Madurese Costume and Dress

Madurese Batik

Indonesia Madurese Batik is best known for its Batik, with each region's distinct style. To begin, Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique used on fabric. Batik is made by either drawing dots and lines with a tool called tjanting or printing with a cap, a copper stamp. Many batik patterns are symbolic; for example, infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols meant to bring good luck to the child, and specific batik designs are reserved for brides and grooms.

The Indonesian island of Java's Batik has a diverse pattern that various cultures have influenced, and it is known to be the most developed in design, technique, and craftsmanship. Some Javanese rituals, such as the ceremonial casting of royal Batik into a volcano, require batik garments. Java's batik industry thrived from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Because Java encompasses a large portion of Indonesia, let us focus on the uniqueness of Batik Madura.


Madurese Batik Colors

Madura batik, as opposed to the more well-known Batik, is distinguished by the use of vibrant colors such as green, red, yellow, and blue. Each color has a different meaning. For example, red represents Madura society's solid and complex character, green represents a religious color where a few Islamic Kingdoms are found and developed in Madura, and yellow represents the grains of the Madura natives' paddy farm. 

The bold color is what distinguishes batik Madura from other coastal people. Madura society's inland has a softer or darker color. Natural dyes were used to create the colors: red from noni fruit, blue from tarum leaf, and green from mundu skin mixed with alum. The color changes depending on how long the cloth is soaked, anywhere from 3 months to a year. The longer the fabric is dyed, the more durable and dark the color will be.


Madura Batik

The motifs used in Madura Batik include pucuk tombak, belah ketupat, and rajut. Some motifs even depict various flora and wildlife from society's daily life. Despite the motifs mentioned, the craftsman prefers to work according to their creativity, which may result in irregularities or minor deviations. 

The blank spaces between the motifs are always filled with drawings of vines or plants arranged in a particular pattern. As a result of this laborious and time-consuming work, Madura Batik has refined and complex images. When you refuse to commit to a fixed pattern, you simplify some motifs while enlarging others.


Distinctive Features of Madura Batik Traditional Costume and Dress

The next distinctive feature of Madura Batik is that each Batik from Madura is one-of-a-kind. Artisans authentically do Madura batik, so there will be no similar patterns. Although you may be able to model or create a similar way, it will always be different because each pattern is unique. Madura is well-known for its use of drawing in traditional costume as opposed to printing. Therefore, if you are in search of anything unique, let's find a Madura batik costume.

Because Madura batik patterns are more accessible and diverse, the craftsman frequently chooses them. The craftsman's instincts and thoughts will determine what will be drawn on the cloth. As a result, each Batik tells a unique story. Completing a complex and detailed Batik pattern can take up to a year.

Madura Batik is still a profoundly ingrained community tradition. Even though Batik was not widely used in the past, it is still an essential part of Maduree culture today. The artisans and entrepreneurs of Madura Batik are currently more enthusiastic about producing and selling batik cloth, batik shirt, and other clothing.

Pamekasan, for example, is a Batik industrial center in Madura. Many artisans and business owners in the region have been involved in and built their respective batik businesses for a long time. Madura is known for having several batik centers, but Pamekasan, unlike other districts in Madura, has the highest concentration of batik artisans and entrepreneurs.

Madura Batik's four distinguishing characteristics are colors, various patterns, one-of-a-kindness, and tradition. Many people refer to Madura Batik as batik kasar, which is a disservice to the Madura Batik artisans and their work. The finished product is always intricate and refined, elevating the Batik to the status of a valuable piece of art and commanding a high price on the market.

It is well-known for its challenging patterns:

  • Dots 
  • Fine Lines
  • Curves

The bottom line is that batik, in any shape or pattern, has a high cultural value and should be protected, preserved, and developed into a valuable national asset, whether it is from Madura, Pekalogan, Jogja, or any other region.


Madurese People

The Madurese people originated on the island of Madura and are now found throughout Indonesia, where they are the third-largest ethnic group in terms of population. The Islamic faith and the use of the Madurese language are two things that the vast majority of Madurese share across the archipelago. Despite their origins on the island of Madura, off the northeastern coast of Java, most of Madurese do not currently reside there.

The Madurese people have been forced to leave their home island in recent centuries due to a lack of agricultural resources on the island where they were raised. The majority have settled on Java, where there are an estimated six million Madurese, with the majority concentrated in East Java, where they account for roughly half of the total.


Madurese Population and Distribution

Population and distribution are critical factors to consider. According to official and academic data, the Madurese population varies greatly. According to the most recent national population census conducted in 2010, Madurese people account for 3.03 percent of Indonesia's total population, or 7,179,356 people.

According to their calculations, some scientific sources use significantly more significant numbers, ranging from 10.5 to 10.8 million people. In any case, the Madurese are one of the largest ethnic groups in Indonesia, and according to the 2010 census results, they are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country after the Javanese, Sundanese, and Batak.

