Mataraman Batik part 3. (Parang Batik)
(Parang Motif - Image source : www.hedabatik.com)
Parang Batik in the ancient times was considered sacred by the Islamic Mataram Kings both in Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The motif initially consisted of two small circles came as a couple on top and at the bottom, then got connected by a line to form a letter 'S'. After that on a series of these letter 'S', several multilevel lines were then added to form a decorative art called parang.
The name parang and its motif variations only limited to the position of the 'S' letters which were slanted ('pereng' = slanted ground), but the fact is the lines and the motif variations are not actually connected to each other.
Parang motif is a geometric pattern dated back to prehistoric culture found in nakara ornaments. The motif of circles in couple (the letter S) in prehistoric belief was used to indicate male and female. In cosmology, it was a symbol of balance. Buddhist in Java considered this batik as the symbol of Yin and Yang, while Javanese Kings in the Islamic period saw it as the symbol of authority and power.
Parang batik was worn by Javanese kings at that time to boost their sovereignty and to maintain their authority as well as the kingdom's. Therefor, the royal batik artisans in their creativity development created parang motif combined with other motifs and gave them additional names such as Parang Gurdo, Parang Klitik, Parang Barong, and many others.
Source : Mozaik Batik Indonesia