TWO SARONGS DECORATED WITH PARANG BATIK DESIGN. JAVA, INDONESIA. 19TH CENTURY. COTTON. LEFT: 218CM (L) X 118CM (W). RIGHT: 234CM (L) X 85CM (W). FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES. © THE TRUSTEES OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM – TAASA Review March 2013
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This article was originally found in the March 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 1, Page 17).
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The generally accepted eight larangan motifs in use on kraton batik were Kawung, Parang, Parang rusak, Cemukiran, Sawat, Udan Liris, Semen, and Alasalasan (McCabe Elliott 2004:68).
In this article, I examine two of the most famous forbidden designs – Parang and Parang rusak.
The two batiks that Raffles brought back to England feature the larangan Parang designs and are considered to be some of the earliest surviving items of Javanese batik. Parang refers to a diagonally arranged design or "garis miring"...