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Ulos Making Process

Ulos is a daily Clothing for Batak People, before they know other textile from outside Batak Land. Hande-hande called for male upper used, for the bottom is Singkot and for covering the head called tali-tali or detar. For female, from the bottom to the chest called haen, covering back called hoba-hoba, when used as a scarf called ampe-ampe, and covering the head for female called saong. The back cover for woman holding a child called hohop-hohop and the carrier called Parompa. We can see this tradition in inland of Tapanuli (North Sumatra) untill nowadays. But not every Ulos can use for daily cloth. Ulos Jogia, Ragi Hidup, Ragi Hotang, and Ronjat. Usually stored and used only for certain ceremonial.

Basic Materials of Ulos is a kind of yarn spun from cotton. Ulos distinguished from manufacture process. This is the measure of Ulos value. Basic Color made from a plant called "Salaon" Entered to a watered clay pot. This plant is soaked "digon-gon" several days until the sap flowing out, and squeezed and dispose the waste.

The water will turn to bluish black color called "itom". Clay pot (Palabuan) filled with rain water collected in hollow stone (aek ni nanturge) and mixed a little portion of lime water. And the bluish black water entered and stir till dissolve. This is called "Manggaru" and the yarn immersed to this liquid. Before immersed, yarn will be tied with other threads on specific part according to desired color, after that dyeing process is repeated. It takes long time, monthly and sometimes takes a year. When the expected color is achieved, the yarn then plated with mud water mixed with ash water. Then boiled the yarn until look shiny. This is called "mar-sigira".

Usualy doing in the morning beside a river or a lake. When the expected color good enough, the yarn coil is opened then "diunggas" then soaked in a pot clay filled with rice to make entire yarn soaked, after that dried, after dried, the yarn rolled ("dihulhul") according to the color, next step is "Mangani" after "mangani" process the yarn is ready to enter weaving process. Event the making process seems to be very primitive but the result is very high artistic. Every Ulos is made from the same basic material, the different is the process making. The learning Virgin only allowed to make an Ulos "Parompa" Called "Malage". The level is measured from the stick that is used to provide the color motif. The highest level is when it has been able to use seven stick "Marsipitu lilies". The person considered can make all kind of Batak Ulos.

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