In 1918 and 1927, University of Michigan Professor Harley Harris Bartlett (1886–1960) traveled to Sumatra, Indonesia, to conduct botanical research and collect specimens for the University of Michigan Herbarium and Smithsonian Institution. Some of his travel took him to the upland mountains of northern Sumatra and into contact with the Batak people. While visiting Batak villages, he collected various anthropological materials in addition to botanical materials and gave the Museum of Anthropology 155 written Batak texts and other materials for its collections. An inscribed Batak text (UMMA 48396) is illustrated here.
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