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Man’s Lower Body Wrapper (kain panjang) with Design of the “Ciptoning Wayang” Motif on a Diagonal Grid

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
40 15/16 × 98 7/16 in. (104 × 250 cm)
Credit Line
William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art, by exchange
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Object Number
A lattice grid created by diagonal bands of the parang rusak (broken dagger) pattern with the mythical Garuda bird at each intersection fills this man’s wrapper. The spaces within the lattice structure depict paired shadow puppet figures from a traditional play, Arjunawiwāha (Arjuna’s Meditation), first documented by an East Javanese court poet around 1030. In an episode at the center point of this textile, Arjuna is seen meditating atop Mount Indrakila. The shadow puppet figures symbolize wisdom and experience. Consequently, middle-age males usually wear cloths with such designs, as they understand and are able to explain the stories depicted. An infill pattern that represents abundance and prosperity covers the background.
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