Batik in Literature: Spiritual Dimension

Spiritual dimension of batik-making are particularly the rich culture, symbolic meaning and life values. The process of making batik is filled with terminology with deep meanings and moral lessons from the very beginning until accomplished or called mbabar.

The collection of literary works that explain the deeper meaning of batik are called suluk. These works are sung while the batik artist is working. So during the process of making batik, the artist often chants and sing to gather the inspiration from their spiritual relationship.

Below is the first part of Suluk Prawan mBathik, translated from the original Javanese. Suluk Prawan mBathik, among other literary works, serves as an important source of information for understanding batik.

This song of Suluk Bathik marks the beginning of the batik process. Please begin to make your batik, the woven cloth is already prepared. But don’t forget the pattern and please be careful. What is still lacking? The raw cloth is smooth. The wax is so white, because a little lanceng resin was added. The canting rengrengan is also ready for use. [Suluk mBatik kang pinurweng singir, lah ta wus babo bathiken pisan, tenunan wus panigase. Ywa tinggal polanipun, lawan sira den ngati-ati. Kang winadan punapa? Dhasaripun alus, mamira pethak, wus dinuga lanceng sedheng sawatawis, acanthing pengengrengan.]

There is 14 parts of this Suluk Prawan mBathik.**

(Source: Sekaring Jagad Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat – Astuti Hendrato Darmosugito)




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