Of the many batik styles and stories embedded in each motif, none is known more for its illustriousness and prestige than Parang.
Recognizable through its s-shaped design, batik Parang was once only to be worn by those who had royal bloodline in the Yogyakarta region during the Majapahit empire. Directly translated from “pereng” which means "cliff" or “slope,” the wavy designs illustrate waves breaking against the rock face, symbolizing the perseverance and strength of good character in the face of hardship.
In addition to the symbolism of the ocean waves, batik Parang’s pattern is also a reference to the traditional wavy Javanese dagger called the keris. These intricately carved traditional blades—often crafted from rare metals and meteorites—carry spiritual significance, are passed down as heirlooms and are a symbol of status similar to the batik Parang itself.
Though this batik motif is worn outside the royal courts today, it still carries the reputation and cosmic wisdom embedded in its design. Here are some types of batik parang and the symbolism and stories behind them:
Tracing back to the 17th-century, Panembahan Senopati, known to be the last descendant to the king of the Majapahit empire, saw visions of the wave-like design through meditation. “Rusak” translates to “ruined” and signifies the brute force the cliff can withstand despite the constant crashing waves. Those who wear this motif carry with them a courageous spiritedness that never tires. It is even said that batik Parang Rusak would be worn by soldiers at the end of a battle to inform the king of victory.
After a collective year of hardship and much perseverance, The Batik Library incorporates Parang Rusak in its latest collection of naturally dyed 100% cotton batik scarves made with communal care in the Kemlagi village of Mojokerto. Hand drawn using traditional wax resistant dyeing techniques, your purchase helps support artisans who are continuing the tradition of batik. We invite you check out the collection here.
Parang Klitik showcases smaller and simpler s-shaped patterns. Symbolizing tenderness and wisdom, Parang Klitik was a motif worn by the princesses.
“Curigo” is another word for keris in Javanese and its representation in this batik motif symbolizes sharpness.
The sharpness of the dagger referenced in Batik Curigo, represents the sharpness of mind. Those in possession of a keris or curigo were known to be able to use it as a talisman to carry potent powers and wisdom to pass down to future generations.
- Saint Louis Museum : Lower Body Wrapper (kain panjang) with Design of the "Broken Dagger on Dark Background" (parang curigo latar cemeng) Motif
- The Batik Route: Parang Batik Motif
- iWareBatik: Parang Rusak
- HaloEdukasi: 10 Jenis Motif Batik Parang Beserta Gambarnya
- Farah Nisa: Batik Parang
- BATIK TULIS GIRILOYO: Motif Batik Parang, Asal-Usul,Makna dan Jenisnya
- Briliani Rohima: Parang Rusak, One of Batik Designs
Images on these blogs were collected from websites for cross-reference. The Batik Library does not own these images.