The Preservation of Batik Besurek in Bengkulu 1983 – 1987

Executive Director of InMind Institute Yon Machmudi, Ph.D. with Hesti Septiya Ningsih and Suranta wrote research about batik besurek, a traditionally painted fabric from Bengkulu, Indonesia. This research was published as proceeding at International Young Scholars Symposium of Humanities and Arts 2017 in Universitas Indonesia (UI) and accessible on

This research is based on the phenomenon of Batik Besurek fabric in Bengkulu region that is unique in its motive as it portrays Arabic calligraphy. Its motives and colors are philosophically profound. Despite undergoing many changes, Batik Besurek continues to be preserved until now and becomes a characteristic of Bengkulu. This study aims to find out Batik Besurek preservation in Bengkulu, the people who play the roles, and what their roles are. The methods and sources used in the research are historical methods conducted through heuristic stages, source criticism so as to get historical facts closer to the reality of the events written. The next stages are data interpretation stage and historiography. This study concludes that Batik Besurek has existed since the 16th century during which it was introduced by Arab traders and workers from India. It developed and continues to be preserved by the people of Bengkulu in traditional ceremonies and community activities. The society, government, community, and institutions or companies have a role in preserving and developing Batik Besurek. These efforts are done by displays at various celebrations and festivals, aside of introducing Batik Besurek through published articles and online videos showing that Batik Besurek exists to date.

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