Balinese Dance Ensemble

Balinese Dance Ensemble, CF+TC #275a-e
Balinese Dance Ensemble, CF+TC #275a-e
Gift of Beulah Blackmore
Djanger Performance, circa 1930s
Djanger Performance, circa 1930s
Courtesy of Rare and Manuscript Collection, #3480

Balinese dance ensemble

Unknown designer, Bali

CFTC #275a-e

Gift of Beulah Blackmore

This Balinese dance ensemble that Blackmore collected is typically worn during the djangèr, a modern Balinese dance that features two rows of girls and boys facing one another. In the early twentieth century, the rising tourist economy impacted the number of Balinese theatrical productions, while the costumes worn by Balinese performers became more elaborate as a means of attracting tourists to the island. The costume Blackmore collected thus draws from a number of traditional Balinese textiles including songkèt and perada. Typically reserved for performances or ceremonial displays, these textiles were either made out of silver and gold threads or decorated with gold dust or gold leaf. This ensemble includes a strip of cotton decorated with perada that would be wrapped around the torso, a sarong that is woven with silver threads and draws from a number of traditional Balinese motifs including the tumpal which consists of a row of triangles and is said to have talismanic properties, a collar adorned with perada and a headdress that is a modification of the traditional Balinese wedding crown.

Associated Media:

Cita Tenun Indonesia

Cita Tenun Indonesia (CTI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Indonesian textile traditions. Since the 2000s, CTI has initiated collaborative projects with Indonesian designers like Priyo Oktaviano. The organization has also collaborated with other businesses including Garuda Indonesia, the flag carrier of Indonesia, to promote traditional cloth production throughout the Indonesian archipelagos. In addition to collaborating with Indonesian designers and businesses, CTI offers a training program for Indonesian designers and craftspeople who want to learn traditional textile processes.

Priyo Oktaviano

Priyo Oktaviano is an Indonesian fashion designer based out of Jakarta. Oktaviano started his career at the House of Balenciaga in Paris and went on to join the Yayasan Cita Tenun in 2008. Known for his intricate designs and beadwork, Oktaviano's work draws from many of the same textile traditions used to the create the dance ensemble Blackmore collected for the New York State College of Home Economics in 1936.

Associate Perancang dan Pengusaha Mode Indonesia

Founded in 1993, the role of the Associate Perancang dan Pengusaha Mode Indonesia (Indonesian Fashion Designers Association) is to help up-and-coming Indonesian designers gain recognition for their work. The association is also responsible for organizing Indonesian Fashion Week in Jakarta whereby upcoming collections of Indonesia fashion designers are presented.

Malik Moestaram

Malik Moestaram is another celebrated Indonesia fashion designer. He presented his first collection in Bandang, Indonesia and has since presented at Indonesian Fashion Week every year. He designed 13 dresses for the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant that were inspired by traditional motifs of the Javanese and Sumatran isles in Indonesia. Watch the video below to learn more about the designs he created for this event.


Nakatani, A. (2015), Dressing Miss World with Balinese brocades: The “fashionalization” and “heritagization” of handwoven textiles in Indonesia, Textile 13(1), 30-49.

Hauser-Schäublin, B., Nabholz-Kartaschoff, M., and Ramseyer, U. (1991). Balinese textiles. British Museum Press.