Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1872 Batak warrior 
Subjectwarrior chief
Culture: Batak
Setting: Dutch war, northern Sumatra late 19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Schnitger 1989 p




​* Tagliacozzo 2005 p292
"The resident of Sumatra's East Coast complained to the Dutch governor-general that Enfields and other modern firearms could be had at 'spot-prices' in Singapore by local peoples, which certainly seems to have been true, as these rifles were turning up all over Southeast Asia at the time, even in interior Borneo. The advanced Beaumont rifles being handed out to crew members aboard Dutch blockade ships off Aceh in the 1870s were also appearing, however, in enemy hands, the barrels modified to fit local needs, as Dutch Patrols found out. American Winchesters were also being used against the two colonial regimes by indigenous populations as well, in Aceh and the Batak highlands in Sumatra, but also by Bugis crews coasting between Singapore and Sulawesi. Even German Mausers were available in the region, as witnessed by the seizure of 500 of these guns and 500,000 Mauser cartridges that had left Singapore for Luzon in early 1899."

Swords (Gading/Halasan, Klewang, Podang/Duku)

* Newbold 1839 p212
"The Battas of Sumatra, wear the kalasan, a sort of sword lightly curved, and the jono; also knives called tombak lada, and terjing, (a long curved knife,) which (it is affirmed by Anderson) they use to cut up human flesh with."

* Taylor/Aragon 1991 p100
"Finely crafted Toba Batak swords were valued as prestige objects by local chiefs and passed on to their sons. .... Old swords became classified as sacred lineage inheritance items, only publicly displayed at such ceremonial events as the reburial of bones of a revered ancestor. Upon such occasions, lineage members who participate in the ceremony don their formal attire and bring swords, chains, and other ancestral treasures from out of their storage places."

* Draeger 1972 p


* Benitez/Barbier 2000 p146
"Shields ceased being useful to the Batak following the introduction of firearms at a relatively early date.  These have been conserved in various locations where they are used in ceremonies or treated as ancestral heirlooms, though some possessed magical value, as was the case with the Pakpak dance shield stretched with human skin that Wilhelm Volz collected at the beginning of the twentieth century.
    ​"The vernacular name for a shield was perise among the Karo, parinse among the Toba, and, for the southern Batak, parise."

* van Zonneveld 2001 p


* Draeger 1972 p

* van Zonneveld 2001 p