Since I just got back from my recent trip to my mother hometown in Medan – North Sumatra I want to share a bit about their traditional cloth: ULOS. And since I have been browsing the internet for any information about it, I just found out that there ULOS NATIONAL DAY since October 17th year 2014! Where the heck have I been?
Anywa, there are many kind of ulos and each of them has their own meaning; depends on condition, function, and some relation including symbols of status. Couple who just got married receives ulos from families, meant to bind the bride and groom together. Different meanings for every traditional ceremonies. However, nowadays many ulos has gone extinct because low demands and only several of them keep on existing.
Ulos is a handwoven textiles made only by women as their role is take care family, children and community. While men’s role to protect the family and village so men aren’t allowed to do the process.
How to wear ulos? Usually ulos worn draped over the shoulder or shoulders (like for the couple who just got married)
My mom has dozens of ulos at home but rarely use it. First, since she married my late dad who was from another ethnic group, she hardly attend Batak’s traditional ceremonies in Jakarta. Which explain why I need to browse around to find a bit of information about ulos.
Here are the information:
If you want to know which ulos was handmade and not, feel it with your hands. If the cloth feels smooth then isn’t handmade production. But if the cloth feels rough then you can be absolutely sure is the original one and a bit pricey.