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Ceremonial Lower Body Wrapper (kain dodot) with Design of White Central Field Surrounded by Anthropomorphic Firefly Motifs

Artist Culture
Plain-weave cotton with hand-drawn wax resist decoration (batik tulis) with natural dyes
Made in
Yogyakarta, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Asia
Costume & clothing, textiles
Current Location
Not on view
110 5/8 × 134 1/4 in. (281 × 341 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the Heirs of Berenice C. Ballard, William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art, Gift of L. Guy Blackmer, and Bequest of Horace M. Swope, all by exchange
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Object Number
This textile boasts very rare and unusual background patterns of flying insects with human-like bodies among scrolling tendrils and ornamental forms. A large white diamond shape, called a blumbangan, sits in the center. The blumbangan is the symbol of a sacred lake that radiates energy and is bordered inwardly by a row of lotus leaves or flames. Unlike most other dodot (ceremonial lower body wrapper) made from two sections of cloth, this one is constructed from three pieces of cotton. Each panel was first decorated before joining, thus when sewn together the patterns on each piece do not link up exactly with one another. The center field is also interesting, as the batik artist has allowed the wax to crack so different dyes could enter the cracks and create a subtle design of light-colored crackles over the white area. All the soga brown and indigo blue colors are from natural dyes.
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