Tubular skirt (sarong)

DATE:
early 20th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Batik (tulis)
CLASSIFICATION:
Textiles
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 42 x 83 1/4 in. (106.68 cm x 2 m 11.455 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Pacific Islands
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund
OBJECT NUMBER:
1989.41

General Description

Two flowering lotus trees associated with the tree of life decorate the body (badan) of this sarong. One is upside down, allowing the garment to be worn in either orientation. Birds, butterflies, and peacock couples fill the space. According to Chinese belief, peacock pairs refer to wedding and marriage. The snake-like form along one side is a common dowry motif in Peranakan Chinese batiks and relates to Chinese and Javanese concepts of water and prosperity.

Rows of triangles and diamonds filled with flowers, plants, and birds constitute the elaborate design of the head (kepala). It was developed by the Peranakan Chinese workshops along the north coast specifically for Peranakan Chinese clients. It became fashionable to wear the intricately designed head of the sarong displayed in front.

Slight differences in the recurring images indicate that they were probably hand-drawn. The blue and green colors were also hand-applied with synthetic dyes.

Excerpt from

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

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