Mar 15, 2018

Waist Cloth (Kain Panjeng)

Waist Cloth (Kain Panjeng)

1800s-early 1900s

Cotton: batik

Overall: 248.9 x 181.6 cm (98 x 71 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1925.488



Unlike the Chinese and sometimes European motifs of northern Javanese batiks, the motifs represented on the batiks of central Java are indigenous. However, due to the influence of Islam, they are represented in a very abstract, stylized fashion. In this batik, a celestial scene—probably signifying the ritual renewal of community life and prosperity—is repeated against a background of small filling motifs. The scene consists of a ship (represented as a divided bow and stern) bearing a Tree of Life, which signifies the community's passage to renewed life; on either side of the ship is a winged pavilion; and above is a sacred mountain, the abode of the gods, with a shrine.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Cotton: batik

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