A kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination that originated from the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom, and is traditionally worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Burma, southern Thailand, Cambodia and the southern part of the Philippines. It is sometimes made from sheer material such as silk, thin cotton or semi-transparent nylon or polyester, adorned with brocade or floral pattern embroidery. A kebaya is usually worn with a sarong, or a batik kain panjang, or other traditional woven garment such as ikat, songket with a colorful motif.
The kebaya is the national costume of Indonesia, although it is more accurately endemic to the Javanese, Malay, Sundanese and Balinese peoples.
The earliest form of Kebaya originates in the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom as a means to blend the existing female Kemban, torso wrap of the aristocratic women to be more modest and acceptable to the newly adopted Islam religion. Aceh, Riau and Johor Kingdoms and Northern Sumatra adopted the Javanese style kebaya as a means of social expression of status with the more alus or refined Javanese overlords.
The name of Kebaya as a particular clothing type was noted by the Portuguese when they landed in Indonesia. Kebaya is associated with a type of blouse worn by Indonesian women in 15th or 16th century. Prior to 1600, kebaya on Java island were considered as a reserved clothing to be worn only by royal family, aristocrats (bangsawan) and minor nobility, in an era when peasant men and many women walked publicly bare-chested.
Slowly it naturally spread to neighbouring areas through trade, diplomacy and social interactions to Malacca, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Sultanate of Sulu and Mindanao  Javanese kebaya as known today were noted by Stamford Raffles in 1817, as being of silk, brocade and velvet, with the central opening of the blouse fastened by brooches, rather than button and button-holes over the torso wrap kemben, the kain (an unstitched wrap fabric several metres long erroneously termed sarong in English (a sarung, Malaysian accent: sarong) is stitched to form a tube.)
After hundreds of years of regional acculturation, the garments have become highly localised expressions of ethnic culture, artistry and tailoring traditions.
The earliest photographics evidence of the kebaya as known today date from 1857 of Javanese, Peranakan and Orientalist styles.
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Beautiful Modern Kebaya Design is a free software application from the Food & Drink subcategory, part of the Home & Hobby category.
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