• Adlien Fadlia Faculty of Arts and Design, Jakarta Institute of The Arts


Kebaya encim, Cross Culture and Identity


In the 15th or 16th century, Indonesian ladies wore kebaya. Prior to 1600, the kebaya was considered a distinctive outfit exclusive to the island of Java’s nobles. The kebaya, during its development, was favoured by the entire populace, particularly among Java’s female farmers. Female farmers continued to wear the traditional kebaya in Javanese farming communities to this day, especially the elderly women. Farmers typically wore kebaya, which was fabricated from simple materials. Chinese immigrants to the island of Java forced them to alter their method of dressing, which is known by the Betawi people as kebaya encim. Kebaya is the traditional attire of Java. The word “kebaya” has evolved into a generic descriptor of being and a component of a burgeoning cultural identity since the turn of the twentieth century. In this study, kebaya encim – which is associated with the cultural identity of the people in Batavia – will be scrutinised. The research methodology rendered use of hermeneutic studies that are based on studies in design, history, and sociology. Descriptive qualitative research was employed in data analysis procedures, and it was gathered through library sources namely books, previous studies, research journals, papers, and websites. To ensure that it is in accordance with the facts of its growth, process and meaning (subject viewpoint) were more concentrated and utilized as a guide. The study’s findings indicated that the kebaya encim garment represents the identity of the community that wears it. Other factors delineated that the design, colour, and aesthetic components of kebaya encim have symbolic importance derived from the mingling of indigenous culture with Chinese culture in Indonesia. The role that clothing plays in people’s lives may be demonstrated in research findings that kebaya encim is a cultural identity. The use of kebaya encim is not just restricted to a particular cultural identity or community of people; it may also serve as a symbol of urban society’s conservation efforts.