The city of Banyuwangi is located on the eastern tip of the island of Java, which borders the island of Bali. This city has a unique history of batik. Not many people know that Banyuwangi is one of the origins of batik in the archipelago. The history of Batik Banyuwangi began when there was the conquest of Blambangan by Mataram which at that time was in the reign of Sultan Agung in 1633. The areas that became the conquered areas were Blambangan, Panarukan, and Blitar. During the reign of Mataram in Blambangan, many young Blambangan youths were brought to the center of the Islamic Mataram Government in Plered, Kotagede, where they learned to make batik. Along with the times, mutualistic political interests occurred, which finally established batik as an identity of mastery or a symbol of conquest of the culture it surrounds.
Banyuwangi batik is an embodiment of the aesthetic value of the typical Banyuwangi decoration. Batik Banyuwangi motifs are not only an embodiment of aesthetics from decoration but also have values that are embraced by the people of Banyuwangi. All the names of the motifs from the original Bumi Blambangan batik are apparently heavily influenced by natural conditions.
There are many typical motifs of the typical Bumi Blambangan batik. Until now, about 21 types of original Banyuwangi batik motifs have been recognized nationally. Some of the Banyuwangi Batik motifs are Elephant Oling, Kangkung Setingkes, Alas Kobong, Big Paras, Broken Coffee, Broken Worm, Gedegan, Ukel, Blarak Semplah, Moto Pitik, and so on.
Banyuwangi Batik Motif Kangkung Setingkes
Batik Banyuwangi Motif Moto Pitik
Banyuwangi Batik Motif Paras Earthy
Banyuwangi Batik Ukel Motif
Batik motif of Gajah Oling or Gajah Uling, the motif is in the form of an animal such as an eel whose size is quite large. The Elephant Oling motif, which is believed to be the original motif of Batik Banyuwangi, symbolizes a power that grows from within the identity of the Banyuwangi people. The meaning of the Gajah Oling motif is related to the religious character of the Banyuwangi community with the mention of “Elephant Elephant” which has the meaning of an elephant which is a large animal, meaning enormous, while uling means eling (remember), as a whole it can be interpreted that Batik Gajah Oling invites to always remember the greatness of the Creator is the basis of the life journey of the Banyuwangi people. There are also those who say that the elephant uling is curved like an elephant’s trunk. The characteristic of this batik is that it is shaped like a question mark, which is philosophically the shape of the elephant’s trunk and the shape of the uling at the same time. In addition to the main elements, the batik character is also surrounded by a number of other attributes. Among them, butterflies, vines (a kind of marine plant), and manggar (betel nut or coconut flowers). Currently, the concept of Gajah Uling has been developed in such a way that it follows the tastes of the market.
Banyuwangi Batik Oling Elephant Motif
The Sembruk Cacing motif also has a worm-like motif and the Gedegan motif is also like gedeg (woven bamboo). These batik motifs are a reflection of the natural wealth that exists in Banyuwangi. Batik motifs like in Banyuwangi will not be found in other areas and are typical of Banyuwangi.
Banyuwangi Batik with Worm Smashed Pattern
Banyuwangi Batik Gedegan
The city of Banyuwangi has several batik centers, namely Sayu Wiwit, Tirta Wangi, Sritanjung, and Srikandi located in Banyuwangi district, Virdes Batik in Cluring District. Each batik center has its own characteristics, the striking ones are the Sayuwiwit batik studio and Virdes. Sayuwiwit still maintains the conventional Banyuwangi batik motif, based on the old standard of only playing colors and combining patterns, while Virdes develops Banyuwangi Batik, combining standards and consumer demands.
Efforts to preserve batik in Banyuwangi are carried out by the local government, starting in 2009 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday all Regional Government employees and Civil Servants in Banyuwangi are required to wear batik uniforms with the Elephant Oling motif. Other efforts have been made, namely the use of typical Banyuwangi art clothing, namely the Gandrung dance and Seblang traditional ceremonies, as well as for the typical Banyuwangi regional clothing, namely Jebeng and Thulik (In Thulik the Gajah Oling batik motif is used for udeng tongkosan and sembong, while in Jebeng the Gajah Oling batik motif is used for long cloth). This batik motif is also used for school batik uniforms starting from the kindergarten level to the high school level. Exploration of new motifs is also carried out to increase the diversity of Banyuwangi Batik motifs. Efforts to introduce Batik Banyuwangi, apart from exhibitions and training series, also carried out further introduction efforts through books.
With different characters, Banyuwangi batik displays unique and interesting motifs. The creation of Banyuwangi batik motifs is a form of art that is quite high. All the motifs are taken from the diverse natural wealth of Banyuwangi. So this batik motif inherited from ancestors has artistic value that must be preserved.
Hope it is useful.