Pesisir Batik (Cirebon or Indramayu)

Indonesia, Java, Cirebon or Indramayu
Woman’s Hip Wrapper (Kain Panjang Kepala Tumpal, Kain Kelengan), first half of 20th century
Textile, Hand-drawn wax resist (batik) on machine-woven cotton, natural dyes, 41 1/2 x 100 1/2 in. (105.41 x 255.27 cm)
Inger McCabe Elliott Collection (M.91.184.401)

The format of this traditional pesisir cloth is similar to that of both the sembagi and village batiks. The small, blue dots (cocohan) in the background are exclusive to batik from Indramayu and lasem. The kelengan color scheme of deep blue-black on creamy beige is also characteristic of Indramayu, where Peranakan mourners attribute apotropaic properties to it. The blue-black suggests that the wearer is close to the world of death while firmly grounded in the world of life (beige).

No comments: