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Woman’s Breast Cloth (kemben) with Design of Floral Scrolls

Artist Culture
Plain-weave cotton with hand-drawn wax-resist decoration (batik tulis) and natural dyes
Made in
Banyumas, Central Java province, Indonesia, Asia
Costume & clothing, textiles
Current Location
Not on view
20 1/16 × 108 1/4 in. (51 × 275 cm)
Credit Line
William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art, by exchange
Public Domain
Object Number
A hand-drawn and wax-resist design of scrolling plants and flowers surrounding a red singdangan, literally “beam of light,” embellish this textile. The central field is lined with a row of lotus-leaf patterns called cemukiran. The natural dyes used here include mengkudu red (from the root bark of the Indian mulberry, Morinda citrofolia) and soga brown (from the bark of the yellow flame tree, Peltophorum pterocarpum). In Banyumas, the brown dye is mixed to be more reddish and yellowish in tone. The style and patterns found on this fabric are called batik petani (farm batik) or batik pedesaan (rural batik). These terms refer to the relaxed naturalism of these elements in contrast to the more formal and stylized shapes found on batiks inspired by the royal courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
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