Types of Ulos Cloth and Their Functions


Ulos cloth is one of the traditional cloths from North Sumatra which is widely used in traditional ceremonies. Toba Batak Ulos in particular consists of many types and their respective functions.

Usually people who travel to North Sumatra or to Lake Toba generally bring Ulos as souvenirs.

Its unique motives and full of meaning make Ulos so popular with many people. Ulos can be used for daily needs or also used in traditional ceremonies. In the Toba Batak language itself Ulos means cloth.

And in general, the dominant colors in Ulos are red, white, and black. Usually, each Ulos is decorated with gold and silver threads.

Here are some types of Ulos Clothes and their functions:

Ulos Mangiring

ulos mangiring
Ulos Mangiring

Ulos Mangiring is a fabric that has a stripe pattern, with a black base cloth, and the line motif is a combination of red, green, and white. This ulos is generally given to the first newborn in a family.

This ulos is given to the child’s parents, so that the child will be educated properly according to the Toba Batak cultural values.

Ulos Ragi Hotang

ulos ragi hotang
Ulos Ragi Hotang

Ulos Ragi Hotang is also one of the ulos fabrics that are widely used by local people. This ulos is often used as a scarf for daily activities.

Usually Ulos Ragi Hotang is used as a gift or gift at a wedding ceremony. The goal is that the bride and groom who receive the Ulos can remain harmonious in navigating the household.

Ulos Bintang Maratur

ulos bintang maratur
Ulos Bintang Maratur

Ulos Bintang Maratur itself has a star-like motif that is lined up and dissolved in the fabric. The meaning of Ulos Bintang Maratur is to promote obedience, loyalty, and harmony, especially in fostering household relationships.

Usually this Maratur Star Ulos is worn during the traditional Batak Toba wedding party.

Ulos Suri – Suri Ganjang

ulos suri suri ganjang
Ulos Surisuri Ganjang

Ulos Suri – Suri Ganjang itself is one of the Ulos which is usually used by musicians at traditional Batak parties. This ulos is used as an attribute or clothing decoration for the musician.

At every traditional Batak party, it is always accompanied by Gondang music, and every musician is obliged to wear the Ulos Suri – Suri Ganjang.

This ulos is also often used at weddings, especially when the parents mangulosi the bride (the woman’s parent wears Ulos on her daughter who becomes the bride).

Ulos Sibolang Rasta Pamontari

kain ulos sibolang rasta pamontari
Ulos Sibolang Rasta Pamontari

Ulos Sibolang Rasta Pamontari is generally used at times of mourning, such as funeral parties or others. Usually the husband or wife of the deceased will wear the ulos at the funeral.

Those are some types of Ulos Batak clothes and their functions.


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