Sarong

DATE:
1920
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Batik on commercial cotton
CLASSIFICATION:
Textiles
DIMENSIONS:
40 5/8 × 39 5/8 in. (103.19 × 100.65 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Pacific Islands
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund
OBJECT NUMBER:
1981.88

General Description

Displaying the dramatic dark blue head (kepala) in the center of this batik is possible because, when worn, the sarong retains its original tubular form. Flowers, leaves, birds, and a peacock (a Chinese symbol for beauty and dignity) are arranged in a large bouquet (buketan) pattern, a European-derived design typical of Indo-European north coast batik after 1900.

The overall new growth and fertility (semen) motif of the body (badan) is evident on either side of the head (kepala) and continues on the remainder of the garment. Abstract vegetative and animal images associated with fertility, sawat (the wings of the Hindu eagle-like creature Garuda), and inverted "V" shapes referencing mountains (holy places in Javanese belief) combine in a characteristic Central Javanese pattern.

Mixing of north coast and Central Javanese designs occurred when commercial batik workshops were developed outside the palace walls and catered to clients from Indonesia and abroad.

Excerpt from

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

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