The Anatomy of a Batik Sarong

Specific Javanese terms name the various parts of batik sarongs:

  • Sarong: a waistcloth that is decorated in batik and wrapped around the waist.

  • Badan: body of the sarong and the main field of the batik. [For example, see this sarong and its description: 1989.41.]

  • Kepala: head section at one or both ends of the sarong that differs in pattern or color from the badan.

  • Papan: broad decorative band within the kepala. [For example, see this sarong and its description: 1989.45.]

  • Kepala tumpal: design within the kepala composed of rows of triangular motifs.

  • Pinggir: borders lining the edges of the sarong.

  • Seret: decorative border encompassing both the badan and the kepala.

Excerpt from

  • "The Anatomy of a Batik," DMA Education resource, Waxed: Batik from Java, 2016-2017.

Related Multimedia

Gallery talk by Alexandria Clifton, artist
Gallery talk by Dr. Roslyn A. Walker, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific and The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, DMA

Web Resources