Kawung batik motif is one type of ancient batik tulis motif that appeared and developed in Nagari Ngayogjokarto Hadiningrat in the new Mataram era. However, we must know this kawung batik motif and the meaning contained in each stroke of the batik motif formed from a piece of kawung batik cloth.
History of Kawung Batik Motif
The history of the kawung batik motif and its explanation we need to reveal in detail so that we are more familiar with kawung batik as a whole, we started from the beginning, namely where the kawung batik motif was one type of prohibited batik motif at that time.
The kawung batik motif has been known since the 13th century which was created by the sultan of Mataram at that time, kawung itself became a motif inspired by kolang-kaling fruit from the trunk of a palm tree, other sources also say that the kawung batik motif is associated with the kuwangwung animal. The philosophy contained in the palm tree starting from the top (tip of the leaf) to the root is very beneficial for human life, it implies that humans are useful to everyone in the life of society, nation, and state.
“Ajining diri ana ing lathi, ajining raga ana ing busana, agama ageming diri”
Self-respect is reflected in speech, self-esteem is also reflected in the way we dress, and religion is our guide.
In some historical books, kawung batik motifs mention that the kawung batik motif is only specifically for noble families or palace officials. The kawung batik motif has a geometric pattern that also has a special meaning in Javanese traditional philosophy, which reflects the existence of a center of power and power in the universe, as well as in humans. The epicenter of power or power in the kawung batik motif is the kawung motif (kolang-kaling) surrounded by four rounds or rectangles, or a collection of stars as a form of union of harmonious elements, namely natural elements (Macro Cosmos) and human elements (Micro Cosmos).
If we look at another point of view of the kawung batik motif, namely as a symbol of papat madhep limo pancer, namely Four points form a line that symbolizes the brotherhood of four facing one point in the middle which is considered the center of power of the universe, therefore the kawung batik motif is also a symbol of unity. So that the kawung batik motif represents that a king is a core or center of power of the universe, a human leader, a weak and righteous protector, and also a representative of god or a representation of a god in the kapitayan religion embraced by the ancient Javanese people or some call the ancient Javanese a lemurian.
At first, this kawung batik motif could only be worn among the royal family, but after the Mataram Kingdom was divided into two, the designation was worn by different groups as well. Keraton Surakarta, this kawung batik motif is worn by the Punokawans (Semar, Gareng, Petruk, Bagong) and the Abdi dalem jajar priyantaka.
Kawung Batik Motifs and Explanations
Another history of kawung batik states that there is folklore where a young man from an authoritative village is also respected by his environment because of his polite and wise speech which has become a concern for the Mataram palace. The mataram palace had a high curiosity about the young man’s behavior, until a telik sandi was sent to the young man to face the king. The mother heard from the local people that the son was invited by the king of mataram. This made the mother become moved and pinned a lot of hope on the young man.
For this reason, the mother made batik with a kawung motif, with the hope that her son could protect himself from lust as well as become a useful human being for many people. Long story short, the young man was promoted to the rank of duke of Wonobodro. In the procession of his appointment as duke, the young man wore a batik dress model with a kawung motif given by his mother.
In general, the derivatives of kawung batik motifs are named based on the size of the round-oblong shape that exists in a certain kawung batik motif. For example
- Kawung picis batik motif which is a kawung motif composed of a round-oblong shape that is small in size resembling a picis currency worth ten senyang.
- The kawung bribil batik motif is a type of kawung motif composed of a round-oblong shape that resembles a bribil currency worth half a cent.
- Kawung sen batik motif is a type of kawung motif where the size of the isen-isen is as big as the currency of cents. Often the sen currency is used to be stocked along the way as an accompaniment to the corpse until in the end this kawung batik cloth is used as a cover for corpses before being shrouded or buried. Another source says that because of the philosophy of the kawung sen batik motif that interprets life, it will return to the sawung realm.
Kawung Batik Motif Pictures
Here we show the three types of kawung batik motifs ranging from kawung picis, kawung bribil to kawung sen.
Bibliography of the History of Kawung Batik Motifs
- fitinline,2013. Unique Meaning of Classical Batik Philosophy: Kawung Motif. Online: http://goo.gl/A7U9l1 accessed 6 January 2015
- Andika Varian,2014.Batik Kawung. Online: https://goo.gl/1sbIcM accessed 6 January 2015