Waist sashes like these were typically worn wrapped several times around the waist and tied so the ends and tassels fell down the front and side of the wearer’s left leg. These waist sashes are connected with the adat that men have a responsibility to their sister’s children. The long tassels on these waist sashes are interpreted by some as representing the wearer’s sister’s children. The waist tie itself can be said to represent the ways the wearer can educate his nieces and nephews and “tie” them into the family.

Waist sashes were made with a variety of weaving techniques and in a number of designs. As with other ceremonial textiles, these differences often indicate where the wearer came from. Weavers in Solok, for example, often made their waist sashes thinner than Minangkabau weavers in other regions. Some weavers incorporated sections of red woolen trade cloth onto the ends of their waist sashes. Several examples of this sort of design are included in Sarajo’s collection.