Interactive Map of Songket

Dessy Aliandrina; Heru Wijayanto

Songket is a hand-woven craft from West Sumatra. It represents luxurious and social identity of Minangkabau people. Songket is typically used for special events; for example, wedding ceremony or ‘batagak gala’ – an occasion of crown ‘Datuk’ (a leader of a tribe) in Minangkabau. The uniqueness of Songket is reflected in its patterns that have multiple layers of meanings: 1) tasurek (surface/direct meanings), 2) tasirek (implicit meanings), and 3) tasuruak (hidden meanings). Recent studies have revealed that there are many unique patterns of Songket that have not been produced anymore because of their complexities in making. It certainly takes longer time to produce Songket with complex patterns and hence make it more unaffordable. The market demand has unfortunately changed the attitude of the craftwomen to preferably produce Songket with simple pattern. This situation is of course unfavorable as many patterns that have high cultural values start to disappear. In order to preserve Songket (as our cultural heritage) and its unique patterns, we aim to create an interactive map (which is accessible to public) that comprehensively reviews various songket patterns. It is our hope that the interactive map can help in promoting Songket by providing public with information on pattern meanings, materials used and traditional procedures in making them.

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