20.2.08

Batik Jambi

Batik Jambi

Batik Jambi is indeed a thing of tremendous beauty and some say offer you the treasure of its journey's mystery.

The uniqueness in Batik Jambi lies on its fabriques.

Regarding this where up to 80's motives or fabriques were known among the Batik Jambi However, learning how these fabriques were created and found will be the most exciting as we will bring ourselves back to the history of Melayu Jambi Kingdom which is still argued to be the center of the Hindunese Kingdow of Sriwijaya in the 4th century.

This side actually has brought Batik jambi into the world of its kind and show how it enriches the favours and show up to its traditional history.

In days of old, the process of batik printing was a long and tedious one. In those days, the 'janting', a small copper cup featuring a bamboo handle and one or more spouts, was used to drip wax in intricate patterns on both sides of a piece of fabric. The fabric was then immersed into a dye to color the exposed areas. The process was repeated till the desired patterns and colors were obtained. Boiling the fabric thoroughly removed the wax and it was then hung in the shade to air-dry, batik never being dried in the sun because the direct sunlight 'kills' its color

Batik Jambi so far had take on many forms such as a simple piece of paintings, a formal sarong, an elegant pillow cover or even a tie.

We here at Jambiexplorer.com have some packages to bring you back to the untravelled journeys of the Batik Jambi history, vary from on-line ordering and purchase, a special package of delivery to all around the world, and a very special in place holiday package of sinking into the deep of the mistery of Batik Jambi.

We have some program guided by all the batik makers offering you spending few days in the heart of the Batik Village (additional to the adventure packages ), learning all the history, try to paint your own batik fabrique, or even to have your own touch of painting on a piece of silk and cotton.

the making

the fabriques

the anthropological background


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Tampuk Manggis Batik Center


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The Making of Batik Jambi

Just right on the heart of Jambi town across the river of Batang Hari, where some of local batik painters bring back the ancient pride of Melayu Jambi Kingdom.
This district has historically been the center for ancient Melayu Jambi, where most of ancient buildings and monuments were sited near by which called as Muara Jambi,
Tampuk Manggis is one of up to tens Batik jambi producer located here. Coordinate by Ms. Keptiah, helped by up to 10 very skilful painters, they produce 6 pieces of plain Batik per week.



Starting with choosing the material, combine the mixture for the 'ink' and lay down the design really cost them their patience and perfection. Painting Batik is such an art you should try...














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Motives / fabriques design and selection had been such a long story ever since the batik itselve found and painted for centuries. Most of the motives today actually provide us an open book of its journey through years start from all ancestors of nowadays Batik Jambi artists.

Today, up to 40 simple motives and up to 20 old traaditonal motives had been identified. Sort of historical research actually need by this art product for its complexities. Since no one had reached such point of clearness and decent level of understanding on htese motives and their linkages, we here, at Jambi.com offer you , our dear guests, a package where you can travel all the uniqueness, the mysteries, and even become painters and create your own batik ...

( please contact us for more detail )



Having finished the plain batik, which if we knit them the plain will be transformed to what Melayu people used to call Sarung, we though here can see other end products of what else the Batik Jambi can be transformed.







The Anthropological Background

The attention of Europeans was first drawn to Jambi's batik art in 1928, when a Dutch ethnographic and photographer,Tassilo Adam, presented a Jambi batik cloth to the Ethnographic Department of the Colonial Institute in Amsterdam . There it became the subject of much speculation from the Ethnographic Curator , B.M.Goslings, who was surprised at the existence of a highly refined craft practice about which previously nothing had been known (Goslings 1928 :279). Following this acquisition, a number of reports were commissioned and cloths collected by members of the Dutch administration in Jambi.

Goslings was meticulous in his research, comparing the examples of Jambi cloths brought back with other cloths in Dutch collections and with those illustrated and described in the standard texts of the time. Of the origin and status of the blue batiks with a yellow-brown veined background there was no difficulty. These were still being produced in the villages across the river from Jambi's capital city, and Tasillo Adam had seen them being manufactured there himself . The question which aroused doubt in his mind was the origin of the batiks displaying a red dye. Heer van der Kam, Controlleur from 1928 to 1931, who had visited the village in question to make enquiries on Goslings, Behalf, reported that local manufacture.Red dyes had been produced in the past, but these were no longer in use.Goslings was skeptical, however, partly because the techniques employed also differed from those employed in the blue cloths, and having compared the cloths, and with textiles from various production centers in India, he concluded that they were probably importd from there.

Shortly afterwards, however, he was surprised by communications from a number of correspondents who had returned from colonial service in Jambi with textiles obtained there, and who where insistent that these cloths had, indeed, been made in Jambi. He was invited to visit the owners, including Heer Petri, who had been Resident in Jambi from 1918 to 1923, and having heard their accounts and examined the cloths, he was conviced that Heer van der Kam's informant had been correct and that the cloths did indeed originate in Jambi. He concluded that they had been made at a much earlier time than the cloth brought to Europe by Tassilo Adam., possibly before 1875 when the Jambi sultan was deposed by the Dutch and the royal household fled into the upriver regions.

The Red Cloths

Goslings had been puzzled by the fact that the Jambi villagers claimed not to know hwo the red dyestuff was produced, and this was his chief reason for doubting that The cloths really came from Jambi. However, the preparation of red dyestuffs has often been a jealously guarded secret both in Indonesia and elsewhere, and it is likely that villagers were reluctant to reveal their sources to each other, let alone the Dutch (Maxwell 1981 ). The recipes for the use of annatto,.dragon's blood rattan and sappan wood for dyeing red in Jambi are still secrets which one family told me they alone held; the women who knew the secrets would not even tell their menfolk. None of these dyestuffs was in widespread use in Java, where until the introduction of the mengkudu tree was normally used for the prepartion of red .While the mengkudu tree grows in the batik- making villages of Jambi, and its fruit is used in the treatment of hypertension, its roots are not used in for dyemaking.It thus seems likely that the dyeIng of red was common practice before the introduction of new techniques and materials from Java.

The use of te xtiles in Jambi society

Jambi has a long tradition of textile production of its own, but as a busy center of international trade, an integral part of its culture has always been its appetite for imported textile These have originated from India, Java and the Middle East, as well as from Europe.The roles played by textiles are many and varied

Upstream- downstream trading

Historically, imported textiles played an important part in the relationship between the King and his subjects in the interior, upstream parts of the Jambi sultanate. According to Adat or customary law, there was a reciprocal arrangement during the sultanate whereby The King supplied his subjects with rice, metal tools, salt and cloth ; in exchange they must send down forest products such as gums and resins, ivory, rhinoceros horn and dragon's blood (A.Mukty Nasruddin 1989:122}.

This arrangement no longer pertains, but the Indigenous forest dwellers,the Kubu people (Anak Dalam tribe ) ,still operate a system whereby they barter goods, including imported textiles from Malaysia whom they supply in return with forest products including Jerenang. They refer to their Malay contact as the jenang,. the term for Merly used under the Jambinese sultanate, abrogated by the Dutch in 1906, for the functionaries who dealt with the collection of upstream tribute of this kind.Trade textiles also retain a central importance in Kubu society, where there is no indigenous textile production, and where fines, measured in standard units of cloth, are imposed for a range of transgressions (Sandbukt 1988 :126 ).

Life Cycle ceremonies >>>

Taken from the book of Fiona Kerlogue " Scattered Flowers "


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