The Art Blog by Wovensouls

Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Astrological Calendars – 6 – Batak Calendar

The Batak Calendar system has 12 months and follows the phases of the moon and the sighting of the constellations.

Some basic facts

  • the month is divided into 3 groups of 10 days
  • The new year begins when the Orion constellation disappears in the Western sky and Scorpio appears in the East.

The purpose of the calendar, seen in Pustaha and bone inscriptions is to determine auspicious and inauspicious days for conducting life events rather than for calculating time.

Even though the Batak script existed, the main medium was oral literature and so the knowledge transmission is vulnerable to corruption and endangered.


Pustahas or books written on the bast of the Alim tree after preparing it with rice paste. The books cover – among other subjects – the art of fortune telling based on the Batak calendars.

AFO-907 Antique BATAK Pustaha Shaman MAnuscript on Bark 06


The same system is also used to inscribe fortune telling texts on bone.

Antique Batak Bone Inscribed with ancient calendarAntique Batak Bone Inscribed with ancient calendar

In my personal exploration, the complete blank slate – the absence of all prior knowledge – with respect to this culture  – makes it all the more interesting and attractive. And then to read about headhunting / cannibalism – and the pecking order wherein the royalty got to eat the prime body parts like ears and nose – makes the culture so  “outside my imagination” that I want to learn more!


Further reading:



* See more Pustahas and the bone calendar on WOVENSOULS.COM


May 2017



I'd love to hear your view on this. Please comment below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 17, 2017 by in Art Kaleidoscope, Culture Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,047 other followers





%d bloggers like this: