Philosophy in Fashion Identity in the Mitoni Life Cycle Tradition

Philosophy in Fashion Identity in the Mitoni Life Cycle Tradition

Javanese people have known for a long time that there is a life cycle, starting from birth, marriage and death. The process of human life's journey that we know in the concept of Sangkan Paraning Dumadi (the origin of human life and the purpose of human return) by Sri Sultah Hamengkubuwana I has been realized since 1755 AD in the form of the rakiting wêwangunan or Yogyakarta building/city layout starting from the Krapayk Stage – Palace and Tugu Golong-Gilig (White Pal) – Palace. The human journey starting from a seed, birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, marriage, to the process of spiritual journey in preparing for death has been symbolized in the form of buildings, vegetation and structures in the area of the Philosophical Axis. Apart from that, the tradition of the human life cycle has long been symbolized in various forms of ceremonies such as mitoni, têdhak sitèn, têtak/têtêsan, and so on. These forms of ceremonies are not only carried out in the form of rituals, but can also be symbolized in the form of cloth motifs, especially clothing in the mitoni tradition.

Mitoni comes from the word pitu (seven), which can be interpreted as a procession commemorating the seven months of the fetus in the mother's womb. In the mitoni process, a mother is not only asked to go through the stages of the ceremony such as sungkeman, siraman, brojolan, but is also asked to wear several pieces of cloth with a batik motif as a background of seven pieces of cloth. During the procession, every time the mother-to-be wears a cloth, the attendees at the procession will be asked whether the cloth used is appropriate or appropriate or not. Please note, during the process of changing clothes, the elders who witnessed it said 'it is not appropriate'. It was only when the pregnant woman wore the seventh tube top that the elders who witnessed it commented that 'it was appropriate' (Suwito, 2005: 45).

The process of changing clothes for each cloth worn has its own philosophical meaning according to the motif of each cloth worn. The clothing or fabric used has its own identity and philosophy. The seven cloth clothing motifs used by a mother in the mitoni procession are: 1) The Sidomukti motif, symbolizing the prosperity (mukti) that the baby will have; 2) The Wahyu Tumurun motif, which means that the mother and her womb will always receive the gift of guidance from God; 3) Sida Asih motif, symbolizing love in the family; 4) Sidadrajad motif, symbolizing all family members will be elevated in rank; 5) Sidadadi, symbolizes the hope that the child will later become a successful person; 6) Angrem Baboon Motif, symbolizing the hope that the birthing process will take place naturally, and; 7) Broken Tumbar motif, as a symbol of a smooth birthing process without any obstacles that the mother will face.

The Javanese life cycle tradition in the form of the mitoni ceremony has been going on for generations. This outward procession, which is specifically for mothers and babies, has many meanings and philosophies contained in every form of behavior and ubarampe required, so that special attention is needed for the younger generation to know and understand it.



Suwito, Yuwono Sri, et al. 2005. Life Cycle Ceremonies in the Special Region of Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta: Yogyakarta Special Region Provincial Culture Service

Picture Source: 

Dokumentation of Ria Andamari

Writer: D. Prasetyo Dwi Putranto


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