Solo, In the Wrap of History and Batik Culture

Solo, The Spirit of Java, it seems true this slogan is given to the city of Surakarta or ordinary we call Solo. The city is full of culture and history both in terms of struggle and art. Frenetic city of Solo with various cultural events to make this city is as popular as Jogja. Two cities that improve culture against each other and become famous to foreign countries. One of them is Batik Tulis. Both Jogja and Solo have different character and characteristic of each that is full of meaning. As a first step we walk enjoy the history of Batik Solo, a culture that is still awake until now.

Place culture is as an intermediary of batik development in Solo. Started from about 4 centuries ago where Demak Kingdom which moved its royal capital from Demak Bintoro to Pajang took part in bringing batik culture. Laweyan village which was once part of Pajang area became the first point of Batik development. Kyai Ageng Henis, Ki Ageng Henis is the son of Ki Ageng Selo who is also a descendant of Brawijaya V. He lived in Laweyan village since 1546 M. Ki Ageng Henis, known as Ki Ageng Laweyan is “manggala pinatuwaning nagari” Jaka Tingkir is still a Duke Pajang. He is the grandfather of Danang Sutawijaya who became the founder of Mataram kingdom. And now Laweyan is one of the biggest Indonesian Batik Fabric that still in Solo area. Thats brings the history of Batik Solo.

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Solo Batik At Surakarta Kingdom

Mataram Kingdom of Islam reached its heyday during the reign of Sultan Agung Prabu Hanyokrokusumo where the people live safely and prosperously. At that time art and culture
also get high attention, one of which is batik, which has become a raw material and worn clothing on various occasions. Based on some data obtained, the batik center at that time was in Pleret area, Yogyakarta.

After the Sultan Agung died and successively replaced by his heir, the situation changed and there was chaos. The number of conflicts then led to the Treaty of Giyanti held on May 13, 1755. Starting from the split of the Keraton Surakarta and Ngayogyakarta as a result of the Giyanti agreement in 1755. All the greatness of Mataram was brought to Yogyakarta Palace. Meanwhile, PB III ordered the servants to make their motives of Gagrak Surakarta batik.
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From the command people are competing to make batik patterns. There are many batik motifs that developed in the community. PB III also issued regulations on batik cloth or batik clothing that may be used in the palace. There are certain motives that are allowed to be used in the palace environment.

“Ana dene kang arupa jejarit kang kalebu laranganingsun, bathik sawat, bathik parang lan bathik cemukiran kang calacap modang, bangun tulak, lenga teleng lan tumpal, apa dene bathik cemukiran kang calacap lung-lungan, kang sun wenangake anganggoa pepatihingsun lan sentananingsun dene kawulaningsun pada wedhia.

[As for the type of batik cloth that I forbid, batik sawat, batik parang and batik cemukiran that tipped like the beak of podang birds, bagun tulak, oil teleng and beruj tumpal and also batik cemukiran lung tip (leaf of plants that spread on the ground), which I allow to wear it is a patih and my relatives. While the subjects (the people) are not allowed.]

The courtiers who got the task to make batik designs and patterns for the family of the palace lived outside the palace of Surakarta to form a community of batik artisans such as in Kratonan, Kusumodiningratan, Kauman and Pasar Kliwon. Materials used and coloring still use local materials such as Java soga.

This is what prompted Solo to grow rapidly as a center of batik cultivation. The Surakarta palace rebuilds a symbolic repertoire of motifs for the royal, noble, and servant environments. Arranged new motifs to be used at ceremonies – ceremonies and developed color – the color of batik characteristic of Keraton Solo, with yellow and strong soga.

In developing new designs, Surakarta Keraton often borrows Mataram classic motifs that already exist and gives it a touch of different colors. For example, Udan Liris motifs are given a white background and colored soga (which in Jogjakarta is known as “rujak senthe”)

Classic batik, which officially only for the palace, in certain circumstances allowed to be modified so that it can be worn by the layman. This kind of batik is called Sodagaran batik and popular among Laweyan merchants, Solo’s biggest batik buying center in the past. As a city that has a tradition of open batik cultivation, Solo stimulates berseminya batik homes. The owners sharpen themselves to be the creators of great batik works with the breath of high taste.

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In Solo itself there are 2 types of batik cloth commonly used, namely batik cloth and cloth lurik. Batik originating from the city of Solo and Jogjakarta by the lovers of batik fashion called Batik Kasultanan with typical colors used are blue, brown and white. Each color of Surakarta Solo batik cloth has its own philosophy. The blue color symbolizes the earth, the color brown symbolizes fire while the white color symbolizes the wind and water.

Another characteristic of Solo batik is its color. Solo batik often use sogan color that is combination color like combination of brown color, dark brown, yellowish brown, blackish brown, and reddish brown. Sogan Batik Is one type of classic batik nuances with dominant color variations of brown. Named batik sogan because at the beginning, this batik coloring process using natural dyes taken from the stem of soga high tree. Sogan Batik is a kind of batik that is identical with the Javanese court area of Yogyakarta and Solo, the motif is usually follow the standard of the palace motifs.

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Sogan Yogya batik and Solo batik can also be distinguished from the color. Usually sogan Yogya dominant dark brown-black and white, while sogan Solo brown-orange and brown. Sogan batik this classic is always a lot of devotees and lasting without knowing the season, there are always lovers of this type of batik. Although there are more dynamic coastal batik both color and motif are contemporary and exotic.

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