Niessen, S. A.
Motifs of Life in Toba Batak Texts and Textiles



Motifs of Life in Toba Batak Texts and Textiles

To reveal the integral position of textiles in Toba Batak culture, Motifs of Life in Toba Batak Texts and Textiles examines their role in mythology, the kinship system, and local conceptions of fertility, time, and space.

It pays special attention to the logic of the Toba Batak analogy of woven textiles and “textiles which do not wear out”, viz. women. Using textual sources in combination with field-work data, it reconstructs a world-view which is collapsing under the pressures of the modern world.

The book successfully utilizes the 50-year old concept of the Field of Anthropological Study (FAS) for which Leiden anthropology is renowned. Part of the recent new surge of interest for FAS theory, this book constitutes its critical test and modern application to Toba Batak data. It is the first serious adaptation of the theory to the study of material culture since W.H. Rassers seminal publication on the Javanese Kris (1940, reprinted in 1959 and 1982). The book also marks a turning point in Indonesian textile studies heretofore dominated by approaches typical of the art historian and students of weaving techniques.

S.A. Niessen (1954) began her anthropological career in Canada, where she obtained her MA from the University of Toronto (1977). In 1977 she moved to Leiden to cultivate her fledgling interest for the Leiden Tradition in social anthropology and Indonesia. This publication is based on her PhD dissertation.

Motifs of Life in Toba Batak Texts and Textiles, S. A. Niessen, Foris Publications Holland, The Netherlands, 1985

Paperback. Minor signs of wear. Crease to top corner of front cover. Ink annotations to title page. Good condition.