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Catalog of Batak Texts: Amulets (Pagars)

catalog 48382

A long bamboo tube inscribed with Batak text and depiction of a human figure possibly representing a sorcerer. The tube consists of two bamboo sections and may have been used as a pagar or amulet.

catalog 48404

A flat panel of bamboo containing a short Batak inscription and a human figure. The human figure is crudely executed in comparison to the other detailed renditions of figures typically found in Karo and Toba regions. This strip was possibly hung and used as an amulet. The tube has not been smoked in the final finishing process. Bartlett labeled the bamboo panel "No. 68."

catalog 48473

Bamboo tube incised with Batak inscriptions and drawings. The tube may have functioned as an amulet. The inscriptions are divided into two rows that are separated by a decorative band consisting of hatched lines. The inscriptions begin "Surung ma ho." The drawings consist of multiple hexagrams representing constellations and of a figure having a spiny or hairy body. The base of the tube is closed and stained a darker hue.

catalog 48497 catalog 48498

A pair of modified rib bones inscribed with a Karo-Batak text. The bones were possibly used as amulets, as the twine fastened to the top suggests that they were intended to be hung. The bones have been worked into a tear-drop shape and have drawings on the front and inscription on the rear. The drawings depict an anthropomorphic insect/human figure with a spiny body and hairy face.

catalog 48499

An incised rib bone segment that is rectangular in shape. The bone was possibly used as an amulet as the twine fastened to the top suggests that it was intended to be hung. On one side of the object is an incised calendar (porhalaan) depicting the days of the month. The other side has an inscribed hexagram motif representing the constellations and an hour-glass shaped motif in addition to five rows of inscribed Batak text. Four rows contain horizontally oriented inscriptions while text in the top row is arranged into vertical columns.

catalog 48502