Batik textile art is an ancient art form of wax resist dyeing. Discoveries show it existed in Egypt in the 4th century BCE, where linen soaked in wax and scratched using a sharp tool, was used to wrap mummies. In Asia, the technique was first known to be practiced in China during the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 CE), and in India and Japan during the Nara Period (645-794 CE). In Africa, the wax resist method was originally practiced by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, as well as the Soninke and Wolof people of Senegal. Nowadays, African Batik has become a cultural icon of the fashion world. During the colonial era, the Dutch were active in developing African and Javanese Batik, introducing new technical innovations and prints. Today, Holland supplies much of the world with African printed Batik. In Java, Indonesia, Batik (Bate) predates written records and historical evidence shows it has continued to evolve with the culture. Traditionally, specific patterns could only be worn by nobility and certain details such as the width of particular stripes or wavy lines would indicate higher social ranking. Javanese Batik has meanings rooted to their conceptualization of the universe. Customary colors include indigo, dark brown, and white, which are said to represent the three major Hindu Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns that take on themes from everyday life, incorporating designs such as flowers, nature, animals, folklore or people. In 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian Batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
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