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BULETIN TEXTILE.COM/ Jakarta – The story of Ms. Nunuk Pulandari, a friend who has lived in the Netherlands for a long time; how she only really fell in love with studying Batik when she became a Dutch citizen.

Semen Klewer (= dependent motif, kleweran)

I am Nunuk Pulandari. For me, I just got to know and understand well the vocabulary of “Batik” after I was in elementary school, when I started dancing the Serimpi dance, the Bondan dance.

Every time I perform a dance, I have to wear a jarik with a different motif. While the answer to the question “what is batik?” I only understood and found out after I started to like batik and often observed my mother and grandparents who always wore batik in their daily lives.

When we were little, we often vacationed at the grandparents’ house in Pemalang. A city located not far from the city of batik, Pekalongan.

Grandmother lives in this house with Mbah Buyut (grandparent’s mother) and her older sister named Mbah Diyah and her daughter, Budhé Imah. My grandparents died long ago and I never knew him in person.

What really impresses each of these holidays is the presence of four mothers on the terrace behind the house. Every morning, on this terrace, there are always two women who are quite old with two others who are much younger.

They always come every morning, not long after the sun breaks. They did not come to visit but to make batik, to make jarik for grandparents and several other members of the daughter’s family.

Mrs. Supri is making batik with a Gurka motif with fish scales as a background, at the Mirota batik shop in Yogyakarta

We always call them: “Mbok and Yu Batik”. As soon as they arrived, they sat down on a “amben” (a kind of bed made of woven bamboo) covered with rather thick mats.

On the “amben” there are four “clothes racks” where they can drape the mori material that they will paint with batik motifs. On the “amben” they sit on a kind of dingklik (short bench), then make batik, depicting the motifs that have been mentioned and chosen by the grandparents themselves.

At that time batik did not use a patron as it is today. The picture of the motif mentioned by the grandparent is in the mind of the batik maker. I saw that two mbok Batiks were in charge of making batik motifs and Yu Batik was busy making isen batik. With a splash, a soft point as the content of the motif.

When they have started making batik, the atmosphere is so quiet and calm. Everyone was concentrating on doing their job. While doing their job they very rarely talk to each other. They just left their job only when they had to go to the bathroom and rest while eating and chewing betel nut.

Mother with one of her best friends.

They diligently and meticulously produce beautiful long batik fabrics (jarik batik). I can see this when I am observing the batik heritage left behind for the seven of us, 3 brothers-in-law and 3 younger siblings.

Mother’s family photo (standing wearing a hat), grandparents with family, taken plus or minus in 1922

Since her mother went to school at the Van Deventer School, Solo, she has always worn cloth and a kebaya. Until her death, both her grandparents and her mother always wore jarik and kebaya in their daily lives. From sunrise to late at night.

I always see my mother walking back and forth dressed in her jarik and kebaya. Sometimes the thought comes to mind “Isn’t it difficult and hot, always wrapped in a jarik cloth and in a bun with her lips?”

Especially. if the mother has to change more than twice a day because on that day the mother has to attend two different parties, for example.

I have never imagined how much time and effort must be expended just to produce a batik motif on a piece of Mori cloth measuring 2 ½ to 3 kacu (Javanese word for measuring the length of mori cloth).

It is approximately equal to 2 ½ to 3 meters long by 115 -120 cm wide. It is not at all aware that the results of their batik will be a beautiful memory for the seven of us.

As we all know, batik is a form of classical Javanese painting, especially in Central Java. In this batik painting, one can see how many motifs we can find.

The jarik motif, gulang galing, is a combination of the machete motif and the gringsing (fish gill) motif.

Each motif has its own characteristics, meaning and significance and name. These factors have a close relationship with the function and use of batik in everyday life. I will write about all this in the next article.

(Red B-Teks/Adi Kusrianto)

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