During holiday in Bali, you probably see statues that wear a cloth with a white and black square-pattern cloth, which it often makes you wonder about what the meaning is.
As it is known, Balinese people has many unique culture and art, which every of the part contains a deep philosophy and meaning as this Balinese white and black square cloth.
The following are some little known facts about the unique cloth you should must know.
Philosophy of Rwa Bhineda, Like Yin-Yang
The Balinese white and black square pattern symbolizes a philosophy of Rwa Bhineda that means the balance of the nature or a representation of the two differences or contradictory traits, as “black and white” mean “right and wrong” or “good and bad”.
Its meaning is very similar to Yin-Yang in Ancient Chinese philosophy, which also means two traits that are related and opposite.
Clothes Motive for Statues, Shrines, Sacred Objects
The white and black square pattern is also often used as a motive of cloth for decorating statues, shrines, and sacred objects particularly in temple area.
Besides that, the motive is also applied for Tedung – the Balinese traditional umbrella that’s a holy attribute for religious ritual and ceremony.
Some Big Trees Also Wrapped By Cloth With This Motive
On the side of the road particularly in rural area, the white and black square-pattern cloth wraps around big trees, namely: Banyan, Tamarind, and others trees especially in temple or grave area
The cloth symbolizes that big trees are considered sacred (called “Tenget” in Balinese language) and has a magical power by local people.
Also Used As Motive For Clothes of Pecalang
The white and black square pattern is also often used for the outer cloth (called saput) that wrap around waist to ankle for the Pecalang - a local security officers of an administrative village in Bali.
The pecalang usually wear clothes with the white and black square pattern when during big religious event, such as: Melasti, Piodalan, and so on. They do duty of controlling traffic
So, above are 4 little known facts about Balinese white and black square cloth. Hope this information is helpful!