Wraparound skirt (kain panjang)

DATE:
c. 1900
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Batik (tulis)
CLASSIFICATION:
Textiles
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 42 x 108 3/4 in. (106.68 cm x 2 m 76.23 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Pacific Islands
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund
OBJECT NUMBER:
1989.45

General Description

Finely drawn stylized animals, plants, fruits, and abstract motifs form a lively procession on the multiple zigzag bands called lenkolenko. The mythical kylin (dog-lion) and phoenix, as well as the pomegranate, are Chinese symbols for fertility. Shrimp and other sea creatures are common features on batik from Cirebon, a coastal town.

The head (kepala) features a broad decorative band (papan) filled with flowers and birds in combination with triangles (tumpal) on a dark red ground filled with small star shapes. The tumpal refers to bamboo shoots, which are symbols of fertility and are believed to have talismanic properties. The narrow decorative bands found at the top and bottom edges are called pinggir. That they do not continue the length of the cloth suggests they were not visible when the cloth was worn. This cloth was probably created for the Peranakan Chinese (Indonesians with Chinese ancestry) or Indo-Europeans in the north coast region.

Excerpt from

  • Label text, Waxed: Batik from Java, 2016.

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