Parahyangan Batik - Batik Parahyangan Indonesia & Malaysia

Parahyangan Batik

The cultural and mountainous region of Parahyangan is located in West Java province on the Indonesian island of Java. It is the heartland of the Sundanese people and culture, encompassing little less than one-sixth of Java. It is bounded on:

  1. The west by Banten province
  2. The north by the northern coast area of Subang, Cirebon, and Indramayu
  3. The east by Central Java province (former Banyumas residencies)
  4. The south by the Indian Ocean

The Sundanese are a Southeast Asian ethnic group indigenous to the western half of Indonesia's island of Java. They number around 40 million people and are Indonesia's second-most numerous ethnic group, behind the Javanese. Sundanese refers to themselves as Urang Sunda in their language, whereas Orang Sunda or Suku Sunda is their Indonesian counterpart. Sundanese and Javanese have very different cultures.

The western third of the island of Java, which includes West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and the western part of Central Java, is called Sunda by Sundanese, while the central and eastern parts of the island are called Jawa by Sundanese. Sundanese has historically been centered in West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and the western half of Central Java.

They can also be found in Lampung, South Sumatra, and Central and East Java. Sundanese nomads can also be found on many Indonesian islands, like Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali, and Papua, which are all in Indonesia.


Parahyangan Batik Characteristics

Sundanese Batik or Priangan Batik is the name of batik attire products made in the Priangan district of West Java and Banten. Although Priangan batiks can employ a variety of colors, some of their types show a fondness for indigo. Natural indigo dye from Indigofera is one of the earliest known dyes in Java, and its local name, tarum, has given rise to the Citarum River and the Tarumanagara kingdom, implying that ancient West Java was once a significant source of natural indigo. 

Priangan batik art is well-known in:

  • Ciamis
  • Garut
  • Tasikmalaya

Other traditions include Batik Kuningan, which was influenced by Batik Cirebon, Batik Banten, which came up on its own, and an older tradition of Batik Baduy.

Batik Banten uses brilliant pastel colors and is a rebirth of a forgotten art from the Sultanate of Banten unearthed during an archaeological investigation in 2002–2004. Twelve themes have been recognized from locales such as Surosowan and others.

Batik Baduy uses indigo in colors ranging from bluish-black to deep blue to make a batik shirt or dress. The Outer Baduy people of Lebak Regency, Banten, wear it as an iket, a sort of Sundanese headdress comparable to the Balinese udeng.


Origins of Parahyangan Batik

Sundanese or Parahyangan Batik is the term for batik products from the Parahyangan region of West Java and Banten. Although Parahyangan batiks can use a wide range of colors, a preference for indigo is seen in some of its variants. Natural indigo dye made from Indigofera is among the oldest known pigments in Java, and its local name, tarum, has lent its name to the Citarum River and the Tarumanagara kingdom, which suggests that ancient West Java was once a significant producer of natural indigo. Parahyangan batik is produced in Ciamis, Garut, and Tasikmalaya. Other traditions include Batik Kuningan, influenced by batik Cirebon, batik Banten, developed entirely independently, and an older tradition of Batik Baduy. Therefore, when you view the details of Batik Kuningan, it's totally different from other batik arts.


Parahyangan History

Since the ancient past, the region has been home to early humans. Some prehistoric archaeological discoveries of early human settlements have been made at Pawon cave in the Padalarang karst area, west of Bandung, and surrounding the former lake of Bandung.

The Bojongmenje temple remains were found in the Rancaekek region of Bandung Regency, east of Bandung. The temple is thought to date from the early seventh century CE, at the same time-or perhaps earlier-as the Dieng temples of Central Java.

The old Sunda Kingdom included Parahyangan. Sunda Wiwitan beliefs held that the interior mountainous region of Parahyangan was holy. Jayagiri's kabuyutan, or mandala (holy sanctuary), was referenced in ancient Sundanese scriptures and was located somewhere in the Parahyangan highlands, most likely north of modern-day Bandung on the slopes of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.

Following the collapse of the Sunda Kingdom in the 16th century, the nobility and aristocrats of Cianjur, Sumedang, and Ciamis administered Parahyangan. These princes claimed to be the genuine heirs and descendants of Sunda King Siliwangi's bloodline. Although the Banten and Cirebon Sultanates retained dominating authority at the time, the Sundanese aristocracy of the Parahyangan highland had substantial internal freedom and autonomy.

Sultan Agung of Mataram conducted a military assault throughout Java in 1617, vassalizing the Sultanate of Cirebon. Mataram forces seized Ciamis and Sumedang in 1618, gaining control of most Parahyangan areas. The Mataram Sultanate was at odds with the Dutch East India Company based in Batavia. Mataram was increasingly weakened later on due to a conflict between Javanese royal successions and the Dutch meddling in internal Mataram court problems. Later Mataram rulers made considerable concessions to the VOC to secure their positions, including giving up many of the domains initially obtained by Sultan Agung, including the Parahyangan. The Dutch have ruled the Parahyangan since the early 18th century.


Colonial Parahyangan History

During the Dutch colonial period, the region was known as De Preanger. Its capital was first located in Tjiandjoer, but it was eventually relocated to Bandung, which became a significant settlement. By the nineteenth century, the Dutch had taken control of most of Java. Furthermore, with the completion of Daendels' Java Great Post Road, which connected the Preanger plantation region with the port of Batavia and many other sections of Java, the Preanger became available for investment, exploitation, and enterprise.

The Preanger Regencies Residency, established in 1818, became an essential and lucrative plantation area during the Dutch East Indies era, producing coffee, tea, quinine, and various cash crops that benefited many wealthy Dutch plantation owners. The Dutch advertised Java coffee worldwide, although it was cultivated in Preanger. Bandung became an important community and planned city in the early twentieth century. Pre-war Bandung was intended to be the new capital of the Dutch East Indies, but World War II stopped that ambition. After Indonesian independence, the romantic historical term for the hilly area of West Java around Bandung became the Parahyangan.


The Sundanese People Who Make Parahyangan Batik

The Sundanese population exceeds thirty million people. The great majority of them live on the Indonesian island of Java. Although Java is a tiny island, it serves as the administrative and economic hub of the Indonesian archipelago. In Java's central and eastern provinces, the larger Javanese ethnic group is the majority. Sundanese are the majority in West Java.

West Java has an area of 16,670 square miles, almost half the size of Greater Los Angeles, California. The northern shore is flat, whereas the southern coast is mountainous.

The central region is rugged, with numerous magnificent volcanoes.


Sundanese Language

Most Sundanese, like other Indonesians, are multilingual. Sundanese is their native language, and Indonesian is the national language. Generally, Sundanese is the preferred language among family members and friends, whereas Indonesian is used in public.

Both are Austronesian languages. Sundanese is a very diversified language with several regional varieties. However, depending on the social position of the person being addressed, all are separated into distinct levels of formality. Thus, when speaking to one's father, one's phrases differ from those used when talking to a friend or younger sister.

The majority of individuals utilize two or three tiers. However, some elderly folks utilize all four.


Sundanese Culture

Batik products are an old cultural aspect that is popular across Indonesia. These unique costumes are becoming increasingly popular in the modern digital fashion world at a high price. Making Batik, primarily written, is more than just a physical activity; it also has a spiritual component that includes prayer, hope, and learning. Batik motifs have symbolic meanings in ancient Javanese society and may have been utilized to communicate with ancient Javanese people. Old Javanese people found that batik designs could show how people were ranked in the league.

Many Indonesian batik motifs are symbolic. Infants are carried in batik slings painted with symbols meant to bring the infant good fortune, and particular batik patterns are designated for brides, grooms, and their families. Certain Javanese rites, such as the ceremonial throwing of royal batik into a volcano, rely heavily on batik clothes. The mother-to-be is wrapped in seven layers of batik in the Javanese naloni mitoni formal, which wishes her well. Batik is also used in the tedak siten ritual, which occurs when a youngster touches the soil for the first time. Pattern requirements are frequently reserved for traditional and ceremonial situations.


Sundanese Batik Development

Batik is an old wax-resist dyeing technique for cloth from Java, Indonesia. Batik art is most developed there; some of the world's best batiks are still made there. All of the components for the procedure are widely available in Java, including cotton, beeswax, and plants from which various vegetable colors are manufactured. Indonesian Batik predates written history, according to G. P. Rouffaer, who believes the technique was imported from India or Sri Lanka in the sixth or seventh centuries. The Dutch archaeologist J.L.A. Brandes and the Indonesian archaeologist F.A. Sutjipto, on the other hand, believe that Indonesian Batik is a native tradition because several regions in Indonesia, such as Toraja, Flores, and Halmahera, which Hinduism did not directly influence, have attested batik making traditions as well.

The first Batik activities originated in Ponorogo, still known as Wengker, before the 7th century. The Kingdom of Central Java learned batik from Ponorogo. As a result, Ponorogo batik is comparable to Batik found in Central Java, except that the Batik made by Ponorogo is often midnight black, also known as batik irengan due to its proximity to magical elements. As a result, the kingdoms of Central Java and Yogyakarta developed it.

Sundanese people have known about Batik since the 12th century, according to the contents of the Sundanese Manuscript. According to the old Sundanese text, Sanghyang Siksa Kandang Karesian, written in 1518 AD, the Sundanese have a batik that is similar and symbolic of Sundanese culture in general. Several motifs are even mentioned in the literature, and the process of Batik Sundanese production begins step-by-step based on those data sources.

The grinning pattern was already recognized in Kediri, East Java, by the 12th century. He concluded that this exquisite design could only be formed by simultaneously employing canting, an etching instrument with a tiny reservoir of hot wax invented in Java. Carving details of garments worn by East Javanese Prajnaparamita statues from the 13th century reveal elaborate flower designs inside rounded borders, akin to the typical Javanese glamping or ceplok batik motif. A better source is required. The lotus, a holy flower in Hindu-Buddhist traditions, is said to be represented by the design. This evidence implies that sophisticated batik cloth designs were used with canting as early as the 13th century in Java, if not earlier. By the final quarter of the 13th century, Java's batik cloth had been sold to the Karimata islands, Siam, and even Mosul.


Sundanese Batik Spread Throughout the World

The approach was initially documented in Europe in the "History of Java," published in London in 1817 by Stamford Raffles, a British administrator of Bengkulu, Sumatra. The ethnographic museum in Rotterdam received the objects acquired by Dutch businessman Van Rijckevorsel on a trip to Indonesia in 1873. The Tropenmuseum now holds the Netherlands' most significant collection of Indonesian batik. Dutch and Chinese colonists were interested in producing batik, mainly coastal batik, in the late colonial era. They pioneered using caps (copper block stamps) to mass-produce batiks and innovative designs. The Indonesian Batik wowed the public and artists alike when it was displayed at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.

The use of wax and copper blocks was brought to the east coast of the Malay Peninsula in the 1920s by Javanese batik makers who went there.

Dutch and English traders brought Javanese batik to Subsaharan Africa in the nineteenth century. The locals adopted Javanese batik, creating more significant designs with bolder lines and richer colors. Batik was brought to Australia in the 1970s, where aboriginal artisans at Erna Bella developed it as their technique.

It was first practiced in Africa by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and the Soninke and Wolof tribes in Senegal. Instead of beeswax, this African variation uses cassava starch, rice paste, or mud as a resist.

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