VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Kain panjang batik
1977.9.69
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

One of the museum’s mission statements is to be receptive to and to collaborate with groups that represent objects in the collections. This applies to the interpretations and availability of the existing objects and in the collecting of new objects that highlight contemporary cultural meetings, conflicts and influences. In keeping with this, members of the local Indonesian community in Göteborg were asked to choose objects that they felt they could relate to and that carried a special personal inherent relevance to them. My grandmother always had a kebaya with sarung batik as her daily dress and a kebaya with kain panjang batik for parties or special events. I never saw her wearing a modern dress. My mother wore modern dress in her daily life, however, when going to formal events, such as to a wedding, she would wear a kebaya with kain panjang and selendang batik. I remember that she always needed help to wrap the kain panjang. She wanted to make sure that the kain panjang would not become loose. I often helped her tighten the wrapper. Since she was not used to wearing kebaya, she would walk slowly when wearing it. Fine quality handmade kain panjang batik is rarely washed. My grandmother and my mother always aired the kain panjang after using it. Then they would fold the kain panjang batik in a special way. I see kain batik as part of a formal dress and as a fine art. Especially at a wedding party, women and men try to wear their best bati. I am always fascinated and I enjoy seeing the varieties of beautiful kain batik at wedding parties. A wedding party is like a fashion show! I think that women dressed in kebaya look sexy. The kebaya is usually made to fit the body and the kain panjang batik is wrapped tightly, in a way that accentuates the body. I also see kain batik as part of everyday dress. Everywhere in Indonesia we can see people wearing batik. It does not matter whether they are poor or rich, young or old. They use kain batik in many different ways: as kebaya, modern dress, shirt, school uniform, etc.

History of the Object
The Kain batik (''Kain'' means fabric) is a traditional Indonesian textile. The kain panjang batik is a piece of decorated fabric made with batik technique. In clothing it is normally used as a hip wrapper for both men and women. For women, the kain panjang batik is worn together with a kebaya (traditional blouse) and a matching selendang batik (“Selendang’’ means shawl). Men wear the kain panjang batik only at traditional ceremonies such as weddings. It is worn together with a top and a kind of hat made from a matching kain batik. One type of Javanese wedding dress uses only a kain panjang batik as a wrapper from the chest downward. In the past the kain batik was mostly used in Java, Madura and Bali. In the 70s the kain batik became part of the national dress of Indonesia. Men wear it as a long sleeved shirt. Women wear it with a kebaya or as a modern dress.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
cotton 
Measurements
Width 104 cm Length 230 cm  
Creator name
Ardyanto - Baik Wijayakusuma Yogyakarta 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; Java; Yogyakarta 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1977 
Function
Clothing, mostly for special occasions 
Acquisition
Unknown 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museum of World Culture, Sweden 
Museum
Museum of World Culture 
Credit line
 

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