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Jakarta Post

Batik patterns hold deep significance

  • Indah Setiawati

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 11 2008   /  10:12 am

Centuries ago, royal court families in Central Java restricted the use of diagonal batik patterns because the popularity of the fabric had spread and they wanted to maintain its exclusivity. Common people who dared to wear batik with the restricted patterns faced punishment for dishonoring the royal family. The restriction on wearing batik with parang patterns, including the famous parang rusak, parang garuda, parang barong, parang kusumo and parang kelitik, has, of course, long since disappeared. "People can pick any batik pattern now, but please be careful. Don't choose a blouse or skirt with an upside down pattern because people who know batik will laugh at you," Ratih Sanggarwati said. She said although parang patterns could be used by anyone, they should not be worn by Javanese brides and grooms because, according to superstition, it could bri...