Geographically, the Indramayu area is a coastal area visited by the Java Sea to the north and east. Next to Indramayu are Cirebon, Majalengka, and Sumedang. On the west with Subang. The boundaries of the Java and Sunda areas cannot be determined precisely, but the boundary lines can be drawn around the Citanduy and Cijulang rivers in the south, and the city of Indramayu in the north.
Indramayu is a coastal area that has a lot of cultural wealth. Indramayu, as well as Cirebon, was once an international trading port. Indramayu and Cirebon have close proximity as coastal areas that have strong cultural and kinship relations. Naturally, there are several batiks that have similarities or have the same interpretation, such as the Batik Ship Kandas motif which symbolizes maturity and maturity. The depiction of bird batik motifs that are influenced by Chinese culture such as those found in the city of Cirebon, was also found in the city of Indramayu.
The existence of Indramayu batik is estimated to have started during the Islamic kingdom of Demak (1527 -1650) where many batik artisans from Lasem migrated to the city of Indramayu, along with the spread of the influence of the Islamic kingdom of Demak with political and trade backgrounds. The batik center of Indramayu city is located in two sub-districts, namely Indramayu sub-district, Paoman village and Pabean Udik village, while in Sindang sub-district, Penganjang village, Canal village, and Babadan village. The location of one village with another village is close to each other so that it becomes a center for Indramayu batik.
Indramayu Batik Pattern
Cultural influences are very influential in presenting Indramayu batik patterns which were originally made by our Chinese relatives. The people of Indramayu are very open in accepting cultural influences from outside their area with flexible discussions and adapting to their local cultural values. In addition to the strong influence of Chinese culture, Indramayu batik is also influenced by elements of Islamic culture which are shown in several Indramayu batik patterns, including calligraphy and Sawat batik patterns whose motifs are also influenced by a mixture of Hindu-Javanese culture. Several geometric patterns also clearly show that there is acculturation of Chinese and Islamic culture in the Si Juring batik motif (repeating geometric motif), the Pintu Raja batik motif, and the Kembang Kapas batik motif.
Other Indramayu batik motif characters are flora and fauna nuances with curved or rhythmic lines, handcuffs, stiff and short sawuts, and have a white background with a dark color combination that has many dots with needles. The most striking difference between Indramayu batik and other regional batik is the batik pattern. Where the Indramayu batik motif is bolder by adopting bird, plant and flower motifs.
Indramayu Batik Color
Understanding of the use of color in batik decoration in the Indramayu area is adjusted to the belief that age determines the use of color. According to local batik artisans, pink and blue are used by young people, blue and red are used by middle-aged women, and blue, brown and green are used by older people. Even so, everyone’s perception of the colors of batik cloth is not a limitation in using it. Any color of batik cloth can be worn by anyone, young or old.
The development of the Indramayu batik industry
The development of the Indramayu batik industry in the international market share shows a very positive trend. This is shown by the success of Indramayu’s typical Complongan Batik which has now penetrated the Singapore, Europe and America markets.
Batik Tulis Complongan is the result of the creation of Indramayu batik craftsmen with natural color characteristics with a very unique pinhole motif that makes Indramayu batik start to flutter in local and international markets, marked by increasing demand from year to year.
Batik Complongan is one of the batik techniques by punching holes in the batik cloth with a row of needles to form a certain pattern that characterizes the batik.
The Complongan batik technique will continue to be preserved by batik artisans in Indramayu, although this traditional batik craftsmanship requires patience and skill as well as adding design insight to follow market tastes while maintaining the characteristics of the north coast, namely coastlines combined with natural colors.
Bibliography of the History of Indramayu Batik Motifs and Explanations
- http://fitinline.com/article/read/batik-inramayu, accessed atDecember 13, 2014 at 21.15 WIB.
- http://www.batikjirolupat.com/blog/batik-indramayu-dan-jember-less-dikenal-namun-mempesona/, accessed on December 13, 2014 at 20.15 WIB.
- http://kultur-indonesia.org/Motif-Batik–Iwak–Etong/, accessed atDecember 13, 2014 at 21.15 WIB.