endek historyIn the past, endek cloths were generally the prerogative of the princely courts and aristocratic families with regard to both production and use. These clothes have since undergone a process of democratization so that personal distinctions can no longer be made on the basic of textiles alone. They are also social badges.
Nowadays Bali endek is created and produced not only for the tourist who come to Bali, but also for the overseas markets. Very often the design is created by collaboration between foreigners and Balinese but still maintaining the traditional patterns. But the culture the way of life and the religious activities of Balinese are too strong to compromise even the pattern of their endek, so the buyers should adjust their taste.
Endek for Balinese, like batik for Javanese (even tough batik is also exist and produced in Bali), is considered as a a part of their great culture. It evokes a rich tapestry of historical and ritual association as well as believed as tourist attractions, as an important elements in pusing tourism development. However at least before this century in Bali, the textiles dyers (like butchers and potters) are still considered to be impure. They command respondingly low respect. It is only the low sudra caste who maintain their livelihood by carrying out these income-generating activities.
Today, most people change so Balinese, Caturwangsa ( Brahmana, Ksatria, Waisya, and Sudra) is no longer become the only rule in social interaction. Modern life tend to diminish those social strata and then change them with something new that is strata based of professionalism. The textile dyers are no longer considered as low professional . This professions are important professions not only for maintaining the cultural identity of Indonesian.
The clothing industry contributed big parts of total export value of province Bali. Today Bali fashion is created nad produced not only for Indonesian large cities but also overseas market. The design is created by collaboration of foreigners and Balinese and often has little to do with traditional patterns. Production, however exhibits a typically Balinese components, it could only have originated in the touristically accessible south Bali. Only there attracted by Balinese culture (and by tropical beaches), could Euro-American creativity and know how interact with Balinese creative energy and manual dexterity, enabling contemporary trend to emerge.
The growth of tourism has had far reaching social and economics effects on the Island of Bali. It has provided new employment opportunities not only in hotels but also in arts, in crafts, in traditional textiles, in entertainment, and in travel agencies. This prospects of employment is one of the many factors contributing to population growth in the major tourist areas. However at the same time, the tourist bloom has resulted in the rising price of the land, land speculation, and the conversion of land from agricultural to non agricultural uses. More important, mass tourism has introduced organizational changes in Balinese tourism, there has been a transition of ownership out of Bali hands, and the Balinese response to tourism is being increasingly orchestrated by outsiders – mainly Indonesian from Jakarta city and transnational corporation.
The impact of tourism at the district level has been uneven, as the regional development plan admits. At the banjar level it difficult to found uniform procedure for the distribution of income derived mainly from cultural performance for tourist. But it is not happened for people who earn their income from traditional textiles products.
For example, during the 1930s, the tradition of endek production and use began to detach itself from the closed world of the courts and underwent renewal to many villages in Bali. Weavers began to make simpe endek materials from handspun local cottons or from factory-produced and patterned yarns on traditional cag-cag looms.
After Indonesian independence at 1945, the development proceeded at an explosive rate. During 1950’s the first large workshop were set up in Gianyar and these have now grown into important manufactories. In the 1970’s various large and small workshop mushroomed all over Bali island area like in Sidemen village at Karangasem east Bali, in north Bali, Singaraja regency, in Sampalan near Klungkung regency, and in the neighborhood of Negara (Jembrana regency, west Bali). By 1989 until 1990 there was 160 commercial products in Bali employing of total more than 10.000 people and the production of checked, striped, plain, and endek materials from cotton, as well as man made fibers and silk had by this time burgeoned to an average more than 150.000 meters per month. This impressive number was going down at 1990s but the quality of the products increasing significant.
Process of modernization has been marked such as decisive innovations as the applicantion of new and more efficient winding and warping methods, the use of more convenient tying materials, the introduction of fast acting synthetic dye-stuffs and a changeover from the traditional cag-cag or backstrap loom to the new loom : the non machine.
Sidemen as case study
In brief most of endek’s producers in Sidemen area agree by saying that before 1970’s not many visitors came to their village. Not only because their village can be considered as a remote but also because not many something unique that can displayed for the visitor. But after 1970’s when endek’s production started in this tiny village, this condition changed completely. Visitors and foreigners like the waves, came and came and then brought the Sidemen endek. It make many of Sidemen people became have good economy.
But the competition between them is the other fact really fierce but the number of visitors come to their village to see and then buy endek are still high. Balinese buy the endek for sarong, a waist wrap worn by men, and for kemben, a cloth worn by women and, on ceremonial occasions, by men. Vistors prefer to buy endek that is made into shirt, blouses, and dresses. This is the chart shows type of cloth made of endek worn by Balinese men and women :
Cloths for head for men called destar, and for women is tengkuluk/gelungan
Cloths for body for men called kampuh, and for women called senteng, stagen or lamak.
Cloths for lower part for men called wastra amd for women called wastra istri/ sinjang/tapih.
As long as the Balinese still still live in their culture and put the practice of their culture into the way of their life, the role of endek will be still great in the future as already shown in the past.
Important terms and definitions in traditional cloths :
ENDEK : in the past (19 th-20 th centuries) they are courtly symbols of status. Today they are worn by Balinese as national shirt.
SONGKET : Golden threads expressing caste and privilege.
PERADA : Gilded garments for humans, Gods, an temple.
BEBALI : Bonderlines between the sacred and the profane.
KELING : Archaic clothes from Nusa Penida island.
POLENG : The dualism motif black and white.
GERINSING : Cloth with magical protection expressing communal identity.
Sarung/kamben sarung is any cloth used to wrap the lower body. It means sheath or tube. A sarung is a two meter length of cloth and one and a quarter wide, that has its ends sewed together to form a tube.
The Javanese sarung made of batik – a type of cloth in which the design produced by bloking out areas with waz, dyeing the cloth, and then boiling out the wax. But the most popular sarung in Bali are made of native endek. Endek is usually rayon, and the design is tie-dyed into the weft strands. Rayon is softer than cotton and has attractive sheen. Endek is Balinese weft ikat cloth.
Women don’t wear sarung but kamben lembaran or just called kamben. Lembaran means a leaf or a sheet. It refers to the fact that kamben is not sewn into a tube like sarung. Kamben poleng is black and white checkered kamben that is usually used to wrap the stone carping.
Men and women wear kamben, but men usually do so only for religious or important social events. Women may wear the kamben all the time for both, house and village activities as well as for temple use.
Endek and batik are equally favored for kamben, but today the batik which is often machine printed is more favored. Songket is a cotton cloth brocaded with gold or silver threads. Songket is traditionally woven on a small horizontal loom called a cag-cag and used only in few places in Bali. Songket is most popular material for udeng. An udeng is usually a piece of square batik materials or songket that measures about one meter on each side. Endek is never used because it is not stiff enough and will not hold pleats.