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tribaltextiles.info • View topic - question about "batik" naming

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:33 am 
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Location: Bandung
Okay, I am indonesian, and to my ear and up until now, to my knowledge, the word "batik" is only used to mention a technique of dyeing textile in javanese tradition.

But, recently i found that, after wandering here and there in the net, the word "batik" is also used for other textile that certainly not javanese in the technique and pattern/motive.

So, as an ordinary person, i need more information here about the usage of the word "batik" especially in international forum.

The thread made not because i am angry or something, it just confusing, due to my understanding to the word batik as an Indonesian.

Thank you in advance..

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--It's hard to be a half breed, especially if your father is partially Arab, Sunda, and Lampung, while your mother is half Toraja half Wajo, and you was born in Palembang, yet raised in Bangka Island, just to go to study for 8 years in Bandung--


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
There is no doubt that the word 'batik' has come into the English language (I don't know about other languages) to mean painting or drawing on wax as a resist when dyeing and therefore creating a pattern or design.

I try not to use the word 'batik' but say 'wax resist' when talking about dyeing and using wax as a resist unless I am talking about batik in Indonesia in Java or Sumatra but I think you will find many/most forum members will use the word 'batik', for example when describing wax resist in south west China by the Miao. (I sometimes feel rather picky and pedantic when I say 'wax resist' and not batik!)

I think that batik in Indonesia was probably the first such use of wax resist that many people knew about and so they use the word 'batik' as the generic term for the technique/process. Many people in the world at large may not even realise now that batik is the special term from Indonesia and specifically Java (and I think there is some batik in Sumatra?) and that it refers to particular designs and patterns used in a specific place and culture.

The word 'ikat' has also been adopted widely to refer to a resist to dye created by binding threads. This term is used more widely than only referring to ikat in Indonesia. A local term for the process is likely to be explained by using the work 'ikat' to describe it.

I am trying to think of other words from other languages where this is also true. One term I can think of is 'Hoover' for an electric cleaner. Here a specific make of electric cleaner has been widely adopted for a type of cleaning and machine to do it.

Languages change and evolve all the time and adopt words from other languages. In the case of English and technical terms such as batik and ikat I think they become adopted because the technical process is not native to the UK or USA and so the word is taken from the language of country where the process is first seen or noticed widely. The words are no longer words from another language and culture but have a specific meaning in the language which has adopted them.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:17 am 
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--It's hard to be a half breed, especially if your father is partially Arab, Sunda, and Lampung, while your mother is half Toraja half Wajo, and you was born in Palembang, yet raised in Bangka Island, just to go to study for 8 years in Bandung--


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:21 am 
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