14 - 17 October 2018
The Indonesian Weaving Festival 2018, initiated by the local government of North Tapanuli Regency, is a celebration of Ulos weaving tradition in Tanah Batak. According to Robert Blust's research on "Notes on Proto-Malayo-Polynesian Phratry Dualism" (1980), this tradition is believed to have existed for thousands of years in the Lake Toba region. This makes the Ulos weaving tradition as one of the oldest in the world and it has a strong relationship with the Ikat weaving tradition in various parts of the archipelago.
This festival is an attempt to restore the symbolic and sacred aspects of Ulos in the rituals of Batak people around the world by revealing, reeducating, and communicating cultural values. This event is also a tool to boost the weaver's ability, both as an individual and as a community, to create an ecosystem in which they will be no longer dependent on wholesalers.
One of the things highlighted at this festival is a procession in which the weavers propose their request to weave Ulos in courtesy. In addition to the general public, the festival is also targeted toward Batak people around the world. Over the years, they have explored various parts of the world. Now, they are admirers and potential customers of the Batak Weave itself which actually originated from their ancestor's villages in the Lake Toba area.
This event will start with the International Ulos Symposium: A Tribute to Ulos Weaving Tradition. Then, the event will continue with the Pesta Budaya Rakyat (People's Culture Party) in Tarutung, North Tapanuli. The party will begin with a Batak Opera Show titled "Ahu Partonun" which dramatizes the Ulos saga as an heirloom, prayer manifestation, and Batak's cultural identity. The Booth Camp Partonun Danau Toba with Weaving Demo & Competition: Finding the Best Specialists of Ulos Weaving Tradition in Lake Toba will be held on the 18th and 19th of October 2018 as the peak event.