It was Pak Restuala. He greeted us warmly and showed me the red-painted sign hanging at the gateway to his yard announcing a (in translation) Weaving Workshop of Batak Ulos with Sandra Niessen. Elegantly-dressed dancers bade us enter the textile-clad space.
|Muara textiles were hung on the scaffolding surrounding the yard
where the "workshop" took place on 23 November 2010.
|One of only three remaining Muara weavers who know how to make the
harungguan textile, the kind that was wrapped around my shoulders on that
|Women were executing every aspect of weaving.
|Ompu Josua doli, who later presented a speech to me.
And my arrival on the 23rd was a catalyst to kick-start the revival of weaving in Muara. I remembered the brief and sincere discussion with Ompu Ester before I left in June, when she asked me to assist in reviving weaving in Muara and had told me that it was not possible to produce indigo dye anymore. Now, before my eyes, there were indigo pots containing indigo.
Alot had changed in four months. I imagined the long discussions, the will, the synergy, the vision, the energy, the co-operation needed to bring this special day together. And now I saw the joy and the spirit of the villagers.
|MJA Nashir receiving an ulos from
Pak Restuala's mother.
|MJA Nashir's happy receipt of the ulos.
Our attention then turned to music, another threatened aspect of Batak culture.There was a youthful band directed by a very energetic music-lover, and they played tune after tune. Our visit was also giving them occasion to play in public. Their talent was admirable.
|The youthful musicians of Muara.