Large motifs in bright contrasting colours rose to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. In Penang, kebabs often had animal and human motifs, including squirrels and bolero dancers. This sarong kebaya is decorated with prawns and crabs - symbols of abundance.
The sarong kebaya worn by Peranakan Chinese today resembles those from the 1950s. While the sarong kebaya is no longer worn daily, it remains a significant expression of Peranakan identity and is worn proudly on special occasions.


  • Title: Kebaya and sarong
  • Date Created: 1950s
  • Location Created: Europe, Indonesia, Java, Pekalongan
  • Provenance: Sarong: Collection of Mr and Mrs Lee Kip Lee
  • Type: Kebaya, Sarong
  • Medium: Kebaya: Machine-woven cotton and machine-made embroidery. Sarong: Cotton (drawn batik).

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