JAVANESE COSMOLOGICAL LAYOUT AS A POLITICAL SPACE

Ofita Purwani

The layouts of the kraton of Yogyakarta (left) and the kraton of Surakarta (right) after 1990s.
Adishakti, 1997, Miksic, 2004

Javanese cities, just like other Southeast Asian cities, are believed to be based on a cosmological layout. The basic of this layout is that there is a centre with the highest hierarchy, surrounded by circles with lower hierarchies, and axes. This layout can be seen as a practice of power in which it serves as a silent ideology (Bourdieu, 1977) that embodies social hierarchy. This article focuses on the ‘cosmological’ layout as a political space, in which a practice of power of the royal kingdoms or kratons is embodied. It focuses on the case studies of Javanese cities, namely Yogyakarta and Surakarta, which are recognised as the locus of Javanese culture at present. This paper seeks how different political power of the royal courts in both cities is reproduced in similar urban and architectural layouts.

Full Paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026427511630097X