Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

Tales Textiles Tell – Toraja Sacred Cloth Batik

SO here is one more textile with many many stories depicted.

Yet, I can only make conjecture about the story this piece is trying to tell, until someone from that region comes along and connects all the dots and brings it alive with the cultural paradigm.

Here is the Batik Textile from Toraja – made of handspun cotton woven on a manual loom. The Batik art in the field appears to be made using blocks, but the classic Toraja vines on the edges seem to be done by hand.

Though faded and frayed with age, the tales told in Indigo are still alive:

All the important life events seem to be depicted here!

The motifs I could spot:

– The all important Buffalo

– The Phoenix or Rooster?

– Ships or Caskets?

– Shaman & his rituals

– Family life – Men, women & children

– A Hunting Scene

– Cockfights & Bullfights or Boar fights?

And the regular Toraja Vines at the borders.


1089 Rare Antique Ceremonial Figurative Toraja Batik Textile - Wovensouls Antique Art - 46.JPG



1089e Rare Antique Ceremonial Figurative Toraja Batik Textile - Wovensouls Antique Art - 28.jpg

1089 Antique Toraja Ceremonial Figurative Batik Textile



1089 Antique Toraja Ceremonial Figurative Batik Textile


According to the Toradja, their sacred cloths all called maa’ or mawa’ were made from divinely given yarns. They were prized ritual accouterments used in a number of ways. The designs include the buffalo and other animals that symbolised wealth. The pictorial aspects of Toraja textiles are unmatched in the textile arts of Indonesia!

But am looking for a deeper cultural context to the motifs ….

Toradja is not so far away .. maybe someday soon….



Jan 2017

More images of the motifs of Asset Code 1089 on


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This entry was posted on January 4, 2017 by in Art Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


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