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The Mandailing is a traditional cultural group in Southeast Asia. They are found mainly in the northern section of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They came under the influence of the Kaum Padri who ruled the Minangkabau of Tanah Datar. As a result, the Mandailing were influenced by Muslim culture and converted to Islam. Previous to their conversion, they practised Hinduism and Parmalim (Batak native religion). There are also a group of Mandailing in Malaysia, especially in the states of Selangor and Perak. They are closely related to theAngkola, who are mixed between Muslim and Christian adherents.
Mandailing bride and the traditional house
The etymology of 'Mandailing' is said to be a coupounding of the words mande, meaning 'mother', and hilang, meaning 'lost'. Thus, the name is said to mean "lost mother". Some research has suggested that the Mandailing are the descendants of the Batak, who migrated to the south before the coming of the Portuguese and Dutch colonisation of Sumatra. There they converted to Islam and intermarried with Minangkabau and the Malay peoples. Mandailing society is patriarchal, employing family names, or marga, in the same manner as the Batak, Simalungun, and Karo. The same marga can be found, such as Lubis, Nasution, Siregar, Hasibuan, Harahap, Dalimunthe (originally from Munthe), Matondang, Rangkuti, Parinduri, Pulungan, Rambe, Daulae(y), Pohan, Batubara (not to be confused with the Batu Bara people from the east coast of Sumatra), Barus and Hutajulu.
The bride is wearing ‘bulang’ (crown of mandailing virgin), gonjong hiasan dada, selendang songket, baju kurung, puttu (arm accesories), pending, keris dan sarung songket. meanwhile, the groom is wearing tengkulok mandailing (or called ‘tukku/happu’ – head gear from beludru), baju teluk belango, puttu (arm accessories), kris, sarung songket sebatas lutut, and long pants.