Written by Melissa Sunjaya
Illustrated by Melissa Sunjaya

This artwork depicts the overlooked historical narrative of noble female warriors in Java, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At the end of the Javanese wars, numerous artefacts of these female knights were discovered, complete with warrior uniforms and artillery equipment such as spears, firearms, swords, and daggers. They were highly skilled in horseback riding, combat, and even military strategy. Melissa stumbled upon this narrative while reading the book ‘Perempuan-perempuan Perkasa’ by Peter Carey and Vincent Houben—a dense and essential resource for her creative exploration.

This illustration is available in Mantilla Scarf – a square scarf worn over the head and shoulders.