Acehnese Batik Costume


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What is Acehnese Batik?

Acehnese Batik is a wax resist method for generating patterns on a white or light-colored cloth. Indonesia, Java, China, Japan, central and eastern Asia, as well as Africa, are all home to this well-known method of clothing design, which is widely utilized around the world.

Through Indonesian culture, the techniques, symbolism, and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments known as Indonesian Batik are evident: infants are carried in batik slings adorned with symbols intended to bring the child good luck, and the dead are shrouded in funerary batik to honor their departed loved ones. In commercial and academic contexts, clothes with daily patterns are worn consistently, while exceptional types are integrated during festivities such as marriage and pregnancy, puppet theater, and other artistic endeavors. 

Some rites, like the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano, place the clothing at the center of the action. Craftspeople take great pride in their work, and they use hot wax to draw designs on fabric that are resistant to vegetable and other dyes. This allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating the process if more than one color is wanted.

The vast array of designs represents a wide range of inspirations, ranging from Arabic calligraphy to European flowers and Chinese phoenixes to Japanese cherry blossoms and Indian or Persian peacocks, to name a couple. Indonesian people are very proud of their cultural identity, which is reflected in the symbols and colors used in this ancient art form that has been passed down through generations.

Acehnese People

Academia Acehnese, also known as Atjehnesis or Achinesis, is one of the most significant ethnic groups on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In the early twenty-first century, they were projected to number around 4.2 million. There is an Austronesian language family (Malayo-Polynesian) spoken by them.

Predating the year 500 CE, the Acehnese were dominated by Indian rulers, and in the thirteenth century, they were the first people in the Southeast Asian archipelago to convert to Islam. Following the expulsion of the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sultanate of Aceh (Acheh; Atjeh) ruled over northern Sumatra until 1904, when the sultan was seized by the Netherlands. However, despite having lived in Indonesia since 1949, the Acehnese have maintained a high level of unrest. In the twenty-first century, the Acehnese still have a big separatist movement going on in their area, which is run as a special autonomous district. Wooden Acehnese homes still exist in some parts of the country.

three-room structures erected high above the ground on pilings. Both the maternal and paternal lineages are used to trace the line of descent. It is customary for newlyweds to remain with the bride's family after their wedding. Women hold great social status. Women do not cover their faces with veils, but they do cover their hair. It is customary for them to wear a skirt over pants, a jacket and scarf, as well as a variety of other accessories. In addition to a jacket or shoulder cloth and wide pants, Acehnese menswear features a turban.

Acehnese Language

It is connected to Malay, but it is much more closely related to the Cham languages of central Vietnam, which are spoken in Aceh. Some fundamental terms from Austro-Asiatic languages have been incorporated into the Acehnese and Cham languages' lexicons (modern representatives of that family are Khmer, Mon, and Vietnamese). The Acehnese employed Malay in Arabic script as their primary written language until the 17th century; it was only in the 17th century that they began to write literature in their own language.

Traditional Acehnese believe that bad spirits may be found in woods, marshes, river mouths, and banyan trees, among other locations. The jen aphui (fire spirit) manifests itself in the form of a bright light in the night. The sibujang itam is a rude, frightening, yet magically powerful entity who may be enlisted for malevolent purposes by those who wish to do harm. When people are sleeping, the geunteut comes in and squeezes them down. The burong are ladies who have lost their lives through childbearing. They are dressed entirely in white, with excessively long fingernails and a hole in the back of their necks. They are seven sisters who died during childbirth, and their spirits are dangerous to people who are having a child.

Acehnese Religion

According to tradition, the Acehnese are among the most devout Muslims in the archipelago, and their culture is considered to be the most inextricably linked to Islam, as befits a region that has long been referred to as the "front porch (srambi) of Mecca," the region from which all Muslims from Southeast Asia used to embark on the Haj (the pilgrimage to Mecca).