The Madurese have traditionally lived in several separated regions. So, if you have travel tours to one of the destinations below, you will have opportunities to meet the Madurese people:

  1. Madura Island: part of a group of smaller islands in the Java Sea that includes Kambing Island, Sapudi Islands, and Kangean Islands to the east of the island. They constitute approximately 3.3 million people in these territories, accounting for over 90 percent of the total population.
  2. Eastern end of Java Island: A comparable number of Madurese people live here.
  3. Indonesian portion of the island of Kalimantan: which has a population of over 400,000 people.
  4. Jakarta, Bali, and the province of Bangka Belitung Islands: Aside from the Madurese people who live in other parts of Indonesia, there are significant Madurese communities here, to name a few.
  5. Small Madurese communities in Southeast Asian countries: bordering Indonesia, particularly Singapore and the Philippines.


The Madurese Language

The Madurese language is indicated in green on Madura Island and in the northeastern part of Java Island. The Madurese people speak a language called Madurese. The Madurese language is an Austronesian language, specifically the Malayo-Sumbawan group. It is further subdivided into several dialects.

Depending on who you ask, there are a variety of linguistic perspectives on Madurese dialects. In older works, the number of dialects is usually divided into two or four, but modern specialists have determined that there are six dialects. Regarding linguistic development, the Sumenep dialect is the most developed dialect, which serves as the foundation for the literary Madurese language. Bangkalan is the most widely spoken dialect in Madurai, and it is frequently used as a lingua franca by Madurese from all over the country.

A peculiar mix of Madurese and Javanese dialects has developed among a significant proportion of the Madurese community in some areas of East Java. Many are fluent in Indonesian, the country's official language, and their native languages.

The vast majority of Madurese follow Sunni Islam as their religion. In contrast to a significant portion of their fellow religious Indonesians, the Madurese have earned a reputation for being zealous adherents of Islam, which is unique to them. Muslim theologians are essential in their adherents' and followers' spiritual and social lives.

Traditional Pesantren Muslim schools educate a sizable portion of the Madurese population, and they play an essential role in the spiritual and social lives of the Madurese people.

Others, such as Christians and Hindus, can also be found among the Madurese who practice other religions. They are located in Sumberpakem village, Sumberjambe district, and have a church that preaches in Madurese.


Madurese Family and Work

The Madurese highly value family and live in villages centered on some Islamic religious centers. According to tradition, Islamic law allows a man to have more than one wife. The groom's parents typically propose marriage to a first or second cousin, with the latter being preferred.

If the proposal is accepted, the bride's parents are given the "bride price," usually cattle. The groom's parents then set a date for the wedding, which will take place soon. The bride's family frequently accommodates newlywed couples. Islam is fundamental to the Madurese's social, political, and economic existence.

The Madurese's main traditional occupation is animal farming, which primarily consists of breeding cattle, goats, horses, poultry, and fighting cocks. Weaving and tanning are two other conventional occupations. 

Because the Madurese are well-known for herding cattle, they are often called "cowboys" in Indonesia, which is a common nickname for them. Cattle are regarded as an essential part of the culture, and bull racing is one of the most popular sporting events in the country.

Agriculture needs to be developed among the Madurese people on the island of Madura due to low fertility and deplorable soil conditions. As a result, farming is not important in Madurese culture and tradition. As a result, except on other islands with perfect soil conditions, such as Java, where agriculture is more widely practiced and has developed to a lesser extent, the Madurese are less likely to farm.

Some of the most important crops grown in the country are corn, cassava, rice, tobacco, beans, and cloves. Minor vassals, boat builders, tanning, pottery, batik manufacturing, blacksmithing, and other related activities are essential for artisans. In coastal areas, the Madurese are active in fishing, trading, and salt extraction, among other things.

Last but not least, the Madurese had a well-deserved reputation in the region as skilled seafarers. Large cities, particularly eastern Surabaya, have sizable populations of Madurese residents who participate actively in various modern economic sectors.


Madurese Dueling and Honor

In rural places, the Madurese retain an old custom of vengeance known as "charok" (carok), which translates as "war of honor." In the 1990s, law enforcement authorities in Madura's four districts documented dozens of crimes yearly. Insults to a family's honor might cause major blood feuds, even if the insults are minor by European or Indonesian standards.

According to local crime statistics, most such attacks are motivated by the molestation of women or property disputes. However, it is also uncommon for the Madurese's savage retaliation to be inspired by an insufficiently courteous treatment or insult to one's honor in public places.

The traditional Madurese crescent knife, the culprit, which is the most prevalent peasant weapon and, in certain regions, an attribute of conventional male dress, is frequently employed as a weapon of vengeance in this dueling. In such instances, the avenger typically prepares the culprit for battle by performing certain spells on the gun ahead of time.

When numerous individuals from each side are involved in the "war of honor," it might develop into a slaughter. Even in the twenty-first century, significant battles have occurred in Madura several times.


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