol of something, expression of the important things that happened in each one of us. Let’s find one culture to make this make sense. One of the examples for the culture is Batak Toba Culture.

Batak is one of the tribes from Indonesia, came from Northern Sumatra. This tribe has at least 6 different dialect which are:

  1. Batak Toba
  2. Batak Karo
  3. Batak Mandailing
  4. Batak Pakpak
  5. Batak Simalungun

Each of subtribe above has different fashion culture. The writer would love to take Batak Toba culture as the example. Batak Toba has special fabrics for their culture, its name is Ulos. Ulos is the woven fabrics that made by hands and find their colors from the natural ways. Tree, leaves, root, or anything’s that natural would-be part of natural color ingredients.

Ulos as a part of Batak Toba fashion culture has so many kinds of Ulos based on their function. Like writer stated earlier that since the Batak Toba baby was born, they have Ulos as their celebration from their baby life. The name of Ulos Batak Toba for the new baby born is, called. The prayer and hope the best for the baby would represent by the beautiful Ulos that made special only for this occasion. The Ulos that baby used for lullabying is another different culture .

Here comes the various function of Ulos and its meaning:

1. Ulos Mangiring

This Ulos is given to the baby when she/she just born. This Ulos has a wisdom that after the baby born would be followed with another baby. Ulos Mangiring given to the first child. The motif of ulos is followed each other same with the meaning of the “mangiring” that is accompany. First baby would be accompanied with another one.

Ulos Mangiring source


2. Ulos Tumtuman

This Ulos give to the first born child. This Ulos usually wear as a head piece at the first born child.

Ulos Tumtuman source: Lazada Indonesia


3. Ulos Ragi Huting

This Ulos for the girl in the party, the way to wear it is on her chest, across the fabrics in their chest.

Ulos Ragi Huting source: Wastra Indonesia Meta


4. Ulos Ragi Hotang

This Ulos worn by the bride and groom at their marriage. The hope that brings by Ulos Ragi Hotang is the couple always be in one bond unity forever.

Ulos Ragi Hotang source: Shopee Indonesia


5. Ulos Bintang Maratur

This Ulos described the row of stars, symbolizing the harmony and love in the family. This Ulos is wearing in the big party of Batak Toba.

Ulos Bintang Maratur source: Pinterest


6. Ulos Sitali Tuho

This Ulos wearing by ladies as head piece.

Ulos Sitali Tuho source: Shopee


7. Ulos Pinunsaan

This Ulos wear by Kings and royalty family, one of the most expensive one. This ulos has another name called Sadum.  The Royalty family wear this Ulos on their party and special occasion.

Ulos Pinunsaan source: Brian Stephenson Tribal Art


Those 7 kinds of Ulos are some parts of Ulos from Batak Toba tribe in Indonesia. The richness of culture of Indonesia presented in Ulos Collection. The Ulos speaks as universal language of human beings from the day she/he was born until forever.

Dicky Maryoga Hutadjulu