On the last day of the Tribal and Textile Arts Fair, a black official-looking limousine with diplomatic plates pulled up to deposit the Consul General of Indonesia and his wife at the door of the Festival Pavilion. I knew nothing of this until my colleague booth-holder, Noeleke Glenn Klavert of IndoArts, Inc., came by to introduce this very special guest to me and my book.
To my great surprise and pleasure, the Consul General was a Batak. Mr. Asianto Sinambela – you can tell by his name – is a member of the same marga or lineage as the great Singamangaraja. The twelfth in line of the priestly king dynasty within the Sinambela lineage had led a rebellion against the Dutch colonialists at the turn of the twentieth century and paid for it with his life. I have been to the beautiful bay and Valley of Bakkara (southwest corner of Lake Toba, North Sumatra) where the Sinambela marga originates and have visited the monument that was erected there to him. I would have liked, more than anything else in the world at that moment, to sit down with him and chat about his lineage and his ancestral home on the bay. Time and circumstances did not grant me this pleasure, however. Perhaps sometime in the future?
But I did grab my chance to present Consul General Sinambela with a copy of my book. It was such a great pleasure to do so. I told him about my wish to bring copies of it to the weavers in North Sumatra and he pledged his support for this next endeavour. Immediately he was off to visit the next booth....
Sandra Niessen presenting Legacy in cloth to Consul General Sinambela of Indonesia on his visit, with his wife, to the San Francisco Tribal and Textile Arts show. Thanks to Riena Sarojo, Secretary to the Consul General, who took this very nice photo!