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Author Topic: Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat  (Read 4955 times)


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Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat
« on: 15/11/2007 09:54 »
Assalamualaikum and greetings,

I’m reading on the colour symbols and their significance in relation to the respective Pencak Silat group in Indonesia for e.g yellow, black, white etc. Are there any links or website for references? Is it possible for anyone to provide me with the details?

Wasalam and thank you,


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Re: Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat
« Reply #1 on: 06/12/2007 07:26 »
Mbak HanaChu,

I think that silat schools make up their colour meanings... however, in Jawa kebatinan, there are 4 spiritual siblings that accompany us, namely Alwamah, Supiyah, Amarah, and Mutmainah. These spiritual beings are asosciated with, respectively, the colours Black (dark indigo), Yellow, Red, and White.

Salan hangat,
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

Michael Lee

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Re: Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat
« Reply #2 on: 07/12/2007 05:21 »
Hana I can't tell you where to find information or links but I can tell you what I was taught about how colors relate to our silat.  The 5 main colors each correspond to an animal.  Blue is for the monkey, Red is for the tiger, orange is for the snake, white is for the crane and rainbow is for the king snake dragon.  The first four also correspond to a direction and an element. 


The last color, the rainbow, which corresponds to the king snake dragon is directionless and is best explained as a unification of the other 4 animals and elements.

An example of a ritual I was taught to do is to mediate after sundown in all four directions starting with the west first.  Sitting inside a circle I made on the ground (called the circle of creation), I sit facing the west and close my eyes for mediation.  While meditating, I think of monkeys, the color blue, and the water element.  In my mind's eye, I see a monkey before me.  At first it was helpful to have actual cut out images of monkeys laid out on the ground in front of me, along with a bowl of water and a large blue piece of paper (I used construction paper).  I would then repeat this ritual with each animal.  And for the record, when I got to the crane.... yes I used a bowl of air.  :) 

Anyways, there was a lot more involved with this particular ritual but I'll spare you as you only asked about colors.  :) 

This is how I relate to the question of colors in Silat. 



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Re: Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2007 04:51 »
Greetings Michael and Assalamualaikum Ranggalana,

Thank you for the above replies. I’m currently reading up on colour yellow which is more incline to my paternal Javanese silat/clan.

Regards and wasalam,

Michael Lee

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Re: Symbolic Colours in Pencak Silat
« Reply #4 on: 11/12/2007 05:25 »
Interesting Hana,

In what way does yellow relate to you?  Is it somehow related to Java?  Paternal lineages?



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