Arts and Culture
For the past 20 years, I have been researching and revitalizing the songket weaving of the Minangkabau tradition. From the start, I have always wondered why the Minangkabau people use the frame loom to make their beautiful fabric; they do not sit on the ground like all other traditional weavers in Indonesia (except in the regions of Siak and Batu Bara, both on the East coast of Sumatra).
Some scholars have proposed through historical study that the frame loom came from the Khmer people, and it was brought to Terengganu, then to Siak, and from there to Minangkabau. In this talk, I will demonstrate this transmission route from a different angle of study, through the analysis of weaving tools and loom parts. The study shows that weaving tools hardly changed over the centuries. Only the outer frame of the loom, in which the weaving tools were installed, had undergone modifications. At the end of this talk, I will summarize the development of the Minangkabau frame loom from its first appearance (late 18th century) until today.