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Lower Body Wrapper (kain panjang) with Design of the Repeating Geometric “Chicken Footprints” (ceplok cakar ayam) Motif

K. R. T. Hardjonagoro (Go Tik Swan), Javanese, 1931–2008
Plain-weave cotton with hand-drawn wax-resist decoration (batik tulis) with natural and synthetic dyes
Made in
Surakarta, Central Java province, Indonesia, Asia
Costume & clothing, textiles
Current Location
Not on view
40 3/16 × 103 1/8 in. (102 × 262 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the Heirs of Berenice C. Ballard, and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Bixby Jr., both by exchange
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Object Number
This exceptional example of modern Javanese batik employs the so-called ceplok pattern for its visual organization. The term ceplok actually refers to a group of geometric patterns that fit within the confines of imaginary squares. In this textile, the ceplok pattern is known as cakar ayam (chicken footprints), for chickens symbolize diligence by using their feet to dig up soil to find food. Parents of the bridegroom in traditional Javanese wedding ceremonies favor this ceplok design. These parents hope the couple will work hard, earn money, and live independently. Go Tik Swan came from a family of batik makers and traders of Chinese descent from Surakarta in central Java. He was steeped in all aspects of classical Javanese culture and considered the most renowned Javanese batik master of the late 20th century. He became known as K.R.T. Hardjonagoro after the 12th ruler of Surakarta honored him with aristocratic rank.
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