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Deconstructing Bataknese Gorga


  • Situngkir, Hokky


The carved and painted decorations in traditional Batak houses and buildings, gorga, are the source of their exoticism. There are no identical patterns of the ornaments within Batak houses and the drawings are closely related to the way ancient Batak capture the dynamicity of the growing “tree of life”, one of central things within their cosmology and mythology. The survey of ornaments of Batak houses and buildings in Northern Sumatera Indonesia has made us possible to observe the complex pattern. The fractal dimensions of the geometrical shapes in gorga are calculated and they are conjectured into 1.5-1.6, between the dimensional of a line and a plane. The way gorga is drawn is captured by using some modification to the turtle geometry of L-System model, a popular model to model the dynamics of growing plants. The result is a proposal to see Bataknese gorga as one of traditional heritage that may enrich the studies to the generative art.

Suggested Citation

  • Situngkir, Hokky, 2012. "Deconstructing Bataknese Gorga," MPRA Paper 41831, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41831

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
    2. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Inequalities and Their Measurement," IZA Discussion Papers 1219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Udry, Christopher & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Gender differentials in farm productivity: implications for household efficiency and agricultural policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 407-423, October.
    5. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
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    More about this item


    Batak; gorga; carving; painting; Indonesia; fractal; geometry; generative art;

    JEL classification:

    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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