The Deep Meaning of Javanese Costume

Javanese clothing is called as kejawen and it has certain meaning for Javanese. Javanese clothing has rich of  pseudo teaching of Javanese. The hidden meaning constitutes of harmony in daily activities in relation with God or with human beings. The traditional clothing consists of head clothing such as iket, udheng, cloth worn on body such as jarik, epek, timang and keris, and upper clothing : canela.

Head clothing for traditional Javanese fashion was iket that resemblances head band. Head band should be worn tightly that it will not be off of head. This symbolizes that human should have strong mind, not easily swayed just because of circumstances or other people without thorough consideration.Udheng is also worn on head such as hat, it has same function and same shape as iket when already worn. Udheng derives from a verb, Mudheng means comrehend. THis symbolizes that human should have strong and comprehend the meaning of life or sangkan paraning dumadi. Udheng also symbolizes human should have skills to do their job with knowledge comprehension basics. This also means that human should be professional.

Kejawen costume such as beskap is always completed with button (benik in Javanese)  on left and right side. Benik symbolizes that every action taken by human should be diniknik or should be considered carefully. No matter what he does should not harm anyone, should mind personal and public interest. Belt (sabuk) worn on body to symbolize that human should be persistent to do whatever their job is to fulfill their needs. For that human should ubed (work hard and serious) that his job should yield a good result, not the opposite. Sabuk means try that whatever effort will not be ngebukne (nothing). So people should ubed or persistent. Epek for Javanese means to work well they should epek  (Looking for, searching, seek) useful knowledge. When searching knowledge, human should be diligent, thorough and careful so that they can comprehend completely. Timang means that knowledge should be comprehended. Jarik or sinjang is cloth to cover lower part of body from hip to feet. Jarik symbolizes that human should not feel serik (jealous, envious). And facing problems should be patient, not emotionally (grusa grusu). Wiru is a drapery of jarik that is made vertically. Wiro or wiron means that jarik is closely related with wiru, derives from wiwiren aja nganti keliru (do not make mistake), doing things should create happy and harmony feel.  Bebed is Jarik worn by man or woman, bebed means that human should ubed, work hard, and cautious in every actions and tumindak nggubed ing rina wengi or working all day long, day and night. Canela derives from Canthelna jroning ati (hold tight in your heart). Synonym of canela are cripu, selop or sandal. Canela worn on foot means that human should worship God and kneel heart and soul to Him.

Curiga lan warangka. Curiga is keris and warangka is keris vessel. Curiga is worn on the back of the body. Keris and warangka symbolizes human as the creation and God as the creator, manunggaling kawula Gusti. It is worn on the back of the body means that in worship God human should ngungkurake godhaning setan, or put satan tease to the back as satan always tempts human to do bad things.