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Art & Design

Javanese, Court wrapper (dodot), 1890-1910, Bequest of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich


Court wrapper (dodot)

Unknown artist, Javanese, Java; Surakarta
Court wrapper (dodot), 1890-1910
Cotton, indigo; batik
Length: 320 cm (126 inches)
Bequest of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich 55.473

Batik is the Javanese term for a resist-patterning technique in which wax is drawn or stamped on cloth before bathing it in dye. Here, the very finely woven fabric allows for a complex and detailed design. Two areas were known for different batik styles, the Pasisir (north coast) region and central Java (particularly the Yogyakarta and Surakarta areas). The designs and colors associated with these styles reveal the wearer’s ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, and social rank. Free-flowing patterns featuring meandering vines and tendrils are categorized as semen designs and have long been a symbol of high status restricted to court use throughout central Java. The central Java courts all wore similar patterns, but their color palettes differed. This hip wrapper displays the best-known Surakarta court combination, blue, white, and light brown, on two batik panels seamed together.

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