The History of Malang Batik Motifs and Explanations

batik malang - motif tugu malang

History of Malang Batik Motifs and Explanations — Before we discuss in detail about the history of Malang batik motifs, let us first identify Malang Regency which is the second largest district after Banyuwangi in East Java province. Malang Regency has an area of about 3,534.86 km² or about 353,486 hectares with a population of 2,446,218 according to the 2010 population census. The main products of Malang Regency are agriculture, herbal medicinal plants, plantations, and of course tourism.

History of Malang Batik Motifs and Explanations

There are no traces of the history of Malang batik that reveal explicitly about the origins of batik and Malang Batik culture, but if we refer to various kinds of traditional ceremonial activities in the nineteenth century, we will find many men and women using medhang koro (headdress; udeng). or sewek) with Sidomukti batik motifs. If we look closely, this batik activity could be a culture that was transmitted by the ancient Mataram kingdom when it controlled the Singosari kingdom in 1222 AD.

  • the basic motif or background of the Malang batik cloth is a batik motif from the Badut Temple (relics of the Kanjuruhan kingdom 760 AD).
  • the isen-isen motif in the form of a picture of Tugu Malang as the main motif which is paired with a white lion’s hair as a symbol of Malang Regency.
  • Malang batik decorative motif in the form of a boket (fringe decoration of batik cloth) for tumpal (isen-isen on the edge of the cloth) which contains three flower tendrils (often lotus flowers) that form a chain pattern.

Malang Batik Motifs and Explanations

Malang batik motifs that we know today include the Malang sawat batik motif, flower pring, kucecwara, celaket, Dele Kecer, Kembang Kopi, Teratai Singo, Kembang Juwet,Kembang jeruk, Kembang Tanjung, Kembang Manggar, Kembang Mayang, and Kembang Padma, This is better known as the lotus flower.

The Malang batik motif which is characteristic of it was made based on illustrations of Hindu temples from the Kanjuruhan Kingdom from the seventh century. One of the most popular Malang batik motifs among other batik motifs is the lotus flower batik motif. Another Malang batik motif is the Malang Kucecwara batik motif. The batik motifs have a combination of motifs including crowns, pictures of Tugu Malang, lion tassels, statues, lotus flowers, tendrils as well as rhombus-shaped isen-isen.

The philosophy of the Malang batik motif if we look at the motifs formed, namely,

  • Gambar Tugu Malang (The picture of the Malang) monument symbolizes regional power which we can also represent as a form of strength and toughness.
  • Mahkota (The crown) contained in the batik motif is a representation of the crown shape of King Gajayana who once brought the Gajayana Kingdom to its peak of glory. If we relate it to people’s lives, it is a form of hope that those who wear batik poor will be able to reach the peak of glory in their life journey.
  • Rumbai Singa (Lion Tassel) represented the culture or culture of the Malang people at that time who had a brave soul with a burning and unyielding spirit like “Singo Edan”, so that it became the symbol of Malang today.
  • Bunga teratai (Lotus flower) symbolizes a natural beauty full of fertility. According to Hindu stories from the era of the Singosari kingdom, the lotus flower is one of the flowers of Lord Vishnu as the god of nature watchers. In my personal opinion, the meaning contained in this flower is wisdom or wisdom that results in prosperity for the people it leads. The easiest example is the head of the family, so it is very fitting if a family head wears this poor batik motif in work or earning a living.
  • Arca The statue of the Singosari temple is one of the main ornaments of the Malang batik motif because it is the identity of Malang itself, where the temple is located. In addition, to remind us of the glory of Singosari at that time.
  • Sulur-sulur (Tendrils) as the embodiment of an impermanent life but always grow, develop and always show that humans will surely accept death. And the continuous tendrils show that there will always be future generations who will continue the purpose of life. This is a hope that humans will always introspect themselves and accept pandum to know that humans have limitations.
  • Isen-isen Belah Ketupat (Isen-Isen Rhombus) is a representation of the relief of the Clown temple which has the meaning of acknowledging that humans are not perfect, their place is wrong and not worthy nor worthy of boasting. This is in line with the philosophy of the tendrils that lead to self-introspection.

Based on the explanation of each batik motif above, we can conclude that the poor batik motif expects a nobility from the wearer to always stand tall, be brave, be responsible with full respect in order to be able to blend with the environment he lives in.

Currently, batik motifs are being developed by Malang Batik artists and creative craftsmen, such as the caterpillar batik motif which was inspired by the anxiety of the residents of Probilinggo about the caterpillar pest. the detail of the motif is in the form of a caterpillar that is above the leaf and decorated with caterpillar eggs. The results of the development of other motifs are pictures of birds and also pictures of butterflies as a form of concern for the people of Malang for the lack of caterpillar predators which resulted in the endemic of caterpillars in 2013. Singo Lotus, Dele Kecer (green-red), Kembang Kopi (black cut in half of a coffee bean motif), Kembang Tanjung (yellow-brown in color, interspersed with a round flower with jagged edges), Kembang Juwet (blue-green) ), Kembang Jeruk (brown), Kembang Mayang (red-yellow color), Kembang Manggar (white-yellow color), and Kembang Padma (lotus).

The latest modern Malang batik motif was introduced by students from Brawijaya University. The batik is called the Malangan Book which is taken from the name of the book [read from right], it is a dialect of Malang residents who like to go back and forth between words. The motif of the Malangan book is in the form of calligraphy that forms the pattern of a crazy singo (singo edan).

Malang Batik Center

Previously, Malang batik was done using a stamping technique for reasons of the level of complexity in its manufacture, but along with the development of the era and realizing that Malang batik is a cultural heritage of the archipelago, the local government has reactivated batik artisans to return to their original patron, which is reworked by hand like in the process of making batik tulis. It should also be noted that some Malang batik motifs have patents on the Malang batik motifs that are created so that it is not arbitrary for anyone to reproduce.

One of the popular Malang Batik craft centers is located in Druju Village in Sumbermanjing Wetan District, Malang Regency. The technique of making Druju batik is very different from any batik. In general, batik is made into sheets, then sewn into a modern batik dress model. In contrast to the Druju batik motif, the way to implement it into batik clothes is to connect the front and back because it is inscribed after the batik cloth is sewn into clothing. Druju batik is identical to the black color which is darker than any type of batik. This poor batik motif from Druju village has produced more than five hundred batik motifs and almost every month new motifs are created that always synergize with nature such as animals and plants. One of the mainstay motifs of the poor batik of Druju village is the batik motif of a thousand dreams.

Another Malang batik center is in Samaan Village, Klojen District, Malang City, East Java. Batik Malang until now has not been very popular among the Indonesian people as a whole, but the government always seeks to explore the latest Malang batik motifs together with other related organizations by holding fashion shows and cultural performances to upload cultural treasures and to make Malang batik more popular.

Malang Batik Motif Pictures

batik malang
batik malang

Malang Batik Dress Model

Bibliography of the History of Batik Malang Batik Motifs and Explanations

  • FitInline, 2013. Malang Batik. Online:
  • NgalamediaLABS, 2013. Malangan Batik. Online:
  • Anonymous, 2015. Overview of Malang Regency. Online: