Batik: Fabled Cloth of Java
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From the royal courts of Yogyakarta and Cirebon to the coastal towns of Pekalongan, Surabaya and Lasem, Inger McCabe Elliot takes the reader on a spellbinding tour of Java's north coast examining the customs, cultures and craftsmanship that distinguishes its magic cloth.
Batik—Fabled Cloth of Java is a sumptuous book and now a classic, richly illustrated with color plates of the finest antique and contemporary batik batik from collections all over the world. It includes historical photographs, etchings, engravings, maps and photographs of modern Java.
This new edition will be welcomed by designers, scholars and art lovers alike. it is the product of many years of collecting and on-the-scene exploration by a leading photojournalist, whose life was changed forever when she first laid eyes on the wondrous batik of Java's north coast.
gun-toting policemen when I arrived unannounced in some remote village. I pestered scholars and friends alike in the hope of collecting and showing what had never been seen before. I also drew on my earlier training as an aspiring historian. I was gradually able to put most of the textiles into what seemed to be an appropriate cultural, Spectacular prada sarong with red and blue (bang-biru) colors may have originated in Lasem. The head, or kepala, shown here has curvilinear geometries and the
tiger that had once guarded Silwangi, a famous Hindu ruler, thus symbolically linking the new Muslim court with its Hindu forebears. The former court of Pakungwati also became a batik motif, with its garden of artfully arranged rocks, trees, and a pond where sultans would go for rest and contemplation. There they achieved the state of sunya ragi (sunya means "zero" or "infinity," ragi means "soul"), the state of spiritual void in which the soul merges with the universe. Yet another crest
Pesisirir were thought to be crass, materialistic, and flamboyant, wheeler-dealers with little regard for the proprieties of a genteel life. Conversely, the coastal people viewed the inlanders as staid, conservative, and snobbish. The division between coastal and inland areas, in short, is as much cultural as it is geographic, and nowhere is this more evident than in their contrasting styles of batik. Except in Cirebon, there were no courts or court culture on the north coast. The absence of
suggests that it was related, long ago, to the batik of central Java. Batik from this region often devotes its entire surface to what looks like an abstract geometric. It is, in fact, covered with the shahada, written in Arabic. T h e Shahada is the basic statement of Islamic belief: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. Even though only two color schemes are used—dark blue and cream or, more rarely, red and gold—this batik is probably the most graphic of all north-coast
unprecedented honor for a non-Javanese. Both his lofty honor and his learning have been important to the way Hardjonagoro operates his batik factory. Unlike other owners, Hardjonagoro explains to his workers the significance of the motifs. Working for a nobleman apparently gives his batikers a special status: "The product satisfies them . . . they're working for someone highly exposed to culture and the outside world," says he. Without the hard work and inspiration of Hardjonagoro and the will of