An Analysis of the Characteristics of Balinese Costume - Focus on the Legong Dance Costume -

  • Received : 2017.01.12
  • Accepted : 2017.06.16
  • Published : 2017.06.30


Traditional costume in Indonesia represents identity of a person and it displays the origin and the status of the person. Where culture and religion are fused, the traditional costume serves one of the most functions in rituals in Bali. This research aims to analyze the characteristics of Balinese costumes by focusing on the Legong dance costume. Quantitative research was performed using 332 images of Indonesian costumes and 210 images of Balinese ceremonial costumes. Qualitative research was performed by doing field research in Puri Saba, Gianyar and SMKN 3 SUKAWATI(Traditional Art Middle School). The paper illustrates the influence and structure of Indonesian traditional costume. As the result, focusing on the upper wear costume showed that the ancient era costumes were influenced by animism. They consist of tube(kemben), shawl(syal), corset, dress(terusan), body painting and tattoo, jewelry(perhiasan), and cross. The Modern era, which was shaped by religion, consists of baju kurung(tunic) and kebaya(kaftan). The Balinese costume consists of the costume of participants and the costume of performers. Bali dancing is grouped into Wali dance(sacred), Bebali dance(theatrical), and Balih-balihan dance(entertainment). The Legong dance is included in the Balih-balihan dance, and its costume developed from 1920 until present. The characteristics of Legong dance costumes are 'Theatrical,' 'Angelic,' 'Charming,' and 'Decorative.' In conclusion, the balance of religion, culture, and art gives a unique trait in Bali. The Balinese social system, which is based on Hinduism, has influenced art and its function. This relationship creates a strong structure to the Balinese ceremonial costume, especially the Legong dance costume.


  1. Aceh Costume (2009, October 21). Retrieved from
  2. A dancing-girl of Bali, resting' c. 1925 (2014, February 25). Retrieved from
  3. Aragon, L. (1990). Barkcloth production in Central Sulawesi: A Vanishing Textile Technology in Outer Island Indonesia. Expedition, 32(1), 33-38.
  4. Balinese Kebaya 1943 (2009, November 26). Retrieved from
  5. Baju Agung Bali (2009, November 26). Retrieved from
  6. Baju Batabue Minangkabau (n.d.). Retrieved from
  7. Baju Bodo Celebes (2009, Novermber 27). Retrieved from
  8. Baris Dance (2014, November 01). Retrieved from
  9. Ceremonial Costume 1910 (n.d.). Retrieved from
  10. Ceremonial Costume 1920s (n.d.). Retrieved from
  11. Ceremonial Costume 1930s (n.d.). Retrieved from
  12. Covarrubias, M. (1937). Island of Bali. Singapore, Singapore: Periplus Editions(HK) Ltd.
  13. Dani Woman Tribe (2014, February 25). Retrieved from
  14. Darsana, I. K. (2007). Tata Busana Adat Bali Aga Desa Tenganan Pagringsingan Dan Desa Asak Karangasem. Mudra(JURNAL SENI BUDAYA), retrieved from
  15. Davies, S. (2012). Beauty, Youth, and the Balinese Legong Dance, Beauty Unlimited, Brand, P. Z. (Ed.), Indiana, USA: University of Indiana Press.
  16. Dayak Iban Selampai (n.d.). Retrieved from
  17. Dibia, I. W., & Ballinger, R. (2004). Balinese Dance, Drama and Music. Singapore, Singapore: Tuttle
  18. Gambuh Dance (n.d.). Retrieved from
  19. I Gusti Gede Oka or known as Anak Agung Raka (1954, November). Retrieved from
  20. Indonesia Bali Young Native Legong Dancer Girl 40s (n.d.). Retreived from
  21. Irian Jaya Accessories (n.d.). Retrieved from
  22. Janger Dance (n.d.). Retrieved from
  23. Java Batik Wrap (2009, November 27). Retrieved from
  24. Javanese Mask Dance Costume (2015, April). Retrieved from
  25. Kebaya Jawa (n.d.). Retrieved from
  26. Kebaya Keraton (2009, November 26). Retrieved from
  27. Legong Dancers 1980s (1989, April 4). Retrieved from
  28. Legong Peliatan, 1960s (2007, August 25). Retrieved from
  29. Legong Stamp in 1970s (n.d.). Retrieved from
  30. Lukman, C. C., Piliang, Y. A., & Sunarto, P. (2013). Kebaya Encim as the Phenomenon of Mimicry in East Indies Dutch Colonial's Culture (Doctoral Dissertation, Institut Technology of Bandung, Indonesia). Retrieved from
  31. Mentawai Accessories (2008, January 20). Retrieved from
  32. Modern Balinese Kebaya (n.d.). Retrieved from
  33. Oral Statement Interview by Saba, A. A. (July 8, 2015). Gianyar, Indonesia.
  34. Pendet Dance (2014, May). Retrieved from
  35. President Sukarno with Legong Peliatan dancers, 1950 (2007, August 25). Retrieved from
  36. Queen of Buleleng, Bali (2009, November 26).
  37. Rawai Lama (n.d.). Retrieved from
  38. Rawai Lama Borneo (n.d.). Retrieved from
  39. Rejang Dance (December, 2013). Retrieved from
  40. Sanghyang Dedari Dance (n.d.). Retrieved from
  41. Structures of the Legong Dance Costume (2013). Retrieved from
  42. Suardana, D, K. (2012). Dances of Bali. Now! Bali, Indonesia: Bali Publication.
  43. Sumba in Lau Cloth (2013, October 1). Retrieved from
  44. Titi Tattoo Mentawai (2012, December). Retrieved from
  45. Ubud Legong Dancer 2008 (2008, September 23). Retrieved from
  46. Ulos Wrap (2010, November 20).