Batik Singa Barong. In the Cirebon city museum, there is a duplicate of the Singa barong train stored in the back room. According to one of the courtiers of the Sultanate of Cirebon, Usman kereta Singa barong was originally made by a son of Cirebon named panembahan losari around 1549. While the duplicate was created in 1996. This duplicate train is used for festival events held by the palace today. The original Singa barong train was only used during the 1st anniversary of Shawal, but not to be occupied. The train was only cleaned and shown to the people.
The Singa barong chariot is mostly made of wood and is equipped with a shockbreaker. Shockbreakers are parts that are often found in vehicles. But on trains, the shockbreaker is made of leather. The steering wheel of the Singa barong train has a hydraulic system made of wood and steel. On the right and left sides of this chariot, there are wings, the front resembling a dragon’s head with an outstretched tongue and a long proboscis wrapped around a trident. Meanwhile, at the back, there is a bench that is given a stretcher as a protector for the sultan’s seat.
According to Usman, if the wings are moved, the tongue will come in and out automatically, and this is a great thing because in ancient times it was able to make vehicles like the Singa barong train.The sophistication of the Singa barong train in ancient times was enshrined on a batik tulis cloth with the name of a Singa barong where the main pattern on the batik cloth depicted a Singa barong train. Singa barong batik is a type of Kraton batik where those who can wear this batik are only the palace circles.
Along with the development of the era of batik, Singa barong began to be worn by the wider community along with the development of the culture of wearing batik among young people, workers, and educators in schools and campuses. The characteristic of Singa barong batik is found in the image of the Singa barong train with a white background. For some creations and image modifications from batik craftsmen at the Cirebon batik center in Trusmi village, derivatives of this type of batik are obtained, namely umbrella lion batik, and wadas lion batik.
The Meaning of Singa Barong Batik Motif
The meaning of the Singa barong batik motif is based on its name and history where the Singa barong is a kind of mythological or magical animal because in Javanese and Balinese cultures the word “barong” has a magical meaning. The magic of the lion’s form can be seen from various elements which are the combination of a lion or tiger (body, legs, eyes), garuda (winged), elephant (trunk), and dragon (grinning mouth with a sticking tongue). The term barong itself, found in many Javanese arts and Balinese art, has the meaning of “magic”, where an unreal animal is found in the reality of life. In this case, the Singa barong is formed from the merger of the four types of animals based on the meaning of strength or strength.This is reinforced by a proboscis that wraps its proboscis over its forehead by “holding” a trident weapon (3 spear-eyes, found at both the front and rear ends), which adds expression to its strength and influence.
In another context, the philosophy of Cirebon Singa barong batik is a form of symbols that are spiritual. Most of the figures in the Kasepuhan Palace interpret the winged garuda as burak or bauraq as a symbol of Islam, while the elephant as a symbol of Hinduism (thick with Hindu culture in India, East Asia, and Southeast Asia), and the dragon as a symbol of Buddhism (or Chinese culture), and the last is the lion as a symbol of Protestantism (or Western European culture).
If interpreted from the side of contemporary culture, it is more of a natural approach: fire (lion), wind (wings), earth (elephant), and water (dragon). Regardless of whether each symbol is true or not, all of them have the meaning that the power lies in the physical and mental aspects by maximizing the union of forces with the concept of merging or mutual aid that can be achieved with the principle of accepting, taking, and adjusting even different things.
The union of the power of several elements of the animal symbolizes greatness, might, or majesty for those who wear the Singa barong batik.
Bibliography of Batik Singa Barong
- http://www.disparbud.jabarprov.go.id/wisata/dest-det.php?id=890&lang=id, accessed at 15 Januari 2014 jam 10.22 WIB
- https://batikmotifcirebon.wordpress.com/, accessed at 15 Januari 2014 jam 11.15 WIB