An adage describes this well: "[Acehnese] custom is to [Islamic] law as the essence is to manifestation," which translates as, "[Acehnese] custom is to [Islamic] law as the essence is to manifestation." Sharia (Islamic law) has an effect on everything that happens in a family. This law affects everything from marriage and divorce to funerals and inheriting money.

Immediately following Friday prayers, the lowest-level religious court convenes. The Acehnese are supporters of national Islamic political parties, such as the modernist Muhammadiyah, which was once in power.

In the month of Ramadan, the Acehnese are particularly fervent in their observance of three of Islam's five pillars: making the journey to Mecca (Hajj); paying the tithe (zakat); and fasting during the month of Ramadan (puasa). Many people are not as constant as they should be in their five daily prayers. People have been practicing pantheistic mysticism for a long time, and pilgrimages to the graves of famous mystics have become more common in the last few years.

The use of magic to achieve success in agriculture and other industries is considered to be outside the bounds of Islamic orthodoxy. Religious components such as Arabic prayers and the recitation of the surah "Yasin" from the Qur'an are included in ritual dinners to bless rice production (kenduri blang) and fishing (kenduri laut).

Female shamanism is a long-standing practice in the area. Spells issued by dukun (spirit healers) include sijundai, which can induce disease and death, as well as spells that negate the effects of other spells. Exorcistic rituals, which try to "cool" the ill person, are included in the healing process. Dukun is also well-versed in the interpretation of dreams and omens.

Acehnese Village Life

It is common for villages (gampong) to have 50–100 households, with the houses of kin clustered or lined up next to one another with only a fence separating them. In every hamlet, there is at least one meunasah, which is an open structure supported by piles on all four sides and open at the top. It functions as a prayer hall and school, as well as a dormitory for the village's young men and houseguests, and as a venue for public events and other gatherings.

Houses facing the sea or the south are elevated on 2024 posts, each 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and 2.53 m (8.10 ft) in height, with a diameter of 30 cm (12 in) and a height of 2.53 m (8.10 ft) (either wooden or bamboo, depending on family wealth). Older houses used rattan cording instead of nails to hold their floors together. Wooden planks and bamboo are commonly used for flooring. It has two slopes, is 26 meters high (6.5 meters and 20 feet), and is made of plaited sago palm leaf that lasts for 20 years.

This open veranda serves as the children's sleeping area as well as a place for guests to stay at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. The center chamber (tungai) is divided by a central hallway, with the romoh inong on the left and the anjong on the right side of the room, respectively (sleeping quarters for the women of the family and the parents, respectively). The kitchen is located in the back room (seuramoe likot) or in a separate room from the rest of the house (tipik). Poorer families keep their married daughters in annexes to the main home, which they can afford. Harvested rice is kept in a krong pade, or berandang, which is located within the home. Coconut, citrus, and banana plants may be found in abundance throughout the garden.

As of 2005, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam had a Human Development Index (a measure of economic well-being combined with measurements of health and education) of 69, which was nearly equal to Indonesia's national score of 69.6 at the time. The GDP per capita in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam is US $7,752, which is moderately high for Indonesia (compared to US $10,910 in North Sumatra, US $6,293 in Central Java, and US $2,919 in North Maluku; when income from petroleum and natural gas production is included, Aceh's GDP per capita reaches US $12,679, which is among the highest in the country).

In 2000, the rate of infant mortality was 39.71 deaths per 1,000 live births, which was the fourth lowest rate recorded in Indonesia (after the national capital region of Jakarta, the highly urbanized Yogyakarta region, and North Sulawesi). Because of neglect by the central government, the effects of insurgency, and military repression, which were exacerbated by the devastation caused by the earthquakes and tsunamis of December 2004 and March 2005, Aceh has been deprived of a level of development that is commensurate with its natural resource wealth for many years. However, since the post-tsunami peace agreement, this situation has begun to improve slowly.

Life Within the Acehnese Family According to Islamic Law

Marriage of an uncle or aunt, as well as a nephew or niece, is forbidden. First cousins, particularly the children of two brothers or two sisters, should not marry each other. Yet, this does happen rather frequently, despite the fact that it is considered extremely bad.

With the exception of some situations where one family is wealthier, a newlywed couple often stays with the wife's parents after their wedding. As part of the marriage contract, the wife's parents agree to financially assist the couple until they have their first child. 

In the case of impoverished families, the husband does not live in his in-laws' home but rather merely pays visits to his wife there, still considering his own mother's village to be his home. For couples who are married and come from the same village, the guy will spend his nights in the meunasah while he is not with his wife. In other parts of the world, many spouses trade or produce coffee far away from their families, returning just for the Ramadan celebrations.

When it comes to their interactions with one another, the in-laws are very formal, at least until the birth of the first child. For this reason, fathers-in-law will often sleep in the back room of the house to avoid hearing or bumping into their sons-in-law; they will even communicate with them solely via the wall. When a man's wife is absent, he feels much closer to his younger in-law siblings, who can function as intermediaries between the man and his in-law parents when the wife is absent.

Children are more inclined to confide in their mother than they are to confide in their father, and they are more likely to discuss their difficulties with the former than with the latter (mothers raise the children, while fathers are usually away all day working). The relationship between fathers and their grown children is typically strained, with the father frequently portraying himself as an "autocratic" figure. Furthermore, despite the fact that the father's siblings are accountable for his children in the event of his death, children tend to have a stronger emotional attachment to the mother's relatives. Grandparents like spoiling their grandkids, and as a result, parents prefer that their children do not spend time with their grandparents.

Only affluent men are allowed to have more than one wife at a time. If a woman dies while the pair is still receiving financial assistance from her parents, the husband is entitled to a return of half the bride price or, in the alternative, one of the couple's other daughters is given to the husband as a wife. If a husband dies, his widow is nearly always taken in by one of his brothers as his new wife.

Acehnese Cultural Heritage 

A few examples of traditional dances are the tari ranub lampuan, which depicts young women distributing betel to guests; the Arab-influenced seudati agam for males and seudati inong for females; the saman, in which dancers sit in a row on the ground, performing coordinated hand and body movements in a dynamic rhythm; and the ramphak, a female dance demonstrating courage in the face of the Dutch. Rapa-i is a sort of musical performance that involves the accompaniment of chanting with the rebana tambourine.

Many Malay masterpieces, such as the Pasai royal chronicle Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai, the heretical mystical poetry of Hamzah Fansuri, and the Nuruddin ar-Bustan Raniri's as-Salatin (the Garden of Kings), an encyclopedic book on history and politics, were written in Acehnese cities. The first written works in the Acehnese language, including prose and poetry, appeared in the 17th century. An example of a classic is the Hikayat Perang Sabil (Chronicle of the Holy Conflict), which tells the story of the Dutch war.

Acehnese Work

It is through wet-rice agriculture that the vast majority of Acehnese make their living. Most fields begin as swampland that has been sectioned off; just a few rely on irrigation from rivers and streams. Irrigation is managed by males who collaborate with women who plant and weed the fields. 

Swidden (shifting-cultivation) fields, located outside of the hamlet,  supply additional crops such as dry rice, chilies, papayas, sweet potatoes, and vegetables for the village's needs. Previously, pepper was the most important cash crop; presently, coffee is the most important cash crop. A job as a trader, who sells agricultural products, can be a good alternative to farming.

Fishing is another important source of income; traditionally, pawang guilds, each consisting of a leader and a boat crew, divided up a length of coast among themselves to maximize their profits. The Acehnese also raise cattle and water buffalo, and they sell their animals as far away as Medan, where they live. Even though there is a dairy business, it was started by Bengali immigrants and is still run by them.

In the past, the principal exports were rubber from plantations and palm oil from palm oil plantations. Today, the production of oil and natural gas helps to grow small towns and cities.

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