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CRAFTS

| bamboo | woodcrafts | leather | silver | batik |

Bamboo

Bamboo is a multifunctional plant, easily available, cheap and familiar to the people in Indonesia. In addition to providing material for house-construction, furniture, arts and crafts, food and weapons, it is also the basis of several types of music that are widely popular.

bamboo crafts

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Woodcrafts

The abundance of wood in Indonesia, from earliest times, provided the people with the raw materials to produce functional and artistic artifacts. Many motifs found in prehistoric bronze artifacts were used in woodcarving. Indian influences from around the first century AD led to the adoption on new design, but with the introduction of Islam in the 12th century much of their significance was lost. The surviving motifs are, however, still imbued with religious significance for many.

Leather Crafts

Leather craft is one of handicrafts for which Yogyakarta and Surakarta are the centers. Shadow puppet is a popular form of leather crafts made by Javanese on the old days. Beside played in a shadow-puppet show, it can also be used as a souvenir, wall decoration, and so on.

The other forms of leather crafts like bags and shoes can be found in Bandung, West Java. Various kinds of these products can be found in this area. Besides supplying for local markets, these products are also sold out either to other cities or other countries.

Silver Crafts

Kotagede near Yogyakarta, West Sumatra and Kendari on the island of Sulawesi are the center-par excellence of Indonesia's silver craft.

From the hands of Kotagede craftsmen come the beautiful burnt silver objects and utensils that are on sale in most art shops in Java, West Sumatra, Bali and Kendari are known for their fine filigree work.

Batik

The history of Java recognized extra dimension. Centuries ago immigrants from other countries came and settled in Java bringing with them their own cultural traits like China, Islam, South Asia and Dutch. Java was a melting pot of peoples. Though communication among places was not quite easy but the influences from those different cultures can be seen.

Sometimes we can see the history in batik. For example, there is batik painting with old ships and three-colored flags made during Dutch colonialism time. Similar batik cloths were also made during the invasion of Japan but without flags. After the proclamation of independence in 1945 the flags appeared again but with two color stripes. Since circa 1950, when Indonesia was more stable, batik got a new inspiration. Some creative figures were moved to transfer their creations onto batik cloths. Some of them are Solo's KRHT Hardjonagoro Go Tik Swan in Solo who developed new designs from the existing patterns of batik and Jakarta's Iwan Tirta who develops batik designs for his exclusive haute couture gowns and applies batik designs on silk cloths.

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Cooperation between MINISTRY OF TOURISM, ART AND CULTURE, THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA and PT. ASANA WIRASTA SETIA, Jakarta

Supporting Institution: InCoDE, Yogyakarta

1999