Tag Archives: Royal

BATIK PATTERN MEANINGS – THE PRODIGY NEW MUSIC VIDEO

Kawung

In my work you will often find some returning patterns and shapes on the background. Because I always get inspired by the patterns you can find on the traditional clothing & fabrics from Indonesia and also because they match very well with the other ornaments or images I use, I love to use them in my work.

Those patterns on the fabrics are made by a special dyeing technique called Batik. What many people might not know is that those patterns are not just random patterns, but that they have a much deeper meaning behind them. And that some patterns can only be found in specific areas of Indonesia. Many Indonesian batik patterns are symbolic. For example infants that are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and certain batik designs are reserved for brides and bridegrooms, as well as their families. Some designs are reserved for royalties, and even banned to be worn by common people. Even a person’s rank can be determined by the pattern of the batik he or she wears.

Some of the traditional batiks show patterns mixed with images from for example butterflies, birds and other animals. In the end of 16th century, the majority of the Islands in the region of Java had adopted Islamic faith. This change strongly influenced Javanese textile designs as Islam forbids the depiction of humans and animals. This prohibition brought about a variety of stylized and modified ornaments as symbols, such as flowers and geometric patterns, known as Ceplok. The Ceplok patterns were the way in which batik makers attempted to get around the prohibition, creating simple elements which represented animals and people in a non-realistic form.

BATIK KAWUNG

Kawung_2

For example this Batik Kawung, that I used as an inspiration for the tattoo I made shown above. Batik Kawung is one of the oldest batik motifs and is worn by the king and the family. Known in Java since the 13th century, and appears on Hindu temple walls such as the Prambanan. The Kawung pattern symbolizes justice and power.

Batik Kawung pattern has a meaning; symbolizing the hope for human beings that they will always remember their origins. This pattern consists of four circle focused on a point means a King that is assisted by his servants. Actually ‘Kawung’ or ‘Kolang kaling’ is also a name of Palm fruit (Areca Palm blossom) that Indonesian people love to eat.

Part of the Ceplok (circle) family of designs, the Kawung can be arranged as intersecting circles in some of its variations, making dynamic repeated patterns.

 

PARANG RUSAK

Parang_3

Another example is Batik Parang Rusak. Parang means weapon, literally defective big knife (like a sword). It symbolizes power and strength. Batik with a Parang Rusak pattern is originally worn exclusively by knights and people of authority, this particular batik motif must be processed with serenity and patience. If a mistake is made during the process, it is believed that its magical power will disappear. It’s a traditional batik pattern from a special district of Yogyakarta. The curved lines of a Parang motif portray waves, symbolizing the center of nature’s powers and referring to the king and his powers. There are even more variations of Parang Rusak patterns, such as Parang Rusak Barong, Parang Kusuma, Parang Klitik, Parang Klitik Mentik, etc.

Parang

 

Tattoos all done @ 25 to Life Tattoos in Rotterdam.

 

 

 

NEW MUSIC VIDEO CLIP OF THE PRODIGY – GET YOUR FIGHT ON

How nice it is when one of you’re old customers is texting you telling that you have to check out the new video clip of The Prodigy because the tattoos you made on them are in there. Great! Thanks a lot guys :)

 

– Ade Itameda

 

 

Share

LEGEND OF RATU KIDUL – QUEEN OF THE SOUTHERN SEA OF JAVA

Ratu_Kidul

In the last days I finally found some time to study more about Ratu Kidul, the queen of the Southern Sea of Java. A legend from Indonesia that fascinates me already for over years. Because it’s such a known and ancient legend and there’s many different stories going around about her in Indonesia, I decided to stick to the stories and the place that’s the most familiar to me.

5 years ago I heard about this old mysterious story for the first time during my visit to Parang Tritis, an area on the southern coast of Java in the Bantul Regency, about 30 km south of Yogyakarta. When I arrived at the Hotel Queen of the South – Puri Ratu Kidul for some drinks, we decided to take the big climb down the cliff to walk on the beach.

Before I tried to climb down my friends directly stopped me and checked me if I was not accidentally wearing any green or blue clothing. Kinda surprised I asked them, if that would be a problem? They told me ‘Because otherwise the Queen of the South Sea will get angry and will drag you into the sea and make you serve like her slave!‘ Wow, that kinda shocked me and I instantly wanted to know more about this mysterious lady!

Ratu_Kidul_2

 

Kanjeng Ratu Kidul 

She is a legendary Indonesian female spirit or deity, known as the Queen of the Southern Sea of Java (Indian Ocean or Samudra Kidul south of Java island) in Javanese and Sundanese mythology. The origin of these stories is hard to find but could go back to around the year 1300, more then 700 years ago.

She goes under many names which reflect the diverse stories of her origin in a lot of sagas, legends, myths and traditional folklore. Other names include, Nyai Roro Kidul, Ratu Laut SelatanGusti Kanjeng Ratu Kidul, Kanjeng Ratu Ayu Kencono Sari etc. In this post I stick to the name that I know out of my own experience, Ratu Kidul. 

If she has to be seen as a goddess or more as a ghost depends a bit on religious beliefs. For example in the Islamic society of Indonesia, she’s more seen as a ghost who is immortal. And in Bali they more see her as an appearance of Durga, so in their eyes, she is seen as a goddess. And according to Javanese beliefs, she is also the mythical spiritual consort and protector of the Sultans of Mataram and Yogyakarta, beginning with Senopati and continuing to the present day.

She is often illustrated as a mermaid with a tail as well the lower part of the body of a snake or a fish. They say she claimed to take the soul of any who she wished for. And the local people believe that the Queen often claims lives of fishermen or visitors that bathe on the beach and that she usually prefers handsome young men. Anybody who respects her and brings her offerings she will protect.

 

Parangtritis Beach  & Hotel Queen of the South

Many Javanese people believe that Parang Tritis Beach is the gate of Ratu Kidul’s magical kingdom.

On top of the cliff at the beach, there’s a beautiful 5 star hotel which is named after the Ratu Kidul and which even holds a bungalow, reserved especially for her! You can find the bungalow 033 in the back of the garden, from the porch in the front you directly look at the sea. In the living / dining room there’s a bed with green sheets, under the bed are green sandals. In the corner of the bed, a pot with sand to burn incense sticks. And in front of the bed a dressings table with mirrors and a lot of make up. So Ratu Kidul and one of her lovers could spend the night here.

Room_Ratu_KidulPhoto by an unknown visitor.

 

Ratu_Kidul_1

 

 

Note; I never visited this bungalow myself and I’m not 100% sure if it’s still there due to a big earth quake around 2008 when the hotel was completely destroyed. Last time when I was there (October, 2014) the hotel was completely rebuild and looking beautiful again, but I’m not sure if the bungalow is still there. What I know is that the bungalow is not always open for public, you have to request it if you want to see it (just like the other rooms reserved for Ratu Kidul in Indonesia, like the one in Hotel Samudra at Pelabuhan Ratu) Probably the queen preferred to spend more time at Parang Kusomo at the beach of Parang Tritis. A walled space with 2 stone blocks as thrones. One for the Sultan & one for Ratu Kidul. In that holy place, offerings and prayers are made every day.

Parang_Tristis_1 Parang_Tristis_2

Photo’s made by our friend, Joel Kiel, during our trip to Parang Tritis in October, 2014. 

 

Parang Tritis is just a place that I keep coming back to, where I really love to be and make long walks on the beach. Still a very calm, non-touristic mystical place. I can’t wait to return!

– Lielo

 

 

Share