The Parang motif is considered sacred and till this day, still forbidden to be worn by non-royals inside the palace of Yogyakarta.
The motif is said to originate from the contemplation of the Sultan Agung of the Mataram kingdom as he meditated along the coast. He noticed the jagged rocks protecting the coastline from the force of the tide. Drawing inspiration from the outline of the rocks, he created the Parang motif symbolising safety and security.
The symbolism further reminded the Sultan to guard himself against any internal human desires, in order to be a noble, responsible and just ruler.
The parang can also be translated from Bahasa Indonesia as “dagger”, and therefore the pattern can be interpreted as diagonal rows of Keris, the ceremonial dagger, and represent power, speed and strength. This pattern and its many variations would adorn many great leaders and warriors of the past.