Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
The Batak Calendar system has 12 months and follows the phases of the moon and the sighting of the constellations.
Some basic facts
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.
The same system is also used to inscribe fortune telling texts on bone.
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!
* See more Pustahas and the bone calendar on WOVENSOULS.COM