Besurek Rafflesia Batik: A Fusion of History, Script, and Natural Beauty

Besurek Rafflesia

Motif Name

Besurek Rafflesia Batik

Founded by Tribe

The name of this batik cloth from Bengkulu, Besurek, comes from the Bengkulu Malay language which means "writing" or "writing". This "writing" or "letter" is what characterizes Besurek Batik.

Associated Event

No specific association with an event


Besurek batik entered Bengkulu in the 16th century at the same time as Islam. The characteristic of the besurek batik motif is calligraphy writing.

Common Origin State(s)

from Bengkulu Provinces


The Besurek Rafflesia batik is a unique and culturally rich textile art form originating from Bengkulu, Indonesia. This distinctive batik motif is not only a testament to the region's history but also celebrates its natural beauty, particularly the rare Rafflesia Arnoldi flower. Here's a closer look at the symbolism and significance of Besurek Rafflesia:


  1. Besurek and Script Tradition:
  • The term "Besurek" refers to a textile that contains letters or inscriptions. In the context of Besurek Rafflesia batik, this art form incorporates script and calligraphy into its design.
  • The presence of script elements in batik motifs often serves as a form of storytelling, conveying historical, cultural, or religious narratives.


  1. Demak Influence:
  • Besurek batik art was introduced to Bengkulu by batik merchants and artists from Demak, a historically significant Islamic kingdom in Java Island. This connection reflects the cultural exchange and influences that shaped batik traditions in different regions of Indonesia.


  1. Kaganga Letters and Arabic Calligraphy:
  • The Besurek Rafflesia motif pattern typically features Kaganga letters or Bengkulu's original script, combined with Arabic calligraphy. This combination highlights the blending of local and Islamic artistic influences.


  1. History and Sultanate of Demak:
  • The historical reference to the Sultanate of Demak (1475-1548) underscores the rich heritage and Islamic history associated with this batik style. It may symbolize the enduring influence of this sultanate on Bengkulu's cultural identity.


  1. Celebration of Rafflesia Arnoldi:
  • One of the most distinctive elements of the Besurek Rafflesia batik is its depiction of the Rafflesia Arnoldi flower. This rare and iconic flower is native to the Bengkulu region and is celebrated for its unique and exotic beauty.
  • By incorporating the image of the Rafflesia Arnoldi into the batik, the motif pays homage to the natural wonders of Bengkulu and showcases the region's biodiversity.


  1. Local Identity and Beauty:
  • The Besurek Rafflesia motif not only reflects historical and cultural influences but also celebrates the local identity of Bengkulu. It highlights the region's unique script, natural beauty, and artistic traditions.


  1. Artistic Expression:
  • Beyond its symbolism, Besurek Rafflesia batik is a form of artistic expression. It showcases the creative craftsmanship of batik artisans who skillfully combine script, calligraphy, and imagery.


In summary, the Besurek Rafflesia batik is a captivating fusion of history, script, and the celebration of natural beauty. It tells a story of cultural exchange, honors the historical legacy of Demak, and showcases the unique beauty of the Rafflesia Arnoldi flower. This batik motif serves as both a work of art and a cultural symbol deeply rooted in the heritage of Bengkulu, Indonesia.

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