The History of Aceh Batik Motifs and Explanations

batik aceh

The HIstory of Aceh Batik Motifs and Explanations – Aceh does not have a batik tradition like Javanese people in general, but on earth, the Porch of Mecca turns out to have batik handicraft products that were most likely brought by migrants from the island of Java before. Since the era of the previous kingdom, the people of Aceh have known and worn batik tulis in their social activities, but there is no certainty of the time of year or historical records that clearly describe the arrival of the Javanese to Aceh. Before we talk about Aceh batik, it’s good if we first know the city of Aceh in general.

the Aceh special region is one of the special provinces in Indonesia which is located at the northern end of the island of Sumatera and is also the province located in the westernmost of the Indonesian territory. The province with the capital cit of Banda Aceh has a population of about 4.500.000 people according to data from the official website of the Aceh goverment. Geographically, the location of the province of the special region of Aceh is between 95° – 98° south latitude and 2° – 6° north latitude with an average height of about 125 meters above sea level with an area of 5,677,081 ha. Meanwhile, the boundary of the Aceh region, namely the south, is directly adjacent to North Sumatera Province, the northeast is direcly adjacent to the Strait of Malacca, and the west is bordered by the Indian Ocean.

History of Aceh Batik Motif

Aceh batik motifs look unique and distinctive of Acehnese nature and culture in their color combination. The colors used in Aceh Batik are more dominant in bright colors such as red, green, yellow, pink, and so on. It is the courage to play the colors that give the impression of being unique and glamorous. It is rare to use animal motifs in Acehnese Batik, this is due to the prohibition of Islamic law to depict animate creatures in the manufacture of batik cloth. The strong influence of Islam is also refelected in the shape of tendrils, circles, and lines on each motif.

Aceh Batik Motif

Aceh batik is not just a written batik cloth with all the beauty that follows it. Every Acehnese batik cloth in each batik motif contains the meaning and noble philosophy of life which is the wisdom of local culture and life guidelines for the people of Aceh. Some of the motifs of Aceh Batik include wind repellent motifs, Aceh door motifs, jeumpa flower batik motifs, cloud meucanek batik motifs, rencong batik motifs, cloud batik motifs in action, gayo, and pucok reubong batik motifs. The following is a detailed explanation of each Aceh batik motif.

Pintu Aceh batik motif depicts a measure of the relatively low height of the door, representing the personality of the Acehnese people who are always humble and have a spacious chest or be patient. If we look through Acehnese traditional houses, indeed in general the traditional houses have relatively low doors, but inside there is a room that is quite spacious or airy. If we relate it to the philosophy of the Acehnese traditional house, then we can conclude that the Acehnese people have personalities and customs that are not easily open to the outside community but become seemingly full of warmth like a biological sodara when they already know each other.

gambar Batik Aceh Motif Pintu Aceh
aceh batik image Aceh door motif

Tolak Angin batik motif shows a picture of a large number of vents in the Acehnese traditional house. The batik motif of tolak angin may be a symbol that the people of Aceh in general tend to easily accept differences in culture and principles from each other.

gambar Batik Aceh Motif Tolak Angin
images of Aceh Batik Motif Tolak Angin

Bungong Jeumpa batik motif or ordinary local people say jeumpa flower or in Javanese terms known as cantile flower, this is used as an Aceh batik motif because almost in every area of Aceh there are many jeumpa flowers and their shapes are extraordinarily beautiful. Typical natural elements are used in this Aceh batik motif.

gambar Batik Aceh Motif Bungong Jeumpa
aceh batik image Bungong Jeumpa motif

Rencong batik motif, created because it is a traditional/typical Acehnese weapon that was once used for the Indonesian war of independence, a sharp weapon similar to a dagger but different from a sword or knife. Acehnese people strongly believe that this form of rencong weapon is a representation of the reading of basmalah or bismillah.

Aceh Batik Motif Pictures

batik aceh
aceh batik

Acehnese people in general often use Acehnese batik motifs as official or non-official clothing. By the local wisdom of the Acehnese people, the Acehnese batik dress model is also adapted to the rules or laws of Islamic law applied to the Aceh government. In Aceh batik for women, it is usually colored with long and loose line models. Aceh batik is also not only used as a material for batik clothes but is also made for other products such as hats, mukena, wallets, bags, and other accessories.

After Aceh was affected by the disaster or the impact of the tsunami, Aceh Batik began to be promoted by guiding the community by the Aceh government, especially through Dekranas. Batik handicraft centers are located in Banda Aceh and Lhokseumawe, by bringing in batik tentors from Java to train aceh batik craftsmen. Currently, Aceh Batik is very popular in the Aceh batik center in Meunasah Manyang Village, Aceh Besar Regency.

Aceh batik makes the cultural treasures of Indonesian batik even more diverse by applying a combination of colors to the batik motifs produced differently in each region, by not wanting to leave local wisdom behind.

Also read other Indonesian batik articles:

Bibliography of the History of Aceh Batik Motifs and Their Explanations

  • Aceh’s official website, Online: accessed at August 25, 2016.
  • Aceh, Wikipedia, Online: retrieved 25 August 2016.
  • Aceh batik motif, Fitinline. Online: accessed at 25 August 2016