Kain Sasirangan, Traditional Cloth from South Kalimantan


Sasirangan cloth or Kain Sasirangan is a traditional cloth of the Banjar tribe in South Kalimantan which is passed down from generation to generation. Referring to Hikayat Banjar, this cloth was made around the 7th century under the name kain Langgundi.

History of Kain Sasirangan

The story is, according to his father’s message in a dream, Patih Lambung Mangkurat from the Dipa Kingdom was imprisoned to look for the king for 40 days and 40 nights on a raft following the flow of the river. 

Arriving at the Rantau area of ​​Bauntung city, he heard a woman’s voice from a lump of foam: Putri Junjung Buih.  The princess will only show her form if her request is fulfilled, namely a magnificent palace made by 40 boys and a long piece of cloth by 40 girls.

Upon request, the palace and cloth were completed within one day.  Ride Princess Junjung Buih to the human realm, wearing a yellow kain Langgundi, and then becoming the king of Dipa.  Kain Langgundi is now known as Kain Sasirangan.

Kain Sasirangan is believed to have magical powers that are useful for treatment (batatamba) as well as to ward off and protect oneself from evil spirits. In order to be used as a means of exorcising evil spirits or body armor, sasirangan cloth is made to order (pamintaan) – so it is also known as kain pamintaan.


The Making of Kain Sasirangan

Making this cloth should not be arbitrary. Must pass special requirements in the form of a ceremonial salvation. The provision of color is also adjusted for its designation.  For example, yellow is for curing jaundice, red for headaches or insomnia, green for paralysis or stroke, black for fever and itchy skin, purple for stomach pain, and brown for mental illness or stress.

Likewise the form and how to use it. Sarong (tapih bumin) to treat fever or itching;  kemben (udat) to cure diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, and other stomach ailments;  a veil (kakamban) wrapped around the head or draped as a head covering to treat migraines; as well as a headband (laung) for head ailments such as dizziness or throbbing head.

Along with its development, this cloth is also used as traditional clothing by ordinary people or noble descendants.  

The Use of Kain Sasirangan in Modern Time

The flow of fashion globalization erodes and changes the function of kain sasirangan. Sacred values slowly ​​fade. This fabric is desacralized so that it turns into everyday clothes.  It is also made for curtains, tablecloths, sheets, to handkerchiefs.

The name sasirangan is used according to the method or process of making this cloth, namely “sa” means one and “sirang” means baste. This fabric is made with a basting technique, then tied with thread or rope and dyed in clothing dye.

At first kain sasirangan used the basic ingredients of cotton thread or bark fiber.  As technology advances, sasirangan is made from other materials such as silk, satin, silk, balacu, kaci, polyester, and rayon.

The coloring is back using natural ingredients.  For example, the yellow color is obtained from turmeric or ginger;  red comes from noni fruit, gambier, and kesumba;  green from kabuau or uar;  purple from the seeds of the double fruit;  and chocolate from the skin of the rambutan fruit.  But now more craftsmen use synthetic dyes.

Many people refer to the Kain Sasirangan as “Banjar batik”.  Though the process of making it is different from batik which incise wax with special tool called canting.

By: G20.one

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