Indonesia, Java, Lasem
Woman’s Hip Wrapper (Sarung Bang Biru), circa 1910
Textile, Hand-drawn wax resist (batik) on machine-woven cotton, natural and synthetic dyes, 42 x 66 7/8 in. (106.7 x 170 cm)
Inger McCabe Elliott Collection (M.91.184.73)
According to Pesisir tradition, tha bang biru color scheme was intended for married women with children (Heringa, 1989). The lotus tree designates this cloth for Peranakan use; its details stress the hopes appropriate for a married woman; the flower is the emblem of summer and fertility; the pods, of abundant progeny. The tree, with white, blue, and red flowers growing from a single stem, indicates prosperity and marital happiness (Chevalier & Gheerbrant, 1988; Williams, 1976). The cloth may have been a treasured heirloom, as its original, perfectly hand-sewn seam is still intact.
Heringa, R. (1989). Dye Process and Life Sequence: The Coloring of Textiles in an East Javanese Village. In Indonesian Textiles, ed. Mattiebelle Gittinger. (Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History: University of California, Los Angeles).
Chevalier, J., & Gheerbrant, A. (1988). Dictionnaire des Symboles. (Paris: Robert Laffont/Jupiter); Williams, C.A.S. (1976). Outilines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives, 3rd ed. (New York: Dover).