The Variety of Popular Indonesian Batik

Batik is one cultural heritage that Indonesia has. The UNESCO has confirmed batik as a Humanitarian Heritage for Oral and Non-Cultural Culture on October 2, 2009.

The variety of Indonesia’s batik patterns are very diverse, each region has its own distinctive batik pattern. Every scratch of a pattern is a symbol that contains a message to be conveyed.


Here are some examples of various popular batik patterns in Indonesia:


1. Mega Mendung Batik

Mega Mendung batik is the pride of Cirebon residents, West Java. The name ‘Mega Mendung’ refers to clouds that are dimming. Mega Mendung batik is easily recognized because of its blue and red cloud pattern.


The Cloud patterns are related to spiritual matters, while red and blue are used to symbolized Cirebon residents in coastal areas that are straightforward, firm, and egalitarian.


2. Dolly Batik

Dolly Batik was first introduced in Surabaya and is getting more popularity by now. Dolly is a residential area located in a small alley in the heart of the city. The name of the small alley is Gang Jarak (Jarak Alley), which is taken from the type of plant that grows there. For quite some time, the alley was known as the red district area which was finally closed. The batik artist tries to capture the alley’s dark history through its batik pattern, hence the presence of the jarak plant and butterfly dominating the pattern.


3. Batik Loreng Ondel-ondel

Jakarta, the capital of the country, also has its own batik pattern namely Ondel-ondel Loreng. This pattern shows a vibrant color selection which makes it unique, showing the liveliness of Betawi people. Three colors that dominates the patterns are red, bright yellow, and light purple. The Betawi people avoid using dark color because it is considered to sadness.


The production of this batik is centralized in Palmerah, Bendungan Hilir, Karet Tengsin, and Kebon Kacang. For tourist who wants to see the batik, you can visit Museum Textile in Tanah Abang where the batik is displayed.


4. Kujang Kijang Batik

The Kujang Kijang batik pattern originated from Bogor, West Java. The cleaver and deer elements refer to the famous icon of the city. While the cleaver (kujang), a traditional Sundanese weapon, is a symbol of Bogor City, the deer (kijang) are animals that are easily found in the Bogor Palace. The Kujang Kijang motif is drawn side by side and facing the four points of the compass to symbolize the protection and security that comes from each side.


5. Palembang Batik

The Palembang batik is originated from Palembang, South Sumatera, and is influenced by several cultures i.e. China, Malay, and the Islamic Kongdom. The pattern is dominated by floral elements and symmetrical lines to shows purity, elegance, and abundance of suntenance.


6. Batik Tabir

Batik Tabir is one type of batik motif from Riau, Pekanbaru. The pattern holds a similar stroke with Palembang batik where it is dominated by vibrant color and floral element of the tanjung flower, kesumbo flowers, and sunflower.


7. Gamolan Batik

Gamolan is traditional musical instrument made from bamboo originated from Lampung. The batik artist from Lampung choose to draw gamolan in their batik to introduce it to wider audiences. To see this batik, tourist can go to West Lampung and Way Kanan area.

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