Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya and Straits Chinese are terms used for descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region of British controlled Malaya and the Dutch controlled Java among other places, who have partailly adopted Malay customs. A small group of Indian Peranakans (Chitty) and another group of Eurasian Peranakan (Kristang) also exist.\nOver the centuries, a unique Peranakan culture evolved integrating Chinese traditions with the customs of the host country \u2013 Malaysia as well the cultures of the ruler from Europe. There are traces of Portugese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences found in the lifestyle of the Peranakans that is particularly visible in the food, furniture, home interiors and clothing. Malacca and Penang are cities in which this disappearing culture is still visible.\nThe Peranakan Musuem of Singapore is exhibiting exquisitie antique Kebayas and Sarongs. The following images provide a glimpse of that exhibition.\n[This note presents my awe during my first exposure to this beautiful and dainty dress form as I explore its nuances for the first time \u2013 am not an expert and I do not have the necessary vocabulary to describe aptly the various elements. But, I hope that what I lack in the technical aspects will be compensated for by the wonder and the appreciation I feel for the textiles]\nPurple Kebaya with embroidery and cutwork created to match the bird and floral motifs of the batik on the sarong. Mid 20th Century.\n\nThe floral batik motifs of the sarong that has been \u201ctranslated\u201d into the alternate art form\u00a0 of embroidery & cutwork. How amazing is that!\nThe feature that lends grace to the Kebaya \u2013 the V-shaped tapering front\n\n\n\nThe fragile feature that adds to the character of the Kebaya \u2013 the stiff stand-up embroidered collar that adds a third dimension to the dress. \n\nFragile Green Kebaya\n\n\n\n\nFlamenco Dancer Kebaya\nThe motifs of flamenco dancers and matadors on this Kebaya are considered to be flamboyant!\n\nThe use of an inverted musical note in the embroidery might affirm\u00a0 the importance of symmetry in creating Kebayas.\n\n\nDark Blue Kebaya with unusual figure motifs, mid 20th century\n\n\n\nSimple Kebaya with Antelope motifs, mid 20th century\n\n\n\nSky Blue Kebaya with chicks, mid 20th century\n\n\n\nTwo Kebayas with cutwork, mid 20th century\n\n\n\n\n\nWhite Lace Kebayas \u2013 all mid 20th century\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFortunately photography was permitted in this exhibition and so it is possible for those not in Singapre to also see these lovely pieces of clothing!\nThe Kebayas are all from the exhibition at Peranakan Museum, Singapore.\nI\u2019ve just begun learning photography and the photos are all mine \u2013 please feel free to share these photos and spread the beauty of Peranakan Culture.\njm\nApril 2011\nThe post Exquisite Vintage Kebayas \u2013 the costume of the Peranakan culture appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.