19th c. Batik Head cloth, Sumatra
19th c. head cover from the Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia. Drawn on fine cotton in the wax resist technique with a mandala like design .The end borders are decorated with a stripe design in imitation of a fringe, very typical of the Jambi style.
In the late 17th century batik cloth became extremely popular because of its cheaper cost and durability compared to Indian trade cloths. Most likely Javanese settlers introduced the technique and production to Jambi. Batiks form an important role in Jambi ceremonies, likely to be worn for rites of passage like weddings, funerals and births.
This textile remains an example of the finest of regional skills imbued with subtle motifs and traditional symbolic meanings. Southeast asian textiles remain symbols of innovation and resistance to change with a great respect for tradition.
Circa: 19th c.
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
Dimensions: 36" X 36"
Inventory number: TX4726