Philosopy and the Everyday Lives: Sufism movement in rifa’iyah batik art in pekalongan-batang during 1960-1980

Adlien Fadila, Zeffry Alkatiri

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The art of batik as one of Indonesia’s distinctive handicrafts is a high-value cultural and artistic heritage. The way of making it is complicated and difficult and takes a lot of time, where empty space is filled with pictures of soft and neat dots or lines. This is what makes batik a work of art.
The dynamics of batik are characterized by their past, present and future uses. This dynamic makes batik able to adapt according to changing times. Batik in its development, especially on the island of Java, is divided into two major groups, namely coastal batik and inland batik.
Colors and motifs are a marker of differences in coastal batik and inland batik. various colors are characteristic of coastal batik and simple colors like brown, white, black and blue are characteristic of inland batik. Motifs on coastal batik are naturalist and in rural batik are symbolic. Based on this, batik is not only judged from the art of beauty but also there are human values that are formed through a series of manufacturing processes. Behind the symbols in various batik motifs there are noble meanings and values which are the result of culture that involves deep taste and mental processing. Batik also accompanies various religious ceremonies because they are considered to have spiritual values, are used in various important events in the hope of bringing goodness to the wearer according to the meaning contained in the batik motif.
Rifai’yah batik with its Sufism motif is the batik with little awareness from the society at large in Indonesia, thus becoming an interesting subject to study. This chapter aims to explore the trail of Rifa’iyah batik in Kalipucang Wetan Village, Batang, Central Java during 1960-1980. Rifa’iyah batik art has a characteristic in its production since the craftsmen make it while doing zikr (remembering Allah). This activity becomes the basis and main characteristic of Rifa’iyah batik.
However, Rifa’iyah batik motif is not as popular as that of Pekalongan batik due to its exclusive distribution that only includes Rifa’iyah community and Kalipucang Wetan village, Batang District, Central Java. Kalipucang Wetan village becomes the one and only place with strongest Rifa’iyah batik tradition. This research used historical research design with cultural and visual approach. Based on the analysis results, it is concluded that Sufism movement in Rifa’iyah batik art is a development of Pekalongan batik and is influenced by the teachings of KH. Ahmad Rifa’i. © 2021 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)978-1-53619-154-7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Batang
  • Batik
  • Sufism
  • Movement


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