CABAYA, s. This word, though of Asiatic origin, was perhaps introduced into India by the Portuguese, whose writers of the 16th century apply it to the surcoat or long tunic of muslin, which is one of the most common native garments of the better classes in India. The word seems to be one of those which the Portuguese had received in older times from the Arabic (kaba, ‘a vesture’). From Dozy’s remarks this would seem in Barbary to take the form kabaya. Whether from Arabic or from Portuguese, the word has been introduced into the Malay countries, and is in common use in Java for the light cotton surcoat worn by Europeans, both ladies and gentlemen, in dishabille. The word is not now used in India Proper, unless by the Portuguese. But it has become familiar in Dutch, from its use in Java. [Mr. Gray, in his notes to Pyrard (i. 372), thinks that the word was introduced before the time of the Portuguese, and remarks that kabaya in Ceylon means a coat or jacket worn by a European or native.]

c. 1540.—“There was in her an Embassador who had brought Hidalcan [Idalcan] a very rich Cabaya … which he would not accept of, for that thereby he would not acknowledge himself subject to the Turk.”—Cogan’s Pinto, pp. 10–11.

1552.—“… he ordered him then to bestow a cabaya.”—Castanheda, iv. 438. See also Stanley’s Correa, 132.

1554.—“And moreover there are given to these Kings (Malabar Rajas) when they come to receive these allowances, to each of them a cabaya of silk, or of scarlet, of 4 cubits, and a cap or two, and two sheath-knives.” —S. Botelho, Tombo, 26.


“Luzem da fina purpura as cabayas,
Lustram os pannos da tecida seda.''

Camões, ii. 93.

Cabaya de damasco rico e dino
Da Tyria cor, entre elles estimada.''

Ibid. 95.

In these two passages Burton translates caftan.

1585.—“The King is apparelled with a Cabie made like a shirt tied with strings on one side.”—R. Fitch, in Hakl., ii. 386.

1598.—“They wear sometimes when they go abroad a thinne cotton linnen gowne called Cabaia.…”—Linschoten, 70; [Hak. Soc. i. 247].

c. 1610.—“Cette jaquette ou soutane, qu’ils appellent Libasse (P. libas, ‘clothing’) ou Cabaye, est de toile de Cotton fort fine et blanche, qui leur va jusqu’aux talons.”—Pyrard de Laval, i. 265; [Hak. Soc. i. 372].

[1614.—“The white Cabas which you have with you at Bantam would sell here.” —Foster, Letters, ii. 44.]

1645.—“Vne Cabaye qui est vne sorte de vestement comme vne large soutane couverte par le devant, à manches fort larges.”— Cardim, Rel. de la Prov. du Japon, 56.

1689.—“It is a distinction between the Moors and Bannians, the Moors tie their Caba’s always on the Right side, and the Bannians on the left.…”—Ovington, 314. This distinction is still true.

1860.—“I afterwards understood that the dress they were wearing was a sort of native garment, which there in the country they call sarong or kabaai, but I found it very unbecoming.”—Max Havelaar, 43. [There is some mistake here, sarong and Kabaya are quite different.]

1878.—“Over all this is worn (by Malay women) a long loose dressing-gown style of garment called the kabaya. This robe falls to the middle of the leg, and is fastened down the front with circular brooches.”—McNair, Perak, &c., 151.

CABOB, s. Ar.-H. kabab. This word is used in Anglo-Indian households generically for roast meat. [It usually follows the name of the dish, e.g. murghi kabab, ‘roast fowl’.] But specifically it is applied to the dish described in the quotations from Fryer and Ovington.

c. 1580.—“Altero modo … ipsam (carnem) in parva frustra dissectam, et veruculis ferreis acuum modo infixam, super crates ferreas igne supposito positam torrefaciunt, quam succo limonum aspersam avidè esitant.”—Prosper Alpinus, Pt. i. 229.

1673.—“Cabob is Rostmeat on Skewers, cut in little round pieces no bigger than a Sixpence, and Ginger and Garlick put between each.”—Fryer, 404.

1689.—“Cabob, that is Beef or Mutton cut in small pieces, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and dipt with Oil and Garlick, which have been mixt together in a dish, and then roasted on a Spit, with sweet Herbs put between and stuff in them, and basted with Oil and Garlick all the while.”—Ovington, 397.

1814.—“I often partook with my Arabs of a dish common in Arabia called Kabob or Kab-ab, which is meat cut into small pieces and placed on thin skewers, alternately between slices of onion and green ginger, seasoned with pepper,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